Album: Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage
Release date: 9/13/2011
Label: Southern Lord Records
This new movement of American black metal continues to intrigue me. Wolves in the Throne Room is no exception, and Celestial Lineage, their fourth studio-length album, is as Norwegian of a record as any American native can get. Celestial Lineage is a very raw, yet organically produced recording that harkens to the symphonic qualities of Emperor and the unrelenting ambiance of Darkthrone.
The emotion put into Celestial Lineage gives it an almost post-hardcore quality to it that fans of Isis (Aaron Turner contributes some vocal pieces to the album) and Red Sparrowes will appreciate. However, it is very far from being an experimental fusion the way Liturgy’s Aesthethica was. This is a more conventional black metal album that pays tribute rather than redefining something stagnant. Songs stretch an eternity with blackened fingers and sustained keyboards, guitars and vocals, and the album’s high level of distortion emphasizes its ambiance by octaves. There are layers of moods here.
Kvlt elitists will appreciate this work as a peace offering for what Aesthethica may have disrupted in its unconventionality. Celestial Lineage is a luscious piece, calculated in spirit and surging with emotion. A great effort.
Favorite track: Astral Blood
8 out of 10 stars