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DLA interrogates Wolves In The Throne Room.

Here's my guesses, based on conversations around the coffee table at ANUS HQ:

1) Why was it done?

Sympathy to far green beliefs, hope of introducing new generations.

2) Black Metal/Drone/Shoegaze/Emo Hybrid

Emo/pop punk bands like Jawbreaker, Shoegaze like My Bloody Valentine = variants of indie rock. Musically, WITTR is this, with a little black-metal flavoring.

3) Does the staff enjoy these guys?

Personally? Yes. Musically? I haven't heard much mention.

4) What the fuck gives with WITTR attacking ANUS multiple times in their interview?

Defensive unprofessionalism -- my personal opinion only.

Emo/pop punk bands like Jawbreaker, Shoegaze like My Bloody Valentine = variants of indie rock. Musically, WITTR is this, with a little black-metal flavoring.

What I find interesting about WITTR and Modern Drone Metal in general is that along with Sunn O))), the genre itself seems to be adopting what you call "Black Metal Flavoring" as a standard.

I see the Southern Lord troupe attempting to do what hasn't been done yet: elate Drone Metal to be the successor of Black Metal. This is a noble endeavor but I'm still questioning the value of such a genre. Here's the high points:

1) The Oversimplification of the principals of both the Black and Doom Metal genres may help people to unlearn the modernity that they've come to accept in popular metal (Lamb of God, Trivium). At the same time, Drone Metal also exaggerates some principals, like longwinded riffing, repetative nature, obnoxious soundscapes etc...

2) Using production as a new medium of expression. WITTR records analogue (reel-to-reel apparently).

3) Return the audience to a state of sanity. There was a time where people where way to concerned with being "true" or "kvlt" and I think with the rise of Drone Metal and their sneering attitude towards elitism, the face of Metal and the attitudes presented has changed drastically. I remember a time when a friend of mine in a very popular, internationally selling Black Metal band got married in a church to abide the wishes of his wife's parents, and when he showed me the pictures he said, "You can't tell anyone that I got married in a church... it would ruin _________" - True Story

The following bands "musically" have struck my fancy and have "Droning" principals... and it's going to take a while to decide whether I really like this form of music or not.

The Funeral Orchestra
WITTR
Wormphlegm
Tyranny
Asunder
Moss
"I hung there on a cross as you are hanging, and I lived, thanks to circumstances and a stamina peculiar to barbarians. But you civilised men are soft; your lives are not nailed to your spines as are ours. Your fortitude consists mainly in inflicting torment, not in enduring it. You will be dead before sundown." - REH

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Emo/pop punk bands like Jawbreaker, Shoegaze like My Bloody Valentine = variants of indie rock. Musically, WITTR is this, with a little black-metal flavoring.
This is simply wrong.

It's Reactionism in music, but they're going about it in an entirely different way to the second wave Norwegians.  As with most modern "Black Metal" (& derivatives), the essence is copied but not understood (which yields music which celebrates nature while advocating humanism, to take Wolves in the Throne Room as an example).

Quote
Emo/pop punk bands like Jawbreaker, Shoegaze like My Bloody Valentine = variants of indie rock. Musically, WITTR is this, with a little black-metal flavoring.
This is simply wrong.

It isn't.  I'd never heard either of those bands before, until reading this thread.  The essence of Wolves in the Throne Room fits well with that of the bands mentioned above.  In fact, the word which springs to mind is "wank" - not in the normal, obsessive-shredding sense, but in the way of doing things for the sake of doing things.  Sorry, this is a muddled point - I can't quite express what I mean through words.  The same feeling is simple shared between these bands.  It's like "Grunge".

I too enjoy the Two Hunters album. Everything after that has been pretty bad.

I can see the MBV/shoegaze influence, but since recently I've been getting into shoegaze, I do not mind this. Certainly the genres are related or have influenced each other in some ways.

Two Hunters is an amazing album. Very good ambience, and the black metal on it is also done well.

I don't know too much in detail about what they "stand" for, but I love the idea of living on a small plot of land in the woods, subsistence farming for your needs. I too hope to do that (although I would still have to work a bit, unfortunately not everyone can sit at home all day making black metal :p).

The debut is ok, but it doesn't match the level of Two Hunters. The stuff afterward I have not even heard, because I'm not even interested in it.

3) Does the staff enjoy these guys?

