Metal Review – Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage (2011)

Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial LineageWolves in the Throne Room justs seems like one of those bands in the new black metal subgenre of metal that is always slighty ahead of the curve. In a lot of ways, they are like Agalloch. These bands always are just doing something right and then a bunch of bands follow suit. Once again, Wolves in the Throne Room has done it with Celestial Lineage.

Their latest epic release is Celestial Lineage, which is the completion of their trilogy that began with 2007’s Two Hunters. This release is nothing short of brilliant and just fills that dark void that is left empty by a lot of other bands. They are so diverse with these release (as with their others), that there is no shortage of brutality nor beautiful elements to their music. Their sound is filled with motivation and want for hearing more of what they bring.

After devoting the late Winter season to writing and recording, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM have completed their fourth full-length opus of epic, earthen Black Metal ceremony.

For over six months the Weaver brothers, Aaron and Nathan, have been immersed in the painstaking writing and recording process of their newest album, and this week the process is nearly complete, at press time the album in its final mixing stages. The WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM clan have confirmed the title of this forthcoming astral black metal document as Celestial Lineage.

The transmutation reaches a new level with the completion of the album. In contrast to the bleakly hypnotic architecture of Black Cascade, the lifespan of Celestial Lineage breathes more expansive and visionary life into the duo’s work. The WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM trademark long-form approach to arrangement remains intact, but there is a stronger thread of Popul Vuh-inspired underworld synthscapes and star-lit pulse woven with the intertwining guitar figures. Celestial Lineage will end a trilogy of releases which began with Two Hunters (2007), and is segued by Black Cascade (2009), and like both previous albums, will be released via Southern Lord Recordings, with a street date of September 13, 2011 now confirmed. Three songs on the album feature Jessika Kenney’s liturgical choir and solo voice, as heard on Two Hunters as well as 2009’s Malevolent Grain EP, the album also including orations from Aaron Turner (Isis).

Stated WITTR drummer Aaron Weaver of the writing process for Celestial Lineage: “An ornate constellation of imagery is what that guides the songwriting process. Cedar temples crowned with burnished bronze domes glimpsed in a remote valley. Wild Midsummer bonfires and feasting on roasted flesh. All of the sounds serve to evoke the images that exist in our minds eye. With this record we’re going to explore an entirely new palette of sound. We want the instruments to sound like the liturgical music of a cedar cult.”

Besides closing out a trilogy within WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM’s own annals, Celestial Lineage also marks the final release to ever be recorded in engineering wizard Randall Dunn’s infamous Aleph Studio, the birthplace of a plethora of groundbreaking releases from Earth, Sunn O))), Boris, Cave Singers, Bjork/Omar Souleyman and countless more over the past decade, as well as where the immense tones and energy on WITTR’s lauded Two Hunters and Black Cascade albums were captured. Check out several brand new in-studio photos from these special recording sessions here.

In support of the album, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM will commence worldwide touring this September, kicking off in the Americas, and eventually engulfing many other regions of the planet through 2012.