Wolves In The Throne Room Two Hunters

[Southern Lord; 2007]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: black metal
Others: Earth, OM, Boris, Ludicra, Sunn 0)))

“Catharsis is our objective, not a Lilly-white and guilt-free existence. We are all hypocrites and failures.” – from an interview with Wolves In The Throne Room on nocturnalcult.com

Wolves In The Throne Room’s sophomore album and first for Southern Lord certainly fits the label's aesthetic to a T. This power trio from Olympia despises the Pro Tools® synthesis generation that streamlines sound through a fine mesh pop screen and manages to siphon all the humanity out of it. That opinion -- held deep among frontman Rick Dahlin and the brothers Weaver, Nathan on guitar and Aaron on drums -- hangs heavily over every mangled distortion lead, stoner punk riff, and steady pounding drum touch that Two Hunters has to offer. I can’t say that really leads to a rawk nirvana or anything, though. In fact, it feels to me as though their professed Pro Tools® hatred is somewhat misplaced.

Both the wilderness-sampling, ambient shoegaze wanderer “Dea Artio” and the equally ethereal “Cleansing” (featuring some lovely female vocals care of Jessica Kinney) certainly nod to a forward-thinking higher power. However, when the other two tracks kick in ("Vastness & Sorrow" and "I Will Lay Down"), totaling a half-hour running time on their own, there’s hardly a time signature change or pause to be found. Rick and Nathan ramble around somewhat on complimentary guitars, both whining and gnarled, while Aaron hammers away on the same drum pattern with occasional stutters and rolls for what seems like an eternity -- and getting longer every time I listen to it.

For something recorded onto tape (by Randall Dunn of Boris and Sunn 0))) fame, no less), you’d think they’d want to do more than just hammer away at 160 BPM till they got bored, which far surpasses my threshold. Maybe I’m just weak, but dropping down into a half-speed jam once in a while would do wonders for keeping things interesting instead of just bludgeoning me into submission.

1. Dea Artio
2. Vