Wednesday 22 June 2016

Review: Wolves In The Throne Room – 'Diadem Of 12 Stars' (Reissue)

'Diadem Of 12 Stars'

Wolves In The Throne Room have always played by their own rules. Black metal may sit at the heart of their sound, but they approach it very differently to other bands. Atmosphere is king and in the ten years since their first recording, they have developed this formula into one of metal's most unique offerings.

Ten years on and the band revisit their début album 'Diadem Of 12 Stars' and album that blended elements of folk, goth and black metal saturating them with vintage warmth and diabolically cinematic atmosphere.

The album has been fully remastered and even the artwork has undergone an in-depth restoration for this re-release, and the results are great. The album still has that low-fi edge of the original recording (even though it was fairly clean by black metal standards) but it sounds brighter and deeper than before to give you a fuller range and experience than on it's original release.

The songs range from blisteringly fast to slow dirges and while many of the typical black metal elements are there (blasting drums, jangling guitars, and anguished vocals) the epic scale of the songs, which range from thirteen to twenty minutes long, gives the album a more progressive slant that you can't help but be drawn in by.

Songs such as 'Queen Of The Borrowed Light', 'Face In A Night Time Mirror (Part 1)', and '(A Shimmering Radiance) A Diadem of 12 Stars' in particular personify just why this was, and still is a great album. Dark and haunting throughout – even at its most intrinsically black metal moments – 'Diadem Of 12 Stars' is a nonetheless beautiful album that captures the imagination with it's progressive songwriting and mix of folk and gothic elements. If you are a fan of black metal beyond the Norwegian wave of the 1990s and haven't heard this album yet then this reissue is a great place to start.  

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