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Wolves in the Throne Room Biography
Wolves in the Throne Room is an American black metal band formed in 2003 in Olympia, Washington.
According to the band, one of the founding concepts of WITTR is to channel the "energies of the Pacific Northwest's landscape" into musical form.
The main members of Wolves in the Throne Room are brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver. In an interview, Nathan Weaver said that he conceived the vision for the band and wrote the first two songs "Wolves in the Throne Room" and "Black Tea" at an Earth First! rendezvous in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in 2002.
In 2003, the band moved to a dilapidated 1910 farmstead called Calliope outside Olympia. They have often stated that the creation of their farm-stronghold was linked to their early musical progression. Aaron Weaver and his wife Megan operate an organic farm at Calliope. The band has expressed bemusement at the mythology that surrounds them, specifically regarding their rural lifestyle. From an interview in Pitchfork:
"I'm sure that some people who meet us are disappointed that we don't dress in un-tanned hides and dwell in caves, while others are surprised that the farm... and our struggle to create a life that mirrors the energy of our music is quite real."
The band's first release was their 2004 demo, a black CDR wrapped in fur with moss inside the lyric sheet.
Diadem of 12 Stars was their first studio album, released in 2006. It was recorded by Tim Green at Louder Studios in San Francisco.
Their next release was Two Hunters (2007). Two Hunters was the first time the band worked with producer Randall Dunn, who has produced all their subsequent releases. During the Two Hunters sessions, the band began to work with analog synthesizers, which has become a crucial feature in the band's sound.
Black Cascade was released in March 2009. After the release of Black Cascade, the band began a period of touring in the United States and Europe.
The band's latest album Celestial Lineage was released on September 13, 2011 and is the third installment in a trilogy that began with Two Hunters. Music critic Brandon Stosuy described Celestial Lineage as "American black metal's idiosyncratic defining record of 2011".
Wolves in the Throne Room were chosen by Godspeed You! Black Emperor for the 2010 All Tomorrow's Parties festival held in Minehead, UK.
In January, 2014, it was announced that a 'companion album' to the opus Celesital Lineage was set to be released this year, entitled Celestite.
Ideology and sound
Wolves in the Throne Room has rejected most of the traditional traits of black metal such as corpse paint, the use of pseudonyms and Satanic imagery. Member Aaron Weaver has said, "Wolves in the Throne Room is not black metal, or, more accurately, we play black metal on our own terms, for our own reasons."
The band, based out of its farm outside the Olympia city limits, is well known for their interests expressed through their imagery and lyrics, such as radical ecology, bio-dynamic farming, and creating a nature-based occult worldview, which differ from the traditional topics associated with black metal. They focus on themes of apocalypse, transformation and modern society's lost connection with the natural world. The band's music has been described as "eco-metal", "organic metal", "astral black metal" and "Cascadian black metal".
Unlike most modern metal bands, Wolves in the Throne Room always use vintage amplifiers and recording equipment. They mentioned in one interview that they despise modern recording techniques such as looping and drum triggers.
Wolves in the Throne Room's sound is influenced by Scandinavian black metal, while doom metal, dark ambient, crust punk, and folk music influences also exist. Wolves in the Throne Room has often cited American band Neurosis as a key inspiration because their music "operates on a deep and intense mythic level". They have also mentioned synthesizer artists like Popol Vuh as an influence.
Wolves in the Throne Room prefer their live concerts to be firelit, whether it be performing outdoors or in an indoor venue. The band also do not permit flash photography at their shows.[dead link]
The band despises moshing and violence at their shows because they see their music as meditative rather than aggressive. Member Aaron Weaver has stated that he wants people to "lay on the floor and cry" when the band plays live.
The group have said that starting in 2010 they will tour with their own PA system so they will no longer be forced to play at traditional venues. They have often advocated a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to music.
Nathan Weaver – guitars, bass, drums, synthesizers, lead vocals
Aaron Weaver – drums, guitars, bass, synthesizers, backing vocals
Jamie Myers – Sung vocals on Diadem of 12 Stars, Malevolent Grain
Jessika Kenney – Sung vocals on Two Hunters and Celestial Lineage
Will Lindsay (Middian) – bass on Live at Roadburn 2008
Dino Sommese (Dystopia, Asunder) – guest vocals
Ross Sewage (Ludicra, Impaled) – bass on 2008 Autumn US tour and 2009 Winter European tour
Oscar Sparbell (Christian Mistress) – bass on 2009 US and European tours
Will Lindsay – guitar, backing vocals, bass on Black Cascade; guitar on Malevolent Grain
Richard Dahlin – guitar on 2005 Demo, Diadem of 12 stars, Two Hunters
Nick Paul – guitar on Wolves in the Throne Room