Saturday, September 26, 2009

Black Metal Classics
Two Hunters - WITTR

Two Hunters
Since I've seen fit to make mockery of Black Metal song names, I figure I should set the record straight. Admittedly, I'm a dabbler - a "tourist" - in Black Metal, not at all hardcore. And I think there's no better starting point, introduction to the genre, than Wolves in the Throne Room's Two Hunters (2007).

So this one's for those not ready for True Norwegian Black Metal - like Darkthrone's influentially grim production, or Immortal's frostbitten anthems of the iceworld Blashyrkh. Wolves in the Throne Room (WITTR) are American (USBM), live out in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, and promote some sort of pagan ecological consciousness. The music is easier to get into because of the quieter intros and interludes, some ambient sections, significant dynamic and tonal shifts, relatively clear production, even operatic female vocals. But it's still basically Black Metal - despite both their and uber-kvlt BM fans' protests.

And yes, on the cover, that's a person in corpsepaint and ceremonial robe, kneeling in front of a giant tree root (or something). The logo is also pretty typical of Black Metal - symmetrical demonic pattern made from the letters in the band name, but barely legible even with some effort.

Track 1: "Dia Artio"

2: "Behold the Vastness and Sorrow" (pt. 1 / pt. 2)

3: "The Cleansing"

4: "I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots" (pt. 1 / pt. 2)

The vinyl double-album adds an extended version of "The Cleansing" and an otherwise unavailable song "To Reveal." They've released an EP and full album so far this year. Both worth checking out if Two Hunters leads you to follow down this dark and terrible path.

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