Celestite Review

artist: Wolves in the Throne Room date: 07/15/2014 category: compact discs
Wolves in the Throne Room: Celestite
Released: Jul 8, 2014
Genre: Dark Ambient, Space Ambient, Drone, Electronic
Label: Artemisia Records
Number Of Tracks: 5
According to the band, this is a companion album to their last full-length release, "Celestial Lineage," and finds the band experimenting much more heavily in the dark ambient genre instead of black metal.
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 7
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overall: 7.3
Celestite Featured review by: UG Team, on july 15, 2014
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Sound: Wolves In The Throne Room aren't your average type of black metal - they don't even like the term black metal, and they definitely aren't trying to be tied to any type of satanic imagery. Instead, they've centered on the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., specifically, and nature in general. Their music is supposed to all be tied to trying to express the beauty of the Pacific Northwest in the form of music. They released their fourth album, "Celestial Lineage," in 2011, and discussed releasing their next album as a "companion" record to "Celestial Lineage." "Celestite" finds Nathan and Aaron Weaver as the sole members of the band, once again, and this will be their first album without any vocals - and actually of more significance it isn't even black metal by any type of traditional definition, but could more accurately be labeled as dark ambient. There are 5 tracks on the album, which clocks in at approximately 46 minutes. The album has been released on Artemisia Records. The brothers both play guitars and synthesizers on this release. 

The opening track is "Turning Ever Towards the Sun," which runs for a little over eleven minutes. The Weaver brothers are joined on this track by Mara Winter on the flute, Steve Moore on French horn and Josiah Boothby on trombone. "Initiation at Neudeg Alm" is the second track from the album, clocking in just shy of six minutes. "Initiation at Neudeg Alm" is possibly the heaviest song on the album, with droning distorted guitars running through most of the track. "Bridge of Leaves" is up next, and includes Veronica Dye on flute. "Celestite Mirror" finds the band joined once again by Steve Moore on French horn and Josiah Boothby on trombone. The album closes out with the track, "Sleeping Golden Storm" which has Veronica Dye on flute, Steve Moore on French horn and Josiah Boothby on trombone. The album could be defined as made up primarily of synthesizer and modulator sounds with little dashes of guitar work, or other instrumentation, thrown in very occasionally. Letting myself become wrapped up in the album, I found myself visualizing an open night sky, storms rolling in from the distance, etc., but I'm not trying to get all flaky on everybody. It is an enjoyable album in the right context. // 7

Lyrics: There are no vocals or lyrics. // 8

Overall Impression: It took me a minute to get into "Celestite," and I think that may be a common problem for people to have if they're expecting the same type of music as from "Celestial Lineage" or any of Wolves In The Throne Room's earlier material. On the other hand, once I got myself listening to it with the right frame of mind I found myself enjoying the album fairly well. My favorite track was definitely "Initiation at Neudeg Alm" because it creates a certain type of "vibe" and utilizes some heavy guitar (mostly for drones). This isn't an album that's about aggression, but instead is more about closing your eyes and letting your mind make a movie to go along with the music. In that way it is similar to "Celestial Lineage," as that album also evoked very detailed imagery in my mind while listening to the album. At times I found myself picturing the cold coastal towns of the Northwest, and at other times thinking of deep space, or even mythological fiction like the Cthulhu mythos. This album definitely caught my interest, but I can't honestly put it in even the same category as "Celestial Lineage," which may be the band's greatest release to date. // 7

- Brandon East (c) 2014

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