It was probably inevitable that the uptick in black metal's popularity (thanks to VICE docs, Deafheaven, etc) would lead to the genre's progressing away from its roots. Elements of shoegaze, bluegrass and other influences have mitigated the brutalist purity. Next: bagpipes, djembes and children's choirs. The future of black metal is no black metal at all.
So it feels, weirdly, natural that Olympia-based astral black metallers Wolves in the Throne Room (brothers Nathan and Aaron Weaver) have cut a record of analog synth landscapes.
Conceived as a "companion album" (whatever that means) to 2011's Celestial Lineage, Celestite has the Weavers trading blast beats for eerie ambient sway. The five tracks amble and pulsate and plod along in a way that feels consistent with the band and the genre. Not the kind of thing to strap on a battle vest and mosh to (the Weavers abhor that stuff anyhow), but the sort of leisurely meditation music that could score a black metal spa day.
Top track: Celestite Mirror