Wolves in the Throne Room + Tweak Bird


It has been five years since Wolves in the Throne Room emerged from the rain-soaked Cascadian underground with a singular musical alchemy. The band’s previous two studio albums, Diadem of Twelve Stars and Two Hunters, in tandem with their incendiary live performances, have unquestionably established the band as a swiftly rising force in the extreme music world.

Their new meditation, cryptically titled Black Cascade, will be released by Southern Lord in the Spring of 2009. With this record Wolves in the Throne Room wholly transcend the limitations of the black metal label to be reborn as an entity entirely unto themselves. The energy conjured by the music is a distinctive manifestation of a personal vision that is not beholden to the rules of any genre.

Black Cascade is characterized by a heavy and powerful analog sound and a deft touch with songwriting and arrangement. The crumbling roar of decidedly old-school tube amps unite with layers of mossy analog synthesizer and cataclysmic percussion. Blazing and crystalline Metal riffs slowly collapse and shift into ritualistic dirges that invoke endless rain falling upon the ancient cedars of the pacific North West. It is as if the instruments are controlled by shadowy and elemental forces of nature rather than three forest-dwellers from Olympia,WA.


Tweak Bird is a brother duo consisting of Caleb and Ashton Bird. Produced under the helm of Deaf Nephews (Melvins’ Dale Crover and Altamont’s Toshi Kasai), the duo’s debut is a sweeping seven-song intro to a band exploring the depths of heavy experimental, progressive, and psych-infused rock. A sort of musical Armageddon that’s constantly on the horizon, looming. Tweak Bird has played shows with the Melvins, Ancestors, Earthless, and many others.



Wolves In The Throne Room


The music of  Wolves In The Throne Room is rooted in the  traditions of Black Metal, but they subvert the common aesthetic and ideology in order to remain true to their own personal manifestations. Their strong convictions appropriately compliment the confident decisive execution of their sound. This is the sound of paradox, ambiguity and confusion. Catharsis is the objective, not a lilly-white and guilt free existence. Death and rebirth, transformation and enlightenment. They believe that in Black Metal, there is great truth, transcendence and power.

“Our relationship with the natural world is a healing force in our lives. If you listen to Black Metal, but you don’t know what phase the moon is in, or what wild flowers are blooming then you have failed. The music is about wild forests, unfettered rivers, nature: furious and vengeful.”

This “natural” aesthetic permeates the bands every expression, Lyrically, musically, and ideologically. “Black Metal is the cleansing fire that frees us from the bondage of rationality, science, morality, religion, leaving us free to choose our own path…The deep woe inside black metal is about fear that we can never return to the mythic, pastoral world that we crave on a deep subconscious level”


Haxan is a Midlands based musical project that mixes dischordant black metal riffing, psychedelic atmospherics and melancholic doom into epic pieces that openly address mans relationship with religion, nature and self. Formed in 2004, the band rarely play live and openly shun most aspects of the modern music business. Their self titled debut album, available later this year will be a varied 40 minute concept piece and story that details the descent into madness and chaos of the main protagonist. Haxan tread a line between many genres to create something fresh and organic and truly emotional. Features ex members of Doom and Police Bastard.


Taint of South Wales are something of an enigma. Many have striven to place their sound within a handy genre definition, only to find themselves wondering whether a band so dynamic and full of surprises can really be called ‘sludge’, or whether music so antithetical to boredom can justifiably be termed ‘post-hardcore’. Taint’s 2005 full-length debut for Rise Above, ‘The Ruin Of Nova Roma’ was a crafty beast that revelled in contructing such riddles for the listener and, of course, the critic. Pigeonholes are for pigeons, after all. It’s the purpose of great rock groups to not quite fit in.

Poster by Ben Javens