Used in their first self-titled demo in 2004.
|Hailing from deep in the country just outside of Olympia, Washington, Wolves in the Throne Room (also known as WITTR) are brothers Nathan (guitar vocals) and Aaron Weaver (drums) and Rick Dahlin (guitar). Their debut album 'Diadem of 12 Stars' was released February, 2006 through Vendlus records. 'Diadem...' was recorded in San Francisco with Tim Green at Louder Studios. It was through this recording and the band being heavily praised within the metal underground that caught the attention of Southern Lord who subsequently signed the band to the label in late 2006.
'Two Hunters' was recorded on tape, at London Bridge and Aleph Studio by Randall Dunn (Earth, sunn 0)))/Boris, Kinski) in the Pacific Northwest.. The process of the recording was very organic with very minimal use of any digital effects or manipulation. Jessica Kinney (previous collaborations with Eyvind Kang and Asva) provides beautifully dark vocals on 'Cleansing' and 'I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots.'
Southern Records expressed their personal view on the band and their relationship and appreciation of the band by saying that "The groups willingness to experiment with unconventional methods of recording and collaborate with avant-garde musicians sets them apart from the mundane normalcy that plagues many Black Metal bands albums as of late. This willingness to take chances and forge ahead with disregard of convention or boundaries makes them a perfect fit on the Southern Lord roster."
Wolves In The Throne Room's music is rooted in the traditions of Black Metal, but they subvert the common aesthetic and ideology in order to remain true to their own personal manifestations. Their strong convictions appropriately compliment the confident decisive execution of their sound. This is the sound of paradox, ambiguity and confusion, Catharsis is the objective, not a lilly-white and guilt free existence. Death and rebirth, transformation and enlightenment. They believe that in Black Metal, there is great truth, transcendence and power.
Being well articulated in their views, values and beliefs since their conception, Wolves In The Throne Room say, "Our relationship with the natural world is a healing force in our lives. If you listen to Black Metal, but you dont know what phase the moon is in, or what wild flowers are blooming than you have failed. The music is about wild forests, unfettered rivers, nature: furious and vengeful." This "natural" aesthetic permeates the bands every expression: Lyrically, musically, and ideologically.
Two fitting lines that eloquently convey Wolves In The Throne Room's interpretation of Black Metal and their way of harnessing it are; "Black Metal is the cleansing fire that frees us from the bondage of rationality, science, morality, religion, leaving us free to choose our own path." and "The deep woe inside black metal is about fear that we can never return to the mythic, pastoral world that we crave on a deep subconscious level".
So after gaining a broad insight into their background and views as stated by WITTR and Southern Lord, a more specific and expansive summary of the band's progressive views on paganism, black metal culture, the meanings they hope to convey to us the listener as well as the values that they personally hold dear seems to be an appropriate requirement. Straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, here is that very statement:
Band statement by Wolves in the Throne Room
Wolves in the Throne Room hail from the forests of Cascadia. We play music that is inspired and informed by the tribal war-spirit found in Burzum; Our roots in the underground punk scene; deep ecology and eco-spirituality; eco-feminism; the study of myth, religion and magick; our own personal struggles to create a stronghold in this ugly and banal world, each in our own way.
Black Metal was a localized eruption of emotion that was profound and powerful in its time and place, but has now lapsed into self-reference and banality. Satanism and obsession with gruesome and morbid imagery is not important to us. The important thing about black metal is that it expressed a pure cry for the utter destruction of the modern world - it is a cry of sorrow, hopelessness and pain. It is not a call for a specific political program; it does not provide a map out of the darkness; in black metal, the depth of sadness is boundless and infinite. Listening to true black metal, we are touched by this uncompromising and extreme expression, for it puts a name to the deep rage and sadness that is a part of our soul.
Wolves in the Throne Room plays music that draws upon black metal. We take from black metal what we wish and let the chaff blow away.
Satanism has nothing to do with our vision. It is axiomatic in occult study that we all contain the divine spark; that the earth around us is divine. But what does one do with this knowledge and power? The black metal superman keeps it for himself, sees himself as the god of his own kingdom, his magnificent spirit bowing before none. No god, no morality. Often, this kingdom is his suburban bedroom where he masturbates and dreams of greatness.
