I WAS THERE: Wolves in the Throne Room Bring Smoke Machines, Cartons of Candles and Corpsepaint-Free Black Metal To Webster Hall

[Text/Photos by Andrew Parks]

When it comes to Wolves in the Throne Room, we could care less about how ‘true’ the band is to black metal‘s 101 Unholy Commandments. (Our personal favorites: [58]  When referring to sex with a Metal Chick use only the terminology “sticking my clouded frost-spire into her gates of attrition”and [101] You mean to tell me you read this whole thing when you could have been prancing about in the forest with an axe? For shame! For shaaaaame!)

Let’s be real here: the BM scene’s collective corpsepainted head is stuck so far up its own ass it makes aging hardcore addicts–guys who still get excited about new Madball albums–look civil. Thankfully for us, the Brothers Weaver (drummer Aaron and frontman Nathan, as backed by guitarist Will Lindsay and bassist Ross Sewage) have always distanced themselves from gross assumptions and unfair expectations in interviews and on record, including the poignant one-two punch of this year’s Malevolent Grain EP and the recently-released/wholly recommended Black Cascade.

As Aaron told self-titled in an hour-long interview (to be published, unabridged, in the coming week), “I wish people were more willing to push the boundaries in black metal. It has such potential to be more than just another urban, nihilistic music form. A band like Watain, I like them, and I appreciate that sort of Satanic music and philosophy. But at the same time, I don’t know how they’re that different from, say, GG Allin. They come from the same sort of place and are manifesting the same archetypes–urban, nihilistic decay and despair. I’m sad that that style has become the end of the road for black metal. That’s why I’ve always been pretty ambiguous about that label and whether we want to be associated with it.”

Here’s a new tag to tack onto WITTR, then: extreme trance music.  Not this garbage; we’re talking the sort of songs actually worth 60 minutes of your time in a live setting, as waves of torment and barely-in-time beats do battle with dollops of distortion and transcedental something or other. Watch the following to see what we mean…