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Rating:
9.0
Wolves In The Throne Room - Two Hunters
25 September 2007


01. Dea Artio
02. Vastness And Sorrow
03. Cleansing
04. I Will Lay Down My Bones Among The Rocks And Roots
05. To Reveal [Vinyl bonus]
06. Cleansing [Extended version] [Vinyl bonus]


I found myself out of my element up in northern Washington state with a "pack" of hard-boiled, anarchist, primalist, outdoorsmen—all of whom, if given the opportunity, would have been perfectly willing, I suspect, to get on their knees for Nathan Weaver, Wolves In The Throne Room's vocalist—a little over a year ago. Not only were there a lot of trees, mud, cheap whiskeys, and showers that went untaken, a lot of Wolves In The Throne Room was listened to.

My initial response to the band was, as is to be expected of a stubborn asshole like yours truly, overwhelmingly negative. I didn't get it. I didn't get why all of these bedraggled, mud-stained, tattoo-covered, pinkos worshiped them. "Surely," I thought, "there are better atmospheric black metal bands out there." Well, I was right. There are. But Wolves In The Throne Room belong to the highest caliber of the aforementioned category, a conclusion to which I came—cliché alert!—after a long hike in the woods. When I returned to the commie's cabin, rain-soaked and fatigued, and Two Hunters was blasting, it clicked.

I don't mean to suggest that you have to be from the Pacific Northwest (Wolves In The Throne Room is from Washington) to get what makes them a good band and Two Hunters a good album. But it helps. Wolves has the uncanny ability to capture the sonic essence of the forest with their instruments. If you haven't experienced the eerie, sublime grandeur of the Northwest's forests, you will be at some disadvantage while attempting to understand Wolves' rather droning, melancholy, and misty music. It is marked by an overwhelming sense of isolation in an unforgiving and inelegant wilderness, just like Washington's forests.

You don't have to know the inner-workings of the Pacific Northwest's woodland to appreciate its aural spirit, though. The raw, primal power of Two Hunters should be enough to please your dogged ears. If you are a fan of atmospheric black metal--particularly of Burzum--or a fan of some of the better Crust Punk bands, you'll immediately fall for the excellent drumming, savage bellowing, and production fuzz of Two Hunters. Wolves In The Throne Room truly are gifted craftsmen of the atmospheric black metal trade and Two Hunters is one of their better creations.

Essential track: "I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots."

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Wolves In The Throne Room
Album: Two Hunters


 


written by wormdrink414 | 18.02.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Himann - 18.02.2011 at 10:11  
Very good review. Will try and check it out.
Troy Killjoy - 18.02.2011 at 10:18  
Written by Himann on 18.02.2011 at 10:11

Very good review. Will try and check it out.

This is probably the best album to start with if you're looking to get into them - although they're already in your favorite bands list, so I'm a bit confused.
Himann - 18.02.2011 at 11:16  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 18.02.2011 at 10:18

This is probably the best album to start with if you're looking to get into them - although they're already in your favorite bands list, so I'm a bit confused.

Back when I added them to the list I believe only Diadem Of 12 Stars was out and I dont think they were even featured in MS. managed to catch Black Cascade more recently, which I thought was alright (loved the vocals). Wasn't too sure of how this album would be though.
!J.O.O.E.! - 18.02.2011 at 20:29  
Wolves' last really good album. I don't listen to it (or them) nearly enough these days.

A rather strange review though if you don't mind me saying, the fixation on geographical location was an odd angle to go from. For me anyway.
Troy Killjoy - 18.02.2011 at 20:45  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 18.02.2011 at 20:29

Wolves' last really good album. I don't listen to it (or them) nearly enough these days.

A rather strange review though if you don't mind me saying, the fixation on geographical location was an odd angle to go from. For me anyway.

Agreed and agreed.

I only throw on this or Diadem maybe once or twice a year, but it's not because it's bad. There's just too much other shit to listen to. haha

As for the review...it did seem a bit odd to me focusing on the geography and nature so much as opposed to the actual music, but I suppose in a way it did help describe the sound.
Xnoybis - 18.02.2011 at 21:11  
The geography makes sense, as it is integral to their musical identity, but it was perhaps significantly overemphasized.

this has been their best release to date, insofar as i am concerned.
wormdrink414 - 19.02.2011 at 00:22  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 18.02.2011 at 20:45

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 18.02.2011 at 20:29

Wolves' last really good album. I don't listen to it (or them) nearly enough these days.

