Now, to continue plowing my lonely furrow.
#17 Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
biomatter altar to the moss gods of treeplantopia
Chief among the many things I like about Celestial Lineage is how the album works thematically as an ecological prayer. For example, one of the songs, 'woodland cathedral', depicts the forest as a sacred space and contains the lyrics "In the place of abundant life and constant song/ Through pores of trees spoke ancient time... In this arching dome/ Here, we come to pray". Words like these are echoed throughout a set that continually evokes the awesomeness of nature (that's awesome in the non Bill and Ted sense), through music that can be alienating and tumultuous or mournful in a huge and beautiful way (like the sound of a sad planet).
To a casual metal listener, this sort of subject matter might seem odd for a black metal album. Like where are the shit-stained altars and re-animated Nordic corpse armies? But, as Wolves in the Throne Room are wont to point out in their consistently excellent interviews, at its core black metal is about metaphysics and mysticism. Satanism is just one avenue through which musicians grapple with the metaphysical mindset. Ecological transcendentalism is another.
Which brings me to my favourite Wolves in the Throne Room factoid. Apparently, the band have their own sustainable farm where they live like a bunch of modern-day Henry David Thoreaus and Ralph Waldo Emersons. As the man said - "fair fucks to them". They seem to be completely living out the ideology espoused through Celestial Lineage's both grandiose and, in a world where we might soon be firing nukes at each other over ground water, political music.
MP3: Wolves in the Throne Room-Prayer of Transformation