Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wolves in the Throne Room - Diadem of Twelve Stars

When you think about the sources of great black metal, Olympia, Washington doesn't usually spring to mind. Moreover, Wolves in the Throne Room isn't particularly innovative. Obvious influences include Burzum and Throes of Dawn, with perhaps some Agalloch thrown in for good measure. Nevertheless, Wolves in the Throne room manages to make the well-trodden path they walk seem dewy-fresh. The melodies are repetitive, but hypnotic and addictive, with a surprising amount of variation thickly layered beneath the tremolo guitar surface. The clean female vocals contrast perfectly with the excellent raw rasp of the male vocalist. Both volume and pace change frequently, but the passages meld into a coherent whole, unlike the disjoint meanderings of early Opeth. With approximately fifteen minutes per song, there is plenty of room for development and exploration of each melodic theme. Highly recommended.

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