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Rating:
9.0
Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
13 September 2011


01. Thuja Magus Imperium
02. Permanent Changes In Consciousness
03. Subterranean Initiation
04. Rainbow Illness
05. Woodland Cathedral
06. Astral Blood
07. Prayer Of Transformation


Rainy evenings have a vibe of their own: rainy evenings with entrancing atmosphere are astonishing. The wolves have returned to the throne room and the fourth chapter has been carved in stone. The highly anticipated Celestial Lineage has arrived and along with it the specialists of "Vastness And Sorrow" simply because that's what they always preserved; vastness and depth in terms of sound and an omnipresent escalating bitterness and sonorous rapture.

Black Cascade led the band astray from their roots; more precise production, less misty but surrounding still and far less ambient elements that were being camouflaged in the overall sound motive. It was more instrument-driven black metal based on a continuous song structure of powerful moments breaking into mid-tempo atmospheric passages. Nevertheless, it was still a Wolves In The Throne Room release and a good one to be honest. Celestial Lineage, though, is exactly what the title says, a homage to their first releases, their divine descent. This means that the masters of massive atmosphere, raw beauty and majestic dynamics have returned and along with them all the required elements.

At first glance the band gives you the impression as if they have broken the unwritten 4-song vow. Yes, Celestial Linage consists of seven compositions. Yet, after you have listened to the album for the first time you know that everything is just fine. We've got three songs that surpass the necessary ten minutes and here's the magic: the four remaining songs that are in a row could have been a solitary song, and they are. "Permanent Changes In Consciousness" is the intro, "Subterranean Initiation" the main theme, "Rainbow Illness" a small break and "Woodland Cathedral" the atmospheric ending.

What was lost now has been found anew. The female vocals return, so does the nature-centered cover artwork depicting a forest glade adorned by light. The connection's there, you just have to see beyond the darkness and through the light, it feels like an illuminated version of Two Hunters' artwork. "Thuja Magus Imperium" opens the curtain with a Dead Can Dance mysticism to break into a majestic pandemonium of bombastic percussion, menacing guitars and harsh vocals from the core of the forest and everything takes its toll through the whole duration of the album. The distinctive keyboard slices and effects are present once again and the production's slightly blurry for one more time, keeping the surrounding ever-expanding wall of sound the band always possessed. The tremolo riffs aren't missing and the marching towards eternity heart-rending guitar melodies are here as well, alongside a few spot-on acoustic passages.

On one hand Aaron Weaver once more sounds unerring, filling the space with creative drumming in any tempo required; from the echoing percussion and gentle drumming during the slow passages that take their time to unfold to the sonic assault of atmosphere that asks for upbeat marching tempo or a more imposing approach. On the other hand Nathan, his brother, "jabs" with prowess the sound apparel of Celestial Lineage through his guitar work that either enthralls the ambiance and climaxes the intensity or decompresses the gently surrounding production with chords and the beauty of nature. As for his interpretation, the vocal cords hold still all the howling warmth that comes to the surface whenever he summons the blowing of the wind that surpasses the treetops.

The wolves are indeed in the throne room and the ruler's quivering in fear. Celestial Lineage shapes the contours of coarse beauty and delicate fierceness honoring the grandeur of nature from utter repose and a dreamlike state and to a more hostile essence.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Wolves In The Throne Room
Album: Celestial Lineage


 



Written on 10.10.2011 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››

Guest review by
Boxcar Willy

Rating:
8.2
Not being one for black metal - the closest I came to understanding the genre was with Woods Of Ypres and Keep Of Kalessin - I decided to give Wolves In The Throne Room's Celestial Lineage a spin as a result of some widespread attention online.

I had my hopes up, and my hopes were met.

Read more ››
published 12.01.2012 | Comments (10)



Comments

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Comments: 26  
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!J.O.O.E.! - 10.10.2011 at 23:12  
Best thing they've done since their debut. Damn fine record.
Daniell - 10.10.2011 at 23:31  
I share the opinion. A great release!
BitterCOld - 10.10.2011 at 23:56  
I still think Two Hunters is their best... but what Black Cascade was lacking is back with this one. really good album.
Merchant of Doom - 11.10.2011 at 00:26  
I loved it (more on it later), but I just wanted to say that, apparently, according to a poster on another "doomy" site ( ), the Wolves have a "pool of riffs that they arrange randomly"... and another chap said "I've only heard the two albums (Two Hunters and Black Cascade) which I thought were horrible..." I don't know, I might be deaf, after all...
Troy Killjoy - 11.10.2011 at 05:02  
A well-deserved 9 and the review supports the rating. One of my favorite albums of the year thus far.
Mikyz - 11.10.2011 at 08:08  
I don't find it nearly as good as Two Hunters or Diadem of 12 Stars, it has its moments though, the only song which is on par with the their first two albums is Thuja Magus Imperium. It's a good album, it didn't blow my mind though. Good Review.
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.10.2011 at 08:24  
Great album. Best is still Two Hunters though, but currently I would put this one on a par with Diadem Of 12 Stars
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.10.2011 at 08:24  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 11.10.2011 at 00:26

I loved it (more on it later), but I just wanted to say that, apparently, according to a poster on another "doomy" site ( ), the Wolves have a "pool of riffs that they arrange randomly"... and another chap said "I've only heard the two albums (Two Hunters and Black Cascade) which I thought were horrible..." I don't know, I might be deaf, after all...


