Wolves in the Throne Room “Celestial Lineage” CD/LP/2xLP

Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial LineageI must say, "Celestial Lineage", the latest seven-song/49-minute offering from Wolves in the Throne Room (released by Southern Lord), has recaptured my interest in the band. I was a big fan of "Diadem of 12 Stars", but for whatever reason I sort of lost interest after that. I've maintained a respect for and a curiosity regarding their subsequent efforts, but just haven't paid that much attention for the last few years. I really dig the aesthetic of the cover art for this album, though, so maybe that was (stupidly) enough to draw me in for a complete listen? I don't know, but whatever the case, I like what I'm hearing, so I should certainly re-investigate all of the band's output in between.

At its core, this material is powered by the same aptly raw, pulsing black metal and sneering vocals that made the band's debut so powerful—accented by simplistic lead melodies reminiscent of early Agalloch, as well as some subtly melodic ambient tones and droning, choral vocals (all of which add to the somewhat hypnotic elements of the songwriting). And where atmospheric elements can often detract from the force of an album as a whole, in this case they succeed in simply adding to the overall feeling. For instance, there's a certain quality level achieved by the chant-like calls, low-end hums, and windy field recordings of ritualistic interlude "Permanent Changes in Consciousness" that's all too rare. And the female vocals scattered throughout the album add further dimension to such "ritualistic" characteristics with truly eerie effect (most notably during "Woodland Cathedral", where they remain the focus for the duration of the piece). Opening track, "Thuja Magus Imperium", is probably the single composition that best suggests the variety of approaches one might expect from "Celestial Lineage" in its entirety:

Wolves in the Throne Room "Thuja Magus Imperium"

For collectors, the album is also available as a deluxe double-LP combo that includes an exclusive t-shirt design, so... you know what to do!

Get It

Southern Lord (CD/LP) (mp3)
iTunes (mp3)


  1. This is a breathtaking album.  Both on its own individual merits and in the sense of the aesthetic this band has been able to create, sustain and build on.  Granted I don’t listen to a TON of black metal, but this just seems LIGHT YEARS ahead of anything else out there.  This will likely be on my Top 10 albums of the year list.

    That said, am I the only one who after 30 seconds of the beautiful female vocals in this track or in “Woodland Cathedral” expects like a MASSIVE divebomb into a chugging, double bass laden intro and a sample about burning skies?

    9.26.2011 | By Johnny

  2. This is really good, and I didn’t want to like it, that’s for sure!  I’ve found WITTR to be varying degrees of boring/interesting over their career(Two Hunters had some seriously epic moments while the last album was pretty by-the-numbers) and presenting of a pompous/pretentious world view in interviews.  They’re also the one black metal band that people who don’t like much bm can dig on even when Enslaved, Drudkh, Ulver and Emperor have covered most of this ground already.  I do think this is a nice refinement of Wolves’ sound.  Awesome guitar harmonies come in around the 4:00 mark in this song, and the drums are much punchier in the recording and more confident in playing than they ever have been.  I’d like to hear more of this record.  Quite possibly worth picking up.

    9.26.2011 | By Justin

  3. Their last effort, 2009’s “Black Cascade”, is definitely worth checking out. It was easily one of my favorite releases of that year. The record prior to that (can’t recall the title at the moment) I felt to be too weak… too much of the atmospheric shit, too much of the clean female vocals. Not all of us live out on peaceful farmland in Oregon, you know? I can only handle so much of the ethereal stuff before losing interest and turning to, like, Marduk or something else that speaks to the destructive side. For my part, I should check out their earlier stuff… this “Diadem of 12 Stars” joint is hot?

    9.26.2011 | By Marcus

  4. Justin, I’ve always enjoyed their “worldview” for some reason.  I don’t know, they’ve always seemed pretty legit about that stuff in my eyes.  As I suggested, though, there’s definitely something about this album that grabbed me again.  You should check it out in full…

    Marcus, yeah, their debut is very good.  Perhaps more “traditional” or straightforward in approach than their other work, but still representative of their overall vision and where they were headed.

    9.27.2011 | By Andrew Aversionline

  5. living in the PacNW definitely goes a long way towards helping you understand their worldview. I don’t listen to Wolves very often, but I do buy produce from them at the farmer’s market semi-regularly.

    9.27.2011 | By Avi

  6. I agree that WTTR can be mixed bag. The Diadem for 12 Stars was awesome but then I lost interest too. I was listening Malevolent Grain quite a lot - especially the first track - to relax myself before going to bed… :)

    This song is really good and I will definitely check the whole album.

    And WTTR is for sure one of those “BM” bands which is “popular” among those who don’t listen BM much.

    Also by checking the Southern Lord I’ve found out that Craft have released new album. And while I’m mentioning Southern Lord, I wish they would have bigger pictures and more info about their “products” since I almost can’t see what is on shirt(s).

    9.27.2011 | By Carlos

  7. I haven’t posted here in years, but this album deserves one.This is some quality black metal or is it grey…i really don’t know and don’t care.  It’s quality music, nonetheless.

    9.29.2011 | By Paul