March 29, 2013

Wolves in the Throne Room - Malevolent Grain

Wolves in the Throne Room have opened a Bandcamp page, and released the majority of their catalog to it. You're probably aware of WITTR's full-length albums Two Hunters (2007), Black Cascade (2009) and Celestial Lineage (2011), and they're all here (the only one missing is their debut full-length Diadem of 12 Stars from 2006). So I would like to point you in the direction of the EP Malevolent Grain, which was released three months before Black Cascade in 2009.

Malevolent Grain contains two very different songs. The first one, A Looming Resonance, is brooding, almost psalm-like medium to fast paced black metal, featuring solemn female vocals. The second, Hate Crystal, is a carefully crafted piece of black metal, first white hot and furious, then dissolving into ambiance and digital effects. If you don't like contrasts in your music, then maybe this EP is not for you, as these quotes from various reviews imply:
the first track is very strong and melodic, the second track sounds very much [like] throwaway B-side material.

The first track is nice for a few times, but [...] gets less interesting after more listens. Hate Crystal hasn’t yet let me down once though and is one of Wolves’ finest

[Hate Crystal is] a ten-minute masterpiece of black metal, [...] but tragically sharing space with an absolute clunker.
I like contrasts, and I think Malevolent Grain is an astonishing success. Individually the two songs are great; but they also work really well together, mixing the brutal and soothing aspects of black metal to great effect. The end result is one of those great EP's, where the whole is better than the sum of it parts.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Another album not available on the WITTR Bandcamp is Live at Roadburn 2008. But you can find it as a name your price download at the Burning World Records Bandcamp, right here.

  1. I really liked the actual music on Celestial Lineage, but the interstitial stuff makes the album as a whole almost unlistenable to me. I just can't handle three minutes of the sound of someone sharpening a knife and other such shenanigans. I might have to give some of their back catalog a shot, though.

    1. I agree with Aaron, check out Two Hunters.

    2. O.K., that's pretty tasty. I'll forgive them for the knife-sharpening thing.

  2. Two Hunters is my favorite from them.