Wolves in the Throne Room Celestite

Wolves in the Throne RoomCelestite
When word hit in January that the next Wolves in the Throne Room album would not just be a companion to 2011's Celestial Lineage but also feature "no drums and no vocals, but rather deep, heavy, crystalline synthesizer journeying" it wasn't exactly surprising. The Olympia-based duo of Aaron and Nathan Weaver have always been in the vanguard of black metal's ever-changing landscape. This could simply be their next chapter.

Recorded again with Randall Dunn (Celestial Lineage), the threads that make it a companion are often clear as day. "Initiation at Neudeg Alm" shares the same melodies as "Subterranean Initiation," and despite the lack of their most strident instruments, the symphonic blast of modular synths is arguably as heavy as the original.

"Sleeping Golden Storm" pays similar homage to "Permanent Changes In Consciousness," though uses the smallest stem of droning synth melody to open up a spine-chilling, nocturnal air analogous to Vangelis' Blade Runner score.

Celestite might not be the evolutionary move every WITTR fan was hoping for, but it is true to their vision. Either as a companion or a standalone, it's a consuming piece of music that reminds us of the Weavers' ambition to always lead and never follow. (Artemisia)
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