Wolves In The Throne Room return with “Celestite Mirror”
Black metal trailblazers Wolves In The Throne Room (WitTR) are a mysterious beast. Their brand of black metal is perhaps one of the first in the Cascadian sound, which relies upon long song structures with slower droning funerary chord patterns, lyrics dedicated to the natural world, and lush atmospheres.
The band have released four albums to date, and have recently finished the process of recording their fifth. The new one, titled Celestite, is to be considered a companion piece to 2011’s Celestial Lineage rather than a stand-alone work. It will be an instrumental exploration in synthesizers rather than metal, according to the band. Yesterday, we got a first taste of what it will sound like.
The song is called “Celestite Mirror” and is a 14 minute long journey through crystalline soundscapes, with an atmosphere almost akin to something Ulver or Burzum might create; dark, ambient, otherworldly, and hauntingly malevolent. The synths they use have a lovely texture, one that almost sounds like the soundtrack to an 80s surrealist horror film.
The song moves through a few separate moods, starting with a more darkly primal ambient atmosphere, then moving into something that brings forth an image of everlasting ice fields and caverns. About 10 minutes in, it changes again into something incredibly ominous, droning, and malevolent – more akin to something Sunn O))) might have created, before dipping back into the original primal tranquility for the song’s waning moments.
It’s definitely a promising peek at the album. Wolves in the Throne Room have always been a band who have been more on the fringes of my interest rather than one I actively liked, but perhaps this foray into Ulver territory combined with their upcoming tour might pull me into their sounds for good.
Celestite will be released on the band’s own label Artemisia on July 8th.