Hey, but then again we're all hipsters buying into this
Merchant of Doom - 11.10.2011 at 10:54  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.10.2011 at 08:24

Written by Merchant of Doom on 11.10.2011 at 00:26

I loved it (more on it later), but I just wanted to say that, apparently, according to a poster on another "doomy" site ( ), the Wolves have a "pool of riffs that they arrange randomly"... and another chap said "I've only heard the two albums (Two Hunters and Black Cascade) which I thought were horrible..." I don't know, I might be deaf, after all...


Hey, but then again we're all hipsters buying into this


I'm definitely hip...
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.10.2011 at 10:56  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 11.10.2011 at 10:54

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.10.2011 at 08:24

Written by Merchant of Doom on 11.10.2011 at 00:26

I loved it (more on it later), but I just wanted to say that, apparently, according to a poster on another "doomy" site ( ), the Wolves have a "pool of riffs that they arrange randomly"... and another chap said "I've only heard the two albums (Two Hunters and Black Cascade) which I thought were horrible..." I don't know, I might be deaf, after all...


Hey, but then again we're all hipsters buying into this


I'm definitely hip...


I've got glasses and already had an Aplle computer in 1979 so I am definitely a hipster
Merchant of Doom - 12.10.2011 at 18:25  
Well, it looks like lots of people liked this...
Mr. Doctor - 12.10.2011 at 18:51  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.10.2011 at 10:56

I've got glasses and already had an Aplle computer in 1979 so I am definitely a hipster


Nah dude you got it wrong, you have to own those glases with really really thick and black plastic frames.
!J.O.O.E.! - 12.10.2011 at 18:53  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 12.10.2011 at 18:51


Nah dude you got it wrong, you have to own those glases with really really thick and black plastic frames.

And have a silly mustache and wear a fugly jumper with skin tight trousers.
Mr. Doctor - 12.10.2011 at 19:16  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 12.10.2011 at 18:53

Written by Mr. Doctor on 12.10.2011 at 18:51


Nah dude you got it wrong, you have to own those glases with really really thick and black plastic frames.

And have a silly mustache and wear a fugly jumper with skin tight trousers.


Aw dude.... Did you get the mental image with Marcel wearing that? Oh man...
DerRozzengarten - 12.10.2011 at 19:20  

Marcel on the right.
!J.O.O.E.! - 12.10.2011 at 19:31  
Aww, I wanted to see Marcel in skinny jeans =[
Marcel Hubregtse - 12.10.2011 at 19:34  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 12.10.2011 at 19:31

Aww, I wanted to see Marcel in skinny jeans =[



I don't
DerRozzengarten - 12.10.2011 at 19:35  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 12.10.2011 at 19:31

Aww, I wanted to see Marcel in skinny jeans =[

Blue-black skinny jeans and a red/purple hooded jumper with the monicer of Wormphlegm
!J.O.O.E.! - 12.10.2011 at 19:40  
Written by DerRozzengarten on 12.10.2011 at 19:35

Blue-black skinny jeans and a red/purple hooded jumper with the monicer of Wormphlegm

It would definitely send Wormphlegm into the mainstream.
Mr. Doctor - 12.10.2011 at 21:14  
I'll do the chick anyway...
deepwithin - 12.10.2011 at 23:12  
Great review. This album is going to be in my top-10 list of 2011. Yes, there are some references to their earliest work, but I find Celestial Lineage their most grown-up album, both musically as in production! Looking forward to the live experience in Tilburg on Hallows Eve, great timing for WITTR!
Merchant of Doom - 15.10.2011 at 10:29  
Ok, it's official: WITTR are not cool anymore...
Boxcar Willy - 09.01.2012 at 05:31  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 15.10.2011 at 10:29

Ok, it's official: WITTR are not cool anymore...

BLASPHEMY!
Merchant of Doom - 09.01.2012 at 10:16  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 09.01.2012 at 05:31

Written by Merchant of Doom on 15.10.2011 at 10:29

Ok, it's official: WITTR are not cool anymore...

BLASPHEMY!


I agree!
Apothecary - 10.01.2012 at 17:45  
Magnificent album, front to back. I'm split between this and Kosmonument (Oranssi Pazuzu) for best black metal album of 2011.
Oaken - 19.05.2012 at 18:16  
Great work. The riff at 8:13 in "Astral Blood" is PURELY orgasmic.

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