WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM play Soybomb HQ on September 6. See listing. Rating: NNNN
Olympia, Washington's Wolves in the Throne Room have made their most accessible album to date, featuring short musical segues interspersed with the elaborate longer songs that have been their stock in trade. That's not to say it's a pop album; it's too intricate and contradictory for that.
Brothers Nathan and Aaron Weaver transcend the rules of black metal while maintaining some key elements. Psychedelic guitar lines, drones and harp are found among the blasted beats, shrieked vocals and ungodly speed.
A haunting introduction sung by return collaborator Jessika Kenney accompanied by tinkling chimes establishes a sound that's both icy and inviting before WITTR launch into a guitar/voice/drum assault at once terrifying and beautiful, much like the album itself.
Top track: Astral Blood