A rather strange review though if you don't mind me saying, the fixation on geographical location was an odd angle to go from. For me anyway.

Agreed and agreed.

I only throw on this or Diadem maybe once or twice a year, but it's not because it's bad. There's just too much other shit to listen to. haha

As for the review...it did seem a bit odd to me focusing on the geography and nature so much as opposed to the actual music, but I suppose in a way it did help describe the sound.


I thought writing about the tremolo picking and screeching would be boring. I didn't, however, need to repeat the word "forest" 100 times. SO, I understand. Am extremely offended, but understand.
Troy Killjoy - 19.02.2011 at 02:13  
Written by wormdrink414 on 19.02.2011 at 00:22

Am extremely offended, but understand.

I really hope you aren't - it's constructive criticism. You deserve props for writing a review that doesn't focus solely on the musicianship, but maybe in the future you'll be able to find a balance between out of the box thinking and practicality.
wormdrink414 - 19.02.2011 at 03:12  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 19.02.2011 at 02:13

Written by wormdrink414 on 19.02.2011 at 00:22

Am extremely offended, but understand.

I really hope you aren't - it's constructive criticism. You deserve props for writing a review that doesn't focus solely on the musicianship, but maybe in the future you'll be able to find a balance between out of the box thinking and practicality.


No, I was kidding. I get ahead of myself frequently and post the reviews before really editing them. The same thing happens with papers I write for school. I'll be pleased with something, turn it in, then the next day find little things that could use improvement. I'll get better, I hope. I do enjoy writing them.
Carl Berg - 19.02.2011 at 21:34  
Very good review of a very good album. Well done.
TheAmazingP - 03.03.2011 at 23:00  
I'm sorry, but this review fails to capture even the tiniest part of the essence of this colossal release.

What you're describing as "droning, melancholy, and misty music" is actually a COMPLETE piece of art with an intro, a journey and a liberating end. The lyrics follow a concept, the music delivers it perfectly and it's definitely MORE than just a good listen during your Sunday forest strolls. Oh well:

'NUFF WITH THE TECHNOCRATS!
wormdrink414 - 04.03.2011 at 05:46  
Written by TheAmazingP on 03.03.2011 at 23:00

I'm sorry, but this review fails to capture even the tiniest part of the essence of this colossal release.

What you're describing as "droning, melancholy, and misty music" is actually a COMPLETE piece of art with an intro, a journey and a liberating end. The lyrics follow a concept, the music delivers it perfectly and it's definitely MORE than just a good listen during your Sunday forest strolls. Oh well:

'NUFF WITH THE TECHNOCRATS!


Apology accepted.
RavenKing - 04.03.2011 at 14:33  
Why are the bonus songs only on vinyl?
That's totally ridiculous. Only dinosaurs and cave men still care for vinyl in 2011.
Ozman - 04.03.2011 at 14:41  
Written by RavenKing on 04.03.2011 at 14:33

Why are the bonus songs only on vinyl?
That's totally ridiculous. Only dinosaurs and cave men still care for vinyl in 2011.


Nope, vinyl is seeing an immense resurgence nowadays.
Troy Killjoy - 04.03.2011 at 18:05  
Written by RavenKing on 04.03.2011 at 14:33

Why are the bonus songs only on vinyl?
That's totally ridiculous. Only dinosaurs and cave men still care for vinyl in 2011.

I'm 19 and I'm working on building a vinyl collection.
wormdrink414 - 05.03.2011 at 01:07  
What I like about vinyl is that it encourages listening to albums in their entirety--something that one almost has to do to 'get' atmospheric black metal. Mp3's and Cd's facilitate the singles system.
Ozman - 05.03.2011 at 02:24  
Written by wormdrink414 on 05.03.2011 at 01:07

What I like about vinyl is that it encourages listening to albums in their entirety--something that one almost has to do to 'get' atmospheric black metal. Mp3's and Cd's facilitate the singles system.


absolutely. And also no shuffle. It makes you listen to the album as it's intended to be listened to. So in order of the tracks. Okay you might mix up side A for B but that's it.
Vinyl isn't like cd mp3 those formats make music music into a passing thing and makes the listener pay less attention to it all.
And then I am not even going on about the artwork and such...
Troy Killjoy - 05.03.2011 at 02:29  
Written by wormdrink414 on 05.03.2011 at 01:07

What I like about vinyl is that it encourages listening to albums in their entirety--something that one almost has to do to 'get' atmospheric black metal. Mp3's and Cd's facilitate the singles system.

