Wolves in the Throne Room

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Wolves in the Throne Room
Wolves in the Throne Room performing live at Fire in the Mountains Festival 2019
Wolves in the Throne Room performing live at Fire in the Mountains Festival 2019
Background information
OriginOlympia, Washington, U.S.
Genres
Years active2002–present
LabelsCentury Media, Artemisia, Southern Lord, Relapse
Members
  • Nathan Weaver
  • Aaron Weaver
  • Kody Keyworth
Past members
  • Nick Paul
  • Richard Dahlin
  • Will Lindsay
Websitewittr.com

Wolves in the Throne Room is an American black metal band formed in 2002 in Olympia, Washington,[1] by brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver. They have released seven full-length albums, two live albums, and one EP to date. They have stated one of the founding concepts of the band to be channeling the "energies of the Pacific Northwest's landscape" into musical form.[1]

History[edit]

Formation and Diadem of 12 Stars (2002–2006)[edit]

Brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver formed the band in 2002.[1] Their first practice took place in a falling-down cabin located on the then-abandoned and overgrown Calliope Farm, which they had recently moved to. Nathan met Nick Paul at a local party and the three began to write material for their first demo. At the time, Nick was heavily influenced by thrash metal, speed metal, and death metal, citing bands like Death and Bolt Thrower, as well as post-punk and gothic rock influences such as Swans, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Fields of the Nephilim. Aaron and Nathan's musical style was more informed by crust, doom, Norwegian black metal and American black metal.

The band's first release was their 2004 demo, a black CD-R wrapped in fur with moss inside the lyric sheet.[2] Nick Paul left the band soon after the first demo was recorded.

Richard Dalahn joined the band in early 2005. They then began working on material for a second demo, which would end up including 2 tracks off of their first studio album Diadem of 12 Stars.

Their debut full-length album Diadem of 12 Stars was released in 2006.[3] Diadem was recorded with a budget of $1100 by Tim Green at Louder Studios in San Francisco.[4][5] The band played shows on the way down to San Francisco from Olympia to raise money for the project and borrowed equipment from local band Ludicra.

Nathan had met singer Jamie Myers from the band Hammers of Misfortune at a squat show in Oakland on a previous tour and asked her to sing on the album. Jamie was nine months pregnant during recording of her vocal tracks.

The album attracted the attention of Southern Lord Records, who signed the band, reissuing it on vinyl.[6]

The debut record received positive reviews, with Pitchfork stating that, "it's the inclusion of folk and goth that separates Wolves in the Throne Room from the pack, breaking up the madness with moments of poetic clarity."[7]

Two Hunters and Black Cascade (2007–2010)[edit]

Live at De Helling, Utrecht in 2010

The band released their second full-length album Two Hunters in 2007, the first part of a trilogy of albums that was concluded with Celestial Lineage. Two Hunters would be the first time the band would with producer Randall Dunn, who produced later releases Black Cascade and Celestial Lineage. During the Two Hunters sessions, the band began to work with analog synthesizers such as the Korg Polysix and the Minimoog, which has become a crucial feature in the band's sound.[1] Persian classical singer Jessika Kenney performed vocals on the songs "Cleansing" and "I Will Lay Down my Bones Among The Rocks And Roots."

Two Hunters photo shoot 2006

Two Hunters received critical acclaim, with reviewers praising the band's subtle blending of conventional metal and post-rock genres.[8]

Their third album Black Cascade was released in March 2009, again through Southern Lord.[9] The album featured a much rawer and more stripped-down sound, and the band has said that they "wanted to record an album that focussed on guitar, drums and vocals, rather than studio explorations."[1] After the release of Black Cascade, the band began a period of touring in the United States and Europe supporting Sunn O))), Earth, and Weedeater.[10] The band played at both 2008 and 2009 Roadburn Festivals, Hellfest, Graspop, and Roskilde. Roadburn released a Live at Roadburn 2008 album in early 2009.

Wolves in the Throne Room were chosen by Godspeed You! Black Emperor for the 2010 All Tomorrow's Parties festival held in Minehead, UK.[11]

Celestial Lineage, Celestite (2011–2016)[edit]

The band released their fourth full-length album Celestial Lineage on September 13, 2011, again produced by Randall Dunn.[12] This record was the first that the band wrote and recorded as a two piece.