Personally? Yes. Musically? I haven't heard much mention.
From the sadistic metal review section:
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Wolves in the Throne Room - Malevolent Grain

Having been a fan of Two Hunters for some time, this reviewer was excited to download and un-RAR the latest from Wolves in the Throne Room, one of black metal's more successful acts. Soaring drones lace themselves over bracketing drums, and female vocals and black metal rasps guide these songs through mostly extended verse-chorus patternings, with a few discursive flights of fancy leading away and then returning. This is not an album for people who like black metal; it's an album for people who want black metal to be what they like. Specifically, it's a studied combination of indie rock, emo punk, crustcore and doom metal, most notably borrowing from Skepticism and Satyricon. It makes itself obvious in the protest rock style of clearly identifying what it complains about -- GM crops (author's opinion on this issue is irrelevant; this is a music review) -- and makes that topic safe by construing it in the same Good and Evil game that Christianity likes to play, where moral absolutes are used to control the masses so no one has to think. There are black metal technique additions, for sure, but the spirit is mournful and poignant in that simple way that rock music makes you see a "I love her, but can't have her, because she's no good for me, but the sex is great" dual binary complexity to life. Unlike great art, this album never creates the chiasmus, where the opposite pairs recombine and a truth is distilled. Like Velvet Caccoon, the last great Northwest black metal phenomenon, Wolves in the Throne Room carefully study their quarry and put together a compilation of what has worked for indie rock tinged black metal for the past decade, but in doing so, they somehow lose their soul, which is borne out in the music that wanders yet not only never arrives but never decides where to go -- it wallows in its opposition, like a surly priest fulminating in frustration beneath a rotting church.

"Grunge".

It's funny that you mention Grunge. If there's one band that I am constantly reminded of by WITTR, it's EARTH. Examine the name: "Wolves In The Throne Room"... that title brings to mind the technique of Earth song titles. On "Two Hunters," the track called "Dia Artio" Sounds like an Earth song. Here's the cover of "Living In The Gleam of an Unsheathed Sword" by Earth:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-zOD9_8LSFc/Swx5CQuWOCI/AAAAAAAAAV0/j1Ctkn4n090/s1600/Livinginthegleam.jpg

Here's the cover of "Diadem of Twelve Stars" by WITTR:

http://www.metal-archives.com/images/1/1/0/1/110195.jpg

Where does Grunge come in you might ask?

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Earth is an American  musical group based in Seattle, Washington, formed in 1989 and led by guitarist Dylan Carlson.[1]

Earth's music is mostly instrumental, and can be divided into two distinct stages. Their early work grew out of the Seattle-area grunge scene and is recognized as pioneering the genre of drone doom — an experimental offshoot of doom metal, characterized by droning, minimalist, lengthy, and repetitive structures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_%28band%29

Also important:

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Carlson has remained the core of the band's line-up throughout its changes. Outside of the underground music world, Carlson is perhaps best known for having been a friend of grunge icon Kurt Cobain, as well as the person who purchased the gun that Cobain later used to commit suicide.[2]  After Earth had moved to Seattle, Cobain sang lead vocals in the song "Divine and Bright", from a demo included on the re-release of the live album Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars.

Edit: I'd like to add that I think this discussion about WITTR has been the most proactive, informative and insightful piece of discourse I've ever seen concerning them.
"I hung there on a cross as you are hanging, and I lived, thanks to circumstances and a stamina peculiar to barbarians. But you civilised men are soft; your lives are not nailed to your spines as are ours. Your fortitude consists mainly in inflicting torment, not in enduring it. You will be dead before sundown." - REH

To sum it up, then:

Music is likeable, but arguably pointless (or even downright bad) other than the second release;

Occasional glimpses of Reality, though they generally miss the mark horrendously;

Probable future likely to mirror that of once-favourite Xasthur, who realised he could make more money by being honest about what his music really is (Indie/Emo).

To sum it up, then:

Music is likeable, but arguably pointless (or even downright bad) beyond the first release;

Occasional glimpses of Reality, though they generally miss the mark horrendously;

Probable future likely to mirror that of once-favourite Xasthur, who realised he could make more money by being honest about what his music really is (Indie/Emo).

Actually, their first release is pretty mediocre post-rock with black metal fusion. Two Hunters (their second release) is generally the work held in favor.

Agreed, they "have their hearts in the right place", but are too distracted by modern liberal and humanist ideas to truly see.

I would be suprised if they even released another album since their last one was pretty much a flop both for true metal heads and for hipsters. Still, I suppose there's money to be made in it...

I know some of you play in somewhat successful(tours,signed) black metal bands.  Why the photo-shoots?

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METALLIAN: Does the band consider itself black metal and, if so, what are the group's thoughts on being described this way?
AW: As our music and our philosophies grow and mature, the black metal label seems less and less apt. It has begun to feel limiting and claustrophobic. It seems that black metal has become more and more dogmatic with little room for expansion on the hoary old themes and ideas that have been around for years: raping the holy ghost or whatever. Our music is connected to a life-vision that is inherently creative and life-affirming. The sorrow we feel about the state of things can be healed by creating a stronghold – spiritually and physically.

METALLIAN: There are amazingly sweeping shoegaze passages on the new record. What are your thoughts on this element of your sound?
AW: This sort of idea, submerging melody in a deep sea of fuzz and wash, has always been central to black metal. I’m not buying into this ‘shoegaze metal’ trend that is popular nowadays.

