I would have never thought to review a live album. But here I am.
Why did I eventually change my mind? Well folks, if you’re asking me, that’s because you’ve never listened to Wolves in The Throne Room’s Turning Ever Toward The Sun – Live at Neudegg Alm.
I have been pursuing this record for a long time. It’s been released in a limited edition of 500 copies double vinyl only. The edition is accompanied by an epic A1 poster plus a lovely and mysterious 24-page booklet.
And I’m not giving you all this information because I have to sell the album, even if it could have looked that way, but because every single piece of this edition is important, and actually essential to the whole musical picture of this live record.
Wolves delivered 4 tracks here: Crystal Ammunition, I Will Lay Down My Bones Among The Rocks and Roots, Queen of The Borrowed Light and Behold The Vastness and Sorrow. Everything is live recorded, very raw (as it’s mentioned on the booklet as well), no overdubs, no synths, no additional layers nor any other unnecessary decoration. Just the pure raw recording with some strewn woods-at-night noises and soft people clapping. Nothing else!
Yeah, I know, I turned up my nose too…but truth is, that once I was playing the first tune, examining the luxurious booklet I suddenly realised how magnificent this album is! Seriously, the songs shine of a brand new light, even if they are pretty much like on their original versions.
We could say that it all feels less atmospheric like this, probably it’s closer to a kind of early Darkthrone meets Weakling music. Definitely more canonical black metal. Anyway it smells of magic all over the place. This way, without all those fancy-electronic synths, you can actually hear (and feel) the essence of their black art. I still have shivers down my spine at the thought!
Listening to those tunes breathing and growing up in a new dark way, while leafing through the pages of the little book included, I could feel the enchanting aura of those two live nights by the Wolves. The harsh ambience of the recordings makes the whole listening interesting even if you’re a long-time fan of the Olympia based combo. While the distorted photos (in the booklet) drive you through a contemplating state of mind.
I have a soft spot for I Will Lay Down…, I just can’t hide it, but in this 4-piece album the one I liked the most has to be chosen between the last two songs. And eventually I’d probably pick Behold The Vastness and Sorrow for the epic emotions and the dark and painful sentiments it arises in the very deep of my languid soul.
And I probably could go on for pages praising this fu**ing good record, but I should stop now. All in all, I shouldn’t be explaining something you must feel as a part of you.
Modern black metal just wouldn’t be anything without these two guys!