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Review: Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
Wolves in the Throne Room
Celestial Lineage

Label: Southern Lord
Year released: 2011
Duration: 48:51
Tracks: 7
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: September 25, 2011
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.07/5 (81.43%) (28 Votes)

Fourth full-length for the mystical, iconoclastic Wolves in the Throne Room. They have never really matched their spellbinding debut, and probably never will, but after the steady downward slide of the last few albums I was afraid this one would be flat-out bad. Each album since the Diadem of Twelve Stars has been a little lesser than the one before it, but this album thankfully breaks the pattern.

Moving away from the harsher sound of Black Cascade, the Wolves have gone more in the melodic/atmospheric direction of the Malevolent Grain EP - longer, smoother songs with a lot of atmospheric interludes, female vocalizing, and a big, epic sound that almost, but not-quite matches the sweeping landscapes of Diadem. The bookending showpieces are opener "Thuja Magus Imperium" and the towering "Astral Blood. Gloomy closer "Prayer of Transformation", is rather unfocused and lets the album down on a weak note, but all the stuff in between is good too, if not quite as sharp as it could have been. Still, a big, dense, and layered work from Cascadian Black Metal's flagship band. Wolves in the Throne Room's impact and influence on USBM is probably impossible to accurately quantify, but I am glad to see them not resting on any laurels but still striving to make first-rate music.

More about Wolves in the Throne Room...
Review: Black Cascade (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
Review: Black Cascade (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Diadem of 12 Stars (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Primordial Arcana (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Marquee, October 19, 2008 (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Thrice Woven (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Two Hunters (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
Review: Two Hunters (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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