Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven (Full Length, 2017)


I have been following Wolves in the Throne Room for many years ever since I started following the ever controversial Post-Black Metal hype. I remember I started with Altar of Plagues before moving to Agalloch, Woods of Desolation, Austere, Fen, and many more. Somewhere in between, I came across Wolves in the Throne Room. Their ideology and approach are pretty much in line with Altar of Plagues, and actually sparked my curiosity to check them out. For some strange reasons, despite of their hype and ability, I could never sit through an album without getting distracted. WitTR is definitely a band that offers something different, but they are also a band that I cannot wrap my head around. So I heard their ambient full length which in a way something like Burzum during Varg’s imprisonment era (but better) which is bizarre but kinda excellent. And that’s until. Somewhere around September – October, Thrice Woven is announced and my interest is rekindled again.

1. Born from the Serpent’s Eye
2. The Old Ones Are with Us
3. Angrboda
4. Mother Owl, Father Ocean
5. Fires Roar in Palace of the Moon

I found preliminary reviews saying Thrice Woven is a return to form and some even point out WitTR as playing safe in their approach. Being a casual listener and not much into them, I took them with a grain of salt.

The opener, Born from the Serpent’s Eye has so much mysterious vibe throughout. With harp (I think) and accoustic guitars at the beginning, I could feel ‘ungh this is gonna be goooood’. It’s a long track, yeah, but did it make me snooze, nope. It has the Nordic Metal feel (Emperor especially). And then comes the abrupt stop. An ambient passage of female singing in Nordic language really separates the track into two and made things interesting. From then on, the track becomes mid tempo but with stronger melodic Black Metal ala Scandinavian.

The Old Ones Are with Us opens with spoken words and accoustic guitar. You gotta love the melancholic vibe throughout the song. This actually adds more and even Nordic feels to the album. Hey, I couldn’t tell if they’re from US or Europe by just listening to their style, but evidently this return to form album has Nordic influence scattered all over it. 10/10 for the atmosphere.

Angborda attempts to amp up the intensity but gets a bit stale after a while. The problem? It feels repetitive. Although I gotta say the atmosphere is pretty much consistent like previous tracks. You might like it. Not for me. Feels rather like filler track but it gets the job done.

Mother Owl, Father Ocean is one of my favorite off the new album. The ambient-ish song of haunting female vocals with harp playing throughout. I think it’s a beautful track and still carries the melancholic, Nordic feel. This is their specialty. WitTR are really good with this kind of atmospheric ambient shit.

The final track Fire Roars in the Palace of the Moon and the longest track from Thrice Woven. I think it served as the perfect closing song for such a decently produced album. Thrice Woven is definitely a return to their Cascadian Black Metal root which some may deem as a step back to comfort zone, but hey, if it ain’t broken, why bother to fix? 

Overall, the album shifts back to their known sound after an ambient flull length and reek of Nordic Black Metal influences. Knowing with their knack to fit ambient passages in Metal tracks, sometimes it worked wonder, some other time not really. But I’m a sucker for melodic and Nordic style, so Thrice Woven worked its magic. I’m sold.

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Thrice Woven is out now via Artemisia Records.

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