Celestial Lineage 2011

Music critic Brandon Stosuy described Celestial Lineage as "American black metal's idiosyncratic defining record of 2011".[13] AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia argued that the album married the differing sounds of the two previous albums, "resulting in their most refined and confident outing to date."[14]

In January 2014, it was announced that a 'companion album' to the opus Celestial Lineage was set to be released, entitled Celestite.[15] Celestite was released in North America on Artemisia Records on July 8, 2014, and was described as an experimental extension on musical themes explored in their previous album Celestial Lineage.[16]

Daniel Ross of The Quietus described the album as a departure from the band's "plectrum-annihilating assault" and praised the band's ability to act as "enablers of specific atmospheres, able to handhold a listener through incredibly dense forest in very low light."[17]

In June 2016, the band remastered and reissued their first album Diadem of 12 Stars, and announced a North American tour.[18]

Thrice Woven (2016–present)[edit]

In 2015, the band began work on a new record,[19] under the title Thrice Woven. Initially set for release on September 22, 2017, it was released three days earlier on September 19. Thrice Woven received positive reviews from critics. Metal Hammer Magazine stating "They've returned with full force...a celebration of the visceral and elemental... It's an absolute pleasure to have them back again".[20]

In June 2018 WITTR won the award for Best Underground Band at Metal Hammer Magazine's 2018 Golden Gods Awards in London.[21]

The band toured regularly in support of Thrice Woven including a co-headline outing with Norway's Enslaved on the 2018 Decibel Magazine Tour, and as support for Behemoth and At the Gates for 10 weeks in the US and Europe as part of Ecclesia Diabolica [22]

In 2019, the band signed a record deal with Century Media records who will be releasing their next album in 2020/2021.[23]

Wolves in the Throne Room will be supporting bands Dimmu Borgir and Amorphis during their European tour in January 2020.[24]

Musical style and live performances[edit]

The band's music has been described as "atmospheric black metal" and "Cascadian black metal".[25][26][27][28] They have also been considered significant to post-metal for their combination of "ambience and violence" to create "emotionally impacting" music, especially on their 2007 sophomore album Two Hunters.[29]

Wolves in the Throne Room has not incorporated most of the traditional traits of black metal such as corpse paint, the use of pseudonyms and Satanic imagery.[30][31] 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."[5] And unlike most modern metal bands, Wolves in the Throne Room always use vintage amplifiers and recording equipment.[1]

Aaron Weaver has also described their music as "striving to operate on the mythic level", commenting that "I think there's this sense that we've lost something and we can't have it back. And maybe it's not something we ever wanted to begin with. That sense of despair and loss and you don't even know what you lost. That's one of the central themes in black metal and that runs through our records as well." He went on to add that one of the central ideals of the band is "the idea of uncovering the occult or the spiritual or the energetic reality of place. Being deeply connected to a place and creating music and art that rises up out of a landscape."[32]

Wolves in the Throne Room's sound is influenced by Scandinavian black metal.[4][30] 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".[30][33] They have also mentioned synthesizer artists like Popol Vuh as an influence.[34]

Wolves in the Throne Room prefer their live concerts to be firelit, whether it be performing outdoors or in an indoor venue.[35] The band also does not permit flash photography at their shows.[36]

Members[edit]

  • Nathan Weaver – guitar, lead vocals (2002–present)
  • Aaron Weaver – drums, bass, synthesizers (2002–present)
  • Kody Keyworth – guitar, vocals (2017–present)
Former members
  • Nick Paul - guitar (2003–2004)
  • Richard Dahlin – guitar (2005–2007)
  • Will Lindsay – guitar, backing vocals, bass (2008–2009)
Session musicians
  • Nick Paul – guitar on Wolves in the Throne Room
  • 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

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums
EPs
Live albums
  • Live at Roadburn 2008 (2009, Roadburn)
  • BBC Session 2011 Anno Domini (2013, Southern Lord)
  • Turning Ever Towards The Sun - Live At Neudegg Alm (2014, Funkenflug Recordings)
  • Live at the Bell House 9.12.11 (2015, Saint Roch Recordings)
Demos
  • Wolves in the Throne Room (2004, independent)
  • 2005 Demo (2005, Ván Records)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Official Biography". Wittr.com. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  2. ^ "Aquarius Records". Aquarius Records.
  3. ^ Gnade, Adam (2006) "Forest Doom: Black Wolves Hunt Souls in the Throne Room", Portland Mercury, October 5, 2006, retrieved December 24, 2011
  4. ^ a b Grow, Kory (2005) "Wolves in the Throne Room", CMJ New Music Monthly, Issue 139, p. 15, retrieved December 24, 2011
  5. ^ a b "Black Metal on Their Own Terms". Ultimate Metal.
  6. ^ "Diadem of 12 Stars, by Wolves in the Throne Room". Wolves in the Throne Room. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  7. ^ "Wolves in the Throne Room: Diadem of 12 Stars Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "Wolves in the Throne Room: Two Hunters Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  9. ^ Ratliff, Ben (2009) "Expansive Pop, Hypnotic Jazz, Surprising Metal", The New York Times, March 8, 2009, retrieved December 24, 2011
  10. ^ "Sunn 0))), Earth, Weedeater mini-tour". Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Hand Pick Wolves in the Throne Room, Neurosis, Weird Al Yankovic for UK Festival". SMN News. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  12. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo "Celestial Lineage Review", Allmusic, retrieved December 24, 2011
  13. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (November 28, 2011) "The Top 40 Metal Albums of 2011", Pitchfork Media, retrieved December 24, 2011
  14. ^ "Wolves in the Throne Room | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  15. ^ Wolves In The Throne Room Reveal Details Of New "Companion" Album metalhammer.co.uk. January 28, 2014. Retrieved on February 14, 2014.
  16. ^ Celestite release details & West coast tour dates wittr.com. May 7, 2014. Retrieved on July 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "The Quietus | Reviews | Wolves In The Throne Room". The Quietus. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  18. ^ "Wolves in the Throne Room Reissue 'Diadem of 12 Stars,' Plot North American Tour". Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  19. ^ "WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Is Working On A New Record In Its Rebuilt Studio – Metal Injection". Metal Injection. February 3, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  20. ^ Wenig, Christina (September 12, 2017). "Wolves In The Throne Room – Thrice Woven album review". Louder Sound. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  21. ^ Peacock, Tim (June 11, 2018). "Winners Of The Metal Hammer Golden God Awards 2018 Announced". Udiscovermusic.com. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  22. ^ "BEHEMOTH Announces North American Tour With AT THE GATES & WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM". Metalinjection.net. July 16, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  23. ^ "Century Media Records - Wolves In The Throne Room: : and Century Media Records join forces". Centurymedia.com. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  24. ^ "Dimmu Borgir and Amorphis Announce Co-Headline Tour". Kerrang!. August 13, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  25. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (September 23, 2011). "Pitchfork reviews".
  26. ^ Hopper, Jessica (2009) "Wolves in the Throne Room. It's organic metal", Chicago Tribune, May 15, 2009, p. 13 ('On the Town' section)
  27. ^ Masciandaro, Nicola et al. (2010) Hideous Gnosis, Createspace, ISBN 978-1-4505-7216-3, p. 109
  28. ^ Brenner, Dave (August 19, 2011). "Earsplit Compound".
  29. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (August 4, 2016). "A Brief History of Post-Metal". Bandcamp. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  30. ^ a b c Hopper, Jessica (2009) "Back to the land with the Wolves", Chicago Tribune, May 15, 2009, retrieved December 24, 2011
  31. ^ "Ravishing Grimness". Hails and Horns.
  32. ^ Murphy, Tom (September 30, 2011). "Aaron Weaver of Wolves in the Throne Room about the mythic levels his band operates on". Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  33. ^ "An Interview with Wolves in the Throne Room's Aaron Weaver". Brooklyn Vegan.
  34. ^ WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Album Nears Completion thegauntlet.com. July 11, 2011. Retrieved on July 11, 2011.
  35. ^ Anson, Matthew Grant (2011) "Year in Review: The best concerts of 2011", The Copenhagen Post, December 22, 2011, retrieved December 24, 2011
  36. ^ Murphy, Tom (October 1, 2011). "Review: Wolves in the Throne Room at Rhinoceropolis, 9/30/11 | Westword". Blogs.westword.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved July 11, 2014.

External links[edit]