Tuesday 3 December 2013

Wolves In The Throne Room - BBC Session 2011 Anno Domini

Album Type : EP
Date Released : 11/11/2013
Label : Southern Lord

BBC SESSION 2011 ANNO DOMINI, track listing :

A). Prayer of Transformation 10:32
B). Thuja Magnus Imperium 1037

Bio :

Friday, October 21st, 2011 – one month after releasing their fourth studio album, Celestial Lineage, Wolves In The Throne Room recorded two live tracks at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios. Now, Southern Lord is releasing this session on vinyl, due for a November 11th release. It seems only fitting that Olympia’s earthen black metal expanders, Wolves In The Throne Room, would add their name to the rollcall of acts who have recorded at the Maida Vale studios, the place where the sounds of contemporary and outstanding artists throughout the last century of popular music have been documented for the ages.

Wolves In The Throne Room’s shadow, cast long and eerie from their campfire of the arcane, eclipses the hordes of black metal clones and drones, hewing raw nuggets of inspired music from rich seams of extreme metal and astral vibrations. ‘Prayer of Transformation’ and ‘Thuja Magus Imperium" are the two tracks recorded on that day, taken from their lauded album Celestial Lineage and spanning two sides of vinyl and twenty minutes.

Entitled BBC Session 2011 Anno Domini, this session is testament to the band’s ability to inspire awe with homespun strands of metaphysical ambience and painstakingly flexed sinews of metal, and is a must for all fans of the band as well as followers of contemporary metal.

Review :  

I'll be open about this: to say that I adore 'Celestial Lineage' would be a mild understatement. So when I first became aware that WITTR and Southern Lord were putting out a couple of live tracks from a BBC sesh that the Weaver boys did in 2011 I pretty much fell over sideways. When I actually saw the vinyl for the first time I got up, dusted myself off and fell over sideways again. That being said, this is real Goosebumps territory for me.

The first side of the wax is taken up by the magnificent 'Prayer of Transformation'. My only complaint from Lineage was that this track, the final piece on that record, actually ended. I never wanted it to. I think to just classify Wolves as Black Metal is narrow in scope; they are elevated much higher that that tag can allow. They come under fire for the eco stuff but I think that the whole commune with nature thing is beautiful, and I agree with many of their chief points about mankind being separated from its spirit / soul.  Add to the fact that they create soundscapes of pure ethereal escapism and I run out of ink furiously trying to sign up.

'Prayer..' builds with simplicity until you feel that you practically levitate from out of your current troubles. Always deeply moving, elaborate and serene. And in the live arena it loses absolutely zero effect from its studio version.

The second side is occupied by 'Thuja Magus Imperium', the cut that maybe got the most praise from the relevant press around the time that Lineage was released. Lacking Jessika Kenney's vocal talents at the opening, does leave you longing, but it isn't of any real detriment as soon enough that familiar drum roll ploughs in and all is well. None of the power of that solo at the mid-point is reduced, and the climactic sequence will still make your heart turn lighter than air.

Picking the two most substantial parts of their last record was an obvious step for the Weavers when this session was played, and I'm happy to report that things turned out suitably mystical. A pure joy to listen to, 'BBC Session...' is an absolute must for any fan of the band, and any fan of vinyl too.

Kudos to Southern Lord in its continued Dominance of 2013 Anno Domini, and eternal gratitude to Wolves in the Throne Room for their vision.

Words by : Matt Fitton

You can buy it here

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