Wolves in the Throne Room
|Wolves in the Throne Room|
|Origin||Olympia, Washington, USA|
|Genres||Black metal, ambient|
|Labels||Southern Lord, Vendlus|
|Associated acts||Asunder, Dystopia, Ludicra, Fauna, Middian|
According to the band, one of the founding concepts of WITTR is to channel the "energies of the Pacific Northwest's landscape" into musical form.
The main members of Wolves in the Throne Room are brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver. In an interview, Nathan Weaver said that he conceived the vision for the band and wrote the first two songs "Wolves in the Throne Room" and "Black Tea" at an Earth First! rendezvous in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in 2002.
In 2003, the band moved to a dilapidated 1910 farmstead called Calliope outside Olympia. They have often stated that the creation of their farm-stronghold was linked to their early musical progression. Aaron Weaver and his wife Megan operate an organic farm at Calliope. The band has expressed bemusement at the mythology that surrounds them, specifically regarding their rural lifestyle. From an interview in Pitchfork:
"I'm sure that some people who meet us are disappointed that we don't dress in un-tanned hides and dwell in caves, while others are surprised that the farm... and our struggle to create a life that mirrors the energy of our music is quite real."
The band's first release was their 2004 demo, a black CDR wrapped in fur with moss inside the lyric sheet.
Their next release was Two Hunters (2007). Two Hunters was the first time the band worked with producer Randall Dunn, who has produced all their subsequent releases. During the Two Hunters sessions, the band began to work with analog synthesizers, which has become a crucial feature in the band's sound.
The band's latest album Celestial Lineage was released on September 13, 2011 and is the third installment in a trilogy that began with Two Hunters. Music critic Brandon Stosuy described Celestial Lineage as "American black metal's idiosyncratic defining record of 2011".
Ideology and sound
Wolves in the Throne Room has rejected most of the traditional traits of black metal such as corpse paint, the use of pseudonyms and Satanic imagery. Member Aaron Weaver has said, "Wolves in the Throne Room is not black metal, or, more accurately, we play black metal on our own terms, for our own reasons."
The band, based out of its farm outside the Olympia city limits, is well known for their interests expressed through their imagery and lyrics, such as radical ecology, bio-dynamic farming, and creating a nature-based occult worldview, which differ from the traditional topics associated with black metal. They focus on themes of apocalypse, transformation and modern society's lost connection with the natural world. The band's music has been described as "eco-metal", "organic metal", "astral black metal" and "Cascadian black metal".
Unlike most modern metal bands, Wolves in the Throne Room always use vintage amplifiers and recording equipment. They mentioned in one interview that they despise modern recording techniques such as looping and drum triggers.
Wolves in the Throne Room's sound is influenced by Scandinavian black metal, while doom metal, dark ambient, crust punk, and folk music influences also exist. Wolves in the Throne Room has often cited American band Neurosis as a key inspiration because their music "operates on a deep and intense mythic level". They have also mentioned synthesizer artists like Popol Vuh as an influence.
The band despises moshing and violence at their shows because they see their music as meditative rather than aggressive. Member Aaron Weaver has stated that he wants people to, "lay on the floor and cry", when the band plays live.
The group have said that starting in 2010 they will tour with their own PA system so they will no longer be forced to play at traditional venues. They have often advocated a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to music.
- Current members
- Nathan Weaver – guitars, bass, drums, synthesizers, lead vocals
- Aaron Weaver – drums, guitars, bass, synthesizers, backing vocals
- Session musicians
- Jamie Myers – Sung vocals on Diadem of 12 Stars, Malevolent Grain
- Jessika Kenney – Sung vocals on Two Hunters and Celestial Lineage
- Will Lindsay (Middian) – bass on Live at Roadburn 2008
- Dino Sommese (Dystopia, Asunder) – guest vocals
- Ross Sewage (Ludicra, Impaled) – bass on 2008 Autumn US tour and 2009 Winter European tour
- Oscar Sparbell (Christian Mistress) – bass on 2009 US and European tours
- Former members
- Will Lindsay – guitar, backing vocals, bass on Black Cascade; guitar on Malevolent Grain
- Richard Dahlin – guitar on 2005 Demo, Diadem of 12 stars, Two Hunters
- Nick Paul – guitar on Wolves in the Throne Room
- Studio albums
- Diadem of 12 Stars (2006, Vendlus)
- Two Hunters (2007, Southern Lord)
- Black Cascade (2009, Southern Lord)
- Celestial Lineage (2011, Southern Lord)
- Malevolent Grain (2009, Southern Lord)
- Live albums
- "Official Biography". wittr.com.
- Hopper, Jessica (2009) "Back to the land with the Wolves", Chicago Tribune, May 15, 2009, retrieved December 24, 2011
- Grow, Kory (2005) "Wolves in the Throne Room", CMJ New Music Monthly, Issue 139, p. 15, retrieved December 24, 2011
- "The Billboard Green 10: And One to Grow On - In Organic Soil of Course", Billboard, April 11, 2009, p. 20, retrieved December 24, 2011
- Stosuy, Brandon (September 26, 2007). "Show no Mercy". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Aquarius Records". Aquarius Records.
- Gnade, Adam (2006) "Forest Doom: Black Wolves Hunt Souls in the Throne Room", Portland Mercury, October 5, 2006, retrieved December 24, 2011
- "Black Metal on Their Own Terms". Ultimate Metal.
- Ratliff, Ben (2009) "Expansive Pop, Hypnotic Jazz, Surprising Metal", The New York Times, March 8, 2009, retrieved December 24, 2011
- Rivadavia, Eduardo "Celestial Lineage Review", Allmusic, retrieved December 24, 2011
- Stosuy, Brandon (November 28, 2011) "The Top 40 Metal Albums of 2011", Pitchfork Media, retrieved December 24, 2011
- "GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Hand Pick Wolves in the Throne Room, Neurosis, Weird Al Yankovic for UK Festival". SMN News. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
- "Ravishing Grimness". Hails and Horns.
- Anson, Matthew Grant (2011) "Year in Review: The best concerts of 2011", The Copenhagen Post, December 22, 2011, retrieved December 24, 2011
- Ratliff, Ben (2009) "THE WEEK AHEAD | MAY 24-MAY 30", The New York Times, May 24, 2009, retrieved December 24, 2011
- Christian, Thaddeus (2006) "Volcanoes, Space Pirates... Walk the Plank with Alien Metal Mutants", Portland Mercury, June 1, 2006, retrieved December 24, 2011
- "Heathen Harvest". WITTR Interview.
- Hopper, Jessica (2009) "Wolves in the Throne Room. It's organic metal", Chicago Tribune, May 15, 2009, p. 13 ('On the Town' section)
- Masciandaro, Nicola et al. (2010) Hideous Gnosis, Createspace, ISBN 978-1-4505-7216-3, p. 109
- Brenner, Dave (August 19, 2011). "Earsplit Compound".
- "Interview with WITTR 2006". Nocturnal Cult.
- "An Interview with Wolves in the Throne Room's Aaron Weaver". Brooklyn Vegan.
- WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Album Nears Completion thegauntlet.com. July 11, 2011. Retrieved on July 11, 2011.