Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

What Happened Here? - 60%

moonshield_jester, January 19th, 2010

Am I missing something? In the midst of seeing many reviews praising this album to kingdom come, I can’t but think that I’m maybe the only one who feels this third effort from Wolves in the Throne Room is quite the disappointment given the lofty standards the band set for themselves on their previous two masterpieces.

Judging from the album cover alone, two things are apparent. For one, the old logo has been replaced. Not a big deal. Second, the nature themed artwork has been taken over this time by a ghostly image of two figures amidst a sea of black. No problem. In fact, the artwork is very interesting. But the interesting factors stop there for me. Once the music kicks in, it sounds like your typical WIITR album. Or does it? Therein lies one of the issues for me. The band’s playing in their signature form, but there’s something missing that I can’t put my finger on. The tremelo riffs start to sound tiresome, generic even. Where’s that mystical and earthy atmosphere? This is the question I asked myself through almost the entire album. And it’s not just that the atmosphere appears missing, it’s that the band is offering no new ideas to their already established formula. I enjoy the repetition that this band utilizes, but on Black Cascade that repetition only weakens the album because the riffs being played are not interesting to begin with. The quiet acoustic passages are still there from time to time, but those are maybe the only standout parts about the album. Lastly, there are the vocals. It’s largely the same as the style used on Malevolent Grain. In other words, they’re harsher and more aggressively styled than previous efforts. That in itself isn’t a bad thing, but on this album they aren’t impressive sounding. Almost like the passion WIITR once had has been sucked clean dry.

I must emphasize how disappointing this album is for me. WIITR have been a favorite band of mine within the black metal genre thanks to albums like Diadem of the 12 Stars and Two Hunters. Hell, I even really like the EP, Malevolent Grain. The two songs from that EP far exceed the quality given on Black Cascade. But it appears the band was uninspired for this release and offers nothing new for the band. Maybe the worst part of all this is that Black Cascade isn’t even a bad album really. It’s just very mediocre from a band that is capable of far greater things. I can only hope this is some weird fluke that most great bands go through at least once in their careers, and that the next album will reseat WIITR back in their proper place among America’s must-hear metal bands.