Four years after their 2017 album ‘Thrice Woven‘ Washington-based black metal outfit Wolves In The Throne Room returns with their seventh and most majestic album ‘Primordial Arcana‘. Through the mystical art of Paganism, the trio of Aaron Weaver (drums, percussion, and keyboards), Nathan Weaver (vocals, guitars) and Kody Keyworth (guitars, vocals) convey an epic, sonic quality of enchanting experience. The mystical weavers of atmospheric black metal have perfected their craft on the previous album and brought the aesthetics to its true form. Resembling the many phases of the moon, the music of Wolves In The Throne Room has deepened with age, building dark music that only the wanderer could exult. Surpassing in a class of their own, ‘Primordial Arcana‘ sprawls with cosmic majesty and raw black metal that is beautifully woven with synth passages, soothing rhythms and arcane mystical poetry that grabs back to their roots.
The weavers invite you to embark on a sacred journey to the ancient caves where the venerated gods and goddesses incarnate the forces of nature. The opening track ‘Mountain Magick‘ is a spiritual voyage into the archaic woodlands of the desolated forest. Once the guitars began strumming, the eerie synth builds to a ghostly crescendo along with the swirling pace of the drums and the hissing vocals. The soaring lead guitars and the drums merge so beautifully. As the song evolves, the emphasis is laid on creating a cascading atmosphere. One of the key aspects of the composition is the increase of the organic parts. There are many fast-paced tempos where the drums provide sufficient blast beats.
The sweeping synth cascades all over the place with blazing tremolos and the guitars provide a myriad of melodramatic folk segments on ‘Spirit of Lightning‘. Wolves In The Throne Room exhibits new creative facets: the guitar arrangement is thrilling and sounds creative. With vibrant melodies and emotive rhythms soaring to endless heights with the lush atmosphere of the ethereal synth sweeping by the driven tremolos, this track delivers an abundance of creativity. The enticing aura of fusing black metal, folk elements and ambiance is beautifully woven to create different textures. ‘Primordial Arcana‘ is where the band harnesses its aural richness, but there’s always spellbinding tune or catchy lead guitar to provide musical hooks.
‘Through Eternal Fields‘ is cloaked with dark ambient synth passages before the heavy percussion invites the amplified guitars to soar aloft with magical melodies. The full utilization of such elements as the guitars, vocals and drums truly induce a sublime state of meditation. There are chanting moments that rise from pure ecstasy with the gentle melodies pouring out. Wolves In The Throne Room explores some breathtaking cinematic themes. With dramatic synth passages, the song slowly takes its Nordic black metal style and grows with deep sensation.
‘Primal Chasm‘ starts with a heavy drum pace while the guitars create a sonic wall of sound and the keyboards add a feeling of warmth. The drumming work is mainly persistent and delivers enough ferocity from the double bass to crashing cymbals and blast beats. The songs contain raw and organic dynamics overflowing with energy. ‘Primordial Arcana‘ conjures mesmerizing landscapes of the realms of nature, the majestic elements emphasizing the beautiful interplay of the instrumentation. Though the guitar riffs are the centerpiece, overall it provides many magical moments. ‘Underworld Aurora‘ is one of the epic tracks that will enchant you with its exquisite compositions. The shamanistic percussion ceases to play when the guitars break in dramatically, whilst the tremolo pickings and cymbals are struck with speed.
Besides the cascading ambiance, the guitars build a magnificent atmosphere while maintaining a very unique and simplistic style of black metal. By combining the scenic sounds of nature and folk melodies, the music blends the majestic synth passages and provides an unreal fantasy feel. Here the subtle ambiance is created by layers of cascading synth. Each track is balanced with fine gracefulness and furious black metal components. Wolves In The Throne Room has always pursued intuitive qualities that led them to explore the majestic art of black metal. ‘Masters Of Rain and Storm‘ serves as a grim frostbitten closure for the album with its emphasis on slower tempo akin to doom metal. The track contains many epic riffs that resemble the Norwegian style of black metal.
Filled with delicate synth textures, the music showcases ethereal elements and thundering guitar riffs condensed into a furious tempo. The double paddling of drums gives the song a powerful feeling when the majestic symphonies and the acoustic guitar slowly seep in. The track is laden with tremolo pickings and dense keyboards and finally, the riffs shift allowing atmospheric keys to add an epic ambiance to this beautiful track. ‘Primordial Arcana‘ is one of my favorite black metal albums of the year. This is an epic masterwork of art. Highly recommended!!!
Release Date: August 20th, 2021
Label: Relapse Records
- Mountain Magick
- Spirits of Lightning
- Through Eternal Fields
- Primal Chasm (Gift of Fire)
- Underworld Aurora
- Masters of Rain and Storm
- Skyclad Passage (bonus track)