METALLIAN: Where does the inspiration for your music come from? Politics? Society?
AW: Our world is horrible. Our culture creates hideous buildings, poisonous food, lazy children, stupid music, idiotic books. It’s all garbage. I am a carpenter by trade and am consistently awed by the awful death-boxes that are sold as homes, while the buildings created with hand tools 100 or 1,000 years ago are beautiful and filled with life-force.
One would think that modern technology would make for better, more beautiful buildings. What is the problem? My contention is that we are all afflicted with a sickness and are blind to our eminent doom. Our culture is in a freefall. We have been left with all of the hubristic American arrogance without any accomplishments or great deeds that distinguished previous generations. I believe that we have, as a culture and a people, sold our soul to dark forces. In exchange for our spirits we have been granted great power and wealth. Was this deal struck at the dawn of recorded history when man domesticated animals and began to cultivate grain? Maybe. Now, it is time to pay the piper. Things are falling apart at the seams. I predict that an economic and social collapse will come to pass sooner rather than later. Black metal is valuable because it is an extreme, violent rejection of the lunacy that we are immersed in. Black metal does not necessarily present a solution, though.

METALLIAN: Is your band name a comment on any sort of political situation?
AW: No, beyond the obvious that politics is pointless in the face of the fundamental crisis we face as a race.

METALLIAN: I've read the band has an anti-modernist stance. Can you elaborate on that?
AW: Our black metal is, fundamentally about two things: firstly, it is an utter and complete rejection of modernity. The ‘common sense’ principles of the enlightenment - science, logic, rationality, humanism, reductionism, materialism - are revealed to be a sham. In place of modern, liberal, democratic, capitalist society black metal demands that we return to a premodern modality. I suppose we all have our own ideas about what that would look like. Secondly, our black metal expresses a deep and profound sadness. Modern people have lost so much of what makes us human. Our traditions, languages, stories have been washed away by a globalized monoculture. Humans are at war with all that is good and beautiful in the world. Wolves In The Throne Room is an anguished cry of humanity’s failure.

METALLIAN: Does the band view itself as part of the Gay Midget Fecal Pr0n (GMFP) (United States Black Metal) scene, alongside Xasthur, Leviathan and Nachtmystium?
AW: We don’t feel a particularly deep connection with the Gay Midget Fecal Pr0n (GMFP) label. I think that most Gay Midget Fecal Pr0n (GMFP) groups are committed to staying true to the orthodox black metal aesthetic, something that we are most certainly not interested in doing. I think that we create our music with a different set of intentions than those artists you named.

METALLIAN: Black metal was conceived as a reaction to conformity, yet the subgenre has seen a sense of conform-or-die philosophy within itself. How is this paradox resolved, if at all?
AW: We choose to reflect on our own situation and create our own art that reflects that reality. That people the world over would decide that the appropriate aesthetic to express their rage and sadness is corpsepaint and spikes speaks to a certain impoverishment of creativity and a fear to step outside the proscribed boundaries. This is why we say that we are inspired by certain things about black metal, but do not want to reproduce it as if it is a museum piece.

http://www.metallian.com/wolvesinthethroneroom.php

HAHAHAHAHA! Gay Midget Fecal Pr0n (GMFP) HAHAHAHAHAHA I love this message board.

I can't get enough.

http://usuarios.multimania.es/zmimagenes/upload_files/profanatica.jpg

I mean, realisitically I love Profanatica. It's like Incantation all over again but not, plus some nakedness and grim shots.
"I hung there on a cross as you are hanging, and I lived, thanks to circumstances and a stamina peculiar to barbarians. But you civilised men are soft; your lives are not nailed to your spines as are ours. Your fortitude consists mainly in inflicting torment, not in enduring it. You will be dead before sundown." - REH

Music is listenable, mediocre-to-decent, I just wish they would play songs in more than two tempos. Last concert I went to, each song was some cookie cutter variety of 230 bpm intro/verse/chorus to a 80 bpm breakdown and back again. Each song was interchangeable.

Music is listenable, mediocre-to-decent, I just wish they would play songs in more than two tempos. Last concert I went to, each song was some cookie cutter variety of 230 bpm intro/verse/chorus to a 80 bpm breakdown and back again. Each song was interchangeable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmJs9K8FnwM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkvcAGFsQoc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PYxFq5NN1g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07XF5uKZlgw

Maybe for later material, but you can't tell me that they don't work a lot of variation into this album, especially on their best work "I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots". They do drone on quite a bit (more than they should in some cases), but each work on Two Hunters is pretty distinctive.

I'm not trying to say WITTR is the best thing since sliced bread. I'm just trying to keep people in an accurate mindset about it, rather than jump on the band wagon against everything they've done because of their amorphous, sometimes sensible otherwise "wat", political views. Their post Two Hunters material definitely is mediocre and downright boring, but it's really not fair to put that label on Two Hunters. It's a B grade album; not essential, not comparable to the greats, but a spirited, lively, original work that blows most U5BM away in terms of quality.