It shouldn't take vinyl records to prevent listeners from picking their favorite songs and forgetting the rest of the album. Admittedly I'll shuffle music I've heard already several times, but never do I listen to a new album in that way unless finishing it from start to finish first. I've said it before - recently in another thread in fact - that I sometimes rate albums based on my experience with a few songs from MySpace, but only with bands whose discographies I'm familiar with.
wormdrink414 - 05.03.2011 at 03:31  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 05.03.2011 at 02:29

Written by wormdrink414 on 05.03.2011 at 01:07

What I like about vinyl is that it encourages listening to albums in their entirety--something that one almost has to do to 'get' atmospheric black metal. Mp3's and Cd's facilitate the singles system.

It shouldn't take vinyl records to prevent listeners from picking their favorite songs and forgetting the rest of the album. Admittedly I'll shuffle music I've heard already several times, but never do I listen to a new album in that way unless finishing it from start to finish first. I've said it before - recently in another thread in fact - that I sometimes rate albums based on my experience with a few songs from MySpace, but only with bands whose discographies I'm familiar with.


Agree, me too, and I do the same.
Windrider - 17.03.2011 at 14:34  
Maybe I see it different than americans, but for me there is Korea and Russia in the Northwest of the Pacific?
wormdrink414 - 22.03.2011 at 10:40  
Written by Windrider on 17.03.2011 at 14:34

Maybe I see it different than americans, but for me there is Korea and Russia in the Northwest of the Pacific?


I guess, if your maps are centered differently, it's possible that it can be made to look as if the Koreas are to your west. They're definitely closer to you, if you're in Germany, if you move east, though.
Windrider - 22.03.2011 at 16:53  
Written by wormdrink414 on 22.03.2011 at 10:40

Written by Windrider on 17.03.2011 at 14:34

Maybe I see it different than americans, but for me there is Korea and Russia in the Northwest of the Pacific?


I guess, if your maps are centered differently, it's possible that it can be made to look as if the Koreas are to your west. They're definitely closer to you, if you're in Germany, if you move east, though.


In our maps Europe and Africa are centered, America is to the left and Asia to the right... But when you are inside the Pacific, on an isle like Hawaii for example, and then move (North)west, you definetely come to Asia...
wormdrink414 - 22.03.2011 at 21:54  
Written by Windrider on 22.03.2011 at 16:53

Written by wormdrink414 on 22.03.2011 at 10:40

Written by Windrider on 17.03.2011 at 14:34

Maybe I see it different than americans, but for me there is Korea and Russia in the Northwest of the Pacific?


I guess, if your maps are centered differently, it's possible that it can be made to look as if the Koreas are to your west. They're definitely closer to you, if you're in Germany, if you move east, though.


In our maps Europe and Africa are centered, America is to the left and Asia to the right... But when you are inside the Pacific, on an isle like Hawaii for example, and then move (North)west, you definetely come to Asia...


I see. In relation to the Pacific itself, Russia and the Koreas are in the Northwest. Pacific Northwest here refers to the western regions of Oregon and Washington.
Windrider - 22.03.2011 at 22:31  
Written by wormdrink414 on 22.03.2011 at 21:54

I see. In relation to the Pacific itself, Russia and the Koreas are in the Northwest. Pacific Northwest here refers to the western regions of Oregon and Washington.


Ok I think I got you! Little weird somehow but yeah right.. Thank you
Marcus - 10.06.2011 at 19:43  
Written by Xnoybis on 18.02.2011 at 21:11

this has been their best release to date, insofar as i am concerned.

Totally agree, neither of their other albums seemed to hit me like this one. A little disappointing almost...
Frost Beast - 08.10.2011 at 13:43  
Good review. This album is damn atmospheric. It just caught me off guard. Well done, Wolves.
Panterica - 11.10.2011 at 22:54  
I'm checking the album right now. Sounds pretty awsome.

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