Wolves in the Throne Room - _Malevolent Grain_
(Southern Lord / Independent, 2009)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (10 out of 10)
Cast back to the early days of you discovering this music that you love. After the first contact, the first few bands that you liked and started exploring their discography, after delving a bit deeper in the different genres, as you started forming your likes and dislikes. The first encounter with Candlemass and doom. Your first CDs (Stratovarius' _Dreamscape_ and Skyclad's _Prince of the Poverty Line_, if you ask). Beyond Dawn's first EP and that moment when you realised you stumbled upon something new. Picking up your jaw from the floor after listening to Solefald's debut album. _Mandylion_. Arcturus' "Fall of Man". You get the idea. Cast your mind back to all these moments.

Moments. If you put aside the pleasure of discovering something new in this music, you wait for them moments. And if you are lucky, they are not too far off between them. Seven minutes into "A Looming Resonance", when the song explodes and erupts into such a magnificent storm of blast beasts, riffs and pure raw emotion, you are once again rewarded with one of these moments.

_Malevolent Grain_ is a stop gap EP between second and third album releases for Wolves in the Throne Room and contains two ten minute songs. The first, described above, is a medium to fast paced black metal song with only female vocals from Jamie Myers (ex-Hammers of Misfortune). The contrast between the music and the vocals is astonishingly successful. Perhaps it is the unusual delivery or the contradictions in tone, but it makes for one of the best songs this collective has ever penned. "Hate Crystal" is a more typical song for the band. Noticeable are the changes in the guitars with the addition of Will Lindsay, of the now defunct Middian, as there is now a hint of doom running through the music.

After releasing it as a 12" vinyl EP through Southern Lord Records, a CD version was released straight from the band and can only be purchased by them through their website. And it is well worth getting it before it goes out of print and you miss this gem forever.

Contact: http://www.wittr.com

(article published 21/5/2009)


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