Satanic metaphysics is fine for the hermit and the ascetic. It is a deep well of knowledge and power. We must give our due to those who walk the left-hand path with honor, but we aspire to more. What does the satanic farm look like? How does one raise Satanic children? How does one reconcile the Satanic black metal vision with the life-force found in a seed?
Our black metal takes the sadness of Burzum as a starting point. Our spirits are birthed anew in darkness. The "Wildman" that is represented by the corpsepainted wraith is best seen as the larvae of a being on the path to redemption. Burzum, then, is the manifestation of the first step towards spiritual growth.
Tribalism and Tradition
Our souls are moved by the traditions and the energies of European heathenism. Wolves in the Throne Room seeks to reawaken ancient ways of understanding the world around us. We must re-enchant the earth and to reconnect to tradition, for our modern culture has replaced the fine craftsmanship, the myths and lore and the life-ways of times past in favor of that which is foolish, ugly and unwise.
We have always been convinced that the right-wing impulse - which is, fundamentally, totalitarian, absolutist, rigid - is a myopic worldview. Nationalism, all too often, springs from man's lower being. It is a murky and chaotic mythic space, full of unfocussed aggression and mindless, chaotic violence.
There is a romantic, noble side to nationalism which we honor and draw strength from. But are not the "nationalists" of the 20th century defined by their fearfulness; their thuggish and destructive nature; the crushing of that which is transgressive? Does the absolutism of the totalitarian state not the mirror the sheep mentality of Christianity? As things in our insane world begin to fall apart, people will seek solace in xenophobic tribalism, as they often do. There is no nobility in this.
The teleological, heroic society we see in the epics - The Iliad, Beowulf or the Táin Bó Cúailnge - is lost. It was of its time and place. National Socialist black metal is a fantasy; it is the dream of reverting to an ancient, tribal, warlike order. But this cannot be done! Masturbating over the gas-chambers is the impotence of a weak child.
Wolves in the Throne Room believe that we must transform ourselves. We must look to the past for guidance while forging a new path. We play Evolutionary Black Metal - it is animated by an occult vision of spiritual growth and transformation. We need not desperately grasp for meaning in a dusky and forgotten past, for the voice of eternal wisdom is clear and strong.
The Enchanted Earth
One can walk the black path in two directions: at one end is annihilation of the soul, at the other, redemption. We begin the journey with our reaction to the world around us: hatred and bitterness. We return to the primal wellspring of moon energy to drink her water to rebuild our spirit. We don the mourning garb and enter a space of nighttime solitude.
The tarot deck is a powerful metaphor for our spiritual vision. We must as people strive to overcome our weakness, our selfishness, our alienation. Wolves in the Throne Room is music that demands sacrifice from both the artist and the listener. To listen to black metal and to be deaf to the song of the moon and the wildflowers is to be a failure.
We are inspired by the precepts of deep ecology which say that everything on the earth has incalculable worth that cannot be gauged by narrow reductionist criteria. It is farcical to believe, as Christians and other fools do, that humanity has been granted dominion over the earth.
Our music is informed by eco-feminism, the idea that the destruction of the natural world is rooted in our culture's hatred of women and feminine energy. It is impossible for us to express the depth of our hatred for misogynistic metal of all stripes. The sad and lonely masturbations of a metal nerd over a Cradle of Filth poster is not so far removed from a middle-aged suburban dad's diet of Howard Stern and Playboy magazine. Both are pathetic fantasies that weaken a natural and healthy relationship between the sexes.
We believe that we can, and must, take control over our lives on the levels of both spirit and flesh. It is a sad sign of the times that the various endeavors undertaken by the members of Wolves in the Throne Room are seen as freakish anomalies to be filed on the shelf next to Lord of the Rings. We often hear that we live "in a one-room cabin in the woods with no contact with the outside world". That this exaggeration has become widespread is uncanny and speaks to the hunger that people feel for a connection with magic and spirit. The truth is that it is quite easy to refuse to participate in the insane death-march that flows on around us. There are many ways to find a more meaningful existence.