Wolves in the Throne Room - Two Hunters
Southern Lord
Epic Atmospheric Black Metal
4 songs (46'21")
Release year: 2007
Southern Lord
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

Seeing how I was in awe with Wolves in the Throne Room last year’s Diadem of 12 Stars I wanted to treat myself to their newest Two Hunters as a reward for working out some shit happening at work. Time was going by, shit kept piling up, and my appetite and anticipation for Two Hunters disproportionately grew. Diadem of 12 Stars came to me as a complete surprise, so I have done some research on the Olympia, Washington, trio. While I continued enjoying the art presented on Diadem of 12 Stars, I also developed a healthy amount of respect for these musicians who not only play their nature inspired black metal, but live it, making their dwelling in the woods of Pacific Northwest, living off the goods they grow themselves. Drawing inspiration under these conditions may be easier, it practically surrounds you, but nevertheless kudos to those who walk the walk, not only talk the talk. Wolves’ metal is so much more believable coming from the secluded cabin rather than suburban bedroom.

Sobering and ascetic Diadem of 12 Stars was strangely insulating and comforting, providing cover for the wandering soul. Two Hunters showcases multiple sides of nature including its unwelcoming, grim and even apocalyptic face. Proceedings, however, do not start this way as instrumental Dia Artio immerses the listener into a squall of warm ambiance, soaring, enveloping and monumental, all at the same time.

The other three tracks showcase epic atmospheric black metal compositions combining Hvis Lyset Tar Oss aesthetics with nascent melodies and both folk and avant-garde elements. Wolves in the Throne Room are masterfully weaving their lengthy compositions only rarely overstaying their welcome (the end of Cleansing). They have completely conquered the art of transition, seamlessly transforming raw blasting black metal into thunderous melody and then trance loops culminating with another vast dramatic melody line after a bout of blackened thrash. A mouthful? You try listening to Behold the Vastness and Sorrow and expect the day-of-reckoning feeling further supported by the profound lyrics. I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots features an abrupt melodic explosion right after powerful acoustics played on a cold windy night by the campfire. This epic closer reaches from slower daydream stupor to tribal dance and a cosmic moment tying up blasting sections. The first syllable out of Jessica Kinney’s mouth, who provides clean female vocals on the record, finally and immediately soothes away the disquieting feeling, sealing the notion that isolation among harsh nature is still better than the dregs of the outside world. Jessica also does wonderful job with her vocal line at the beginning of Cleansing, singing alongside shamanistic rhythms, as if praying for or against the rain to come. The thunderstorm comes regardless, raging along, purifying a hunter before the quest begins.

If last year I was giving away my well-hidden secret about this band, I am sure many now know about Wolves in the Throne Room. The band plans to tour relentlessly in support of this album, so it would be very interesting to see how these drawn out compositions translate in live setting. At any rate, an authentic performance can be expected from this band, just like Two Hunters is a totally natural album, recorded without studio tricks, fully captivating with its rough edged sound.

Killing Songs :
Behold the Vastness and Sorrow, I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots
Alex quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Wolves in the Throne Room that we have reviewed:
Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestite reviewed by Neill and quoted 10 / 100
Wolves in the Throne Room - BBC Sessions 2011 Anno Domini reviewed by Neill and quoted no quote
Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage reviewed by Alex and quoted 76 / 100
Wolves in the Throne Room - Black Cascade reviewed by James and quoted 86 / 100
Wolves in the Throne Room - Diadem of 12 Stars reviewed by Alex and quoted 91 / 100
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