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Nice and promising - 70%

disastercasper, March 3rd, 2009

Wolves in the Throne Room has proven to be relatively one of the most productive black metal bands of the new millennium. Ever since their debut in 2006 we haven’t seen a year without a Wolves release. And while 2009 had barely started yet we are generously going to be treated to TWO Wolves releases: the Malevolent Grain EP and the Black Cascade LP.

A Looming Resonance is definitely not a very WITTR-like song. It is monotonous instrumentally, but not disturbingly so. The most unique thing about this song is obviously the clean, female vocals. This is nice, but tends to get boring after more listens. The recurring sentence “Time stands still” is nice and gives the song a distinct atmosphere. It gets faster around the 8 minute mark, but is overall low-tempo for Wolves standards. They seem to work more with drones on this song, which suits a Southern Lord signed band perfectly. This also applies to the noisy crescendo into which the song accumulates.

Hate Crystal: Now this is Wolves in the Throne Room as we know it! It starts out immediately with the all-familiar shrieking vocals, fast guitars and pounding drums. Sometimes it gets interrupted by nice instrumental pieces with a little more prominence of the guitars. As opposed to the opening track a true black metal song, with maybe the exception of the last two minutes, wherein the raw black metal sound flawlessly fades into a smoother, calmer, ambient part.

Overall a nice treat from the guys with an experimental track which gives us something different for a change and a very traditional, consistent second track. The first track is nice for a few times, but, as has already been said, gets less interesting after more listens. Hate Crystal hasn’t yet let me down once though and is one of Wolves’ finest, especially for fans who, like myself, like Diadem of 12 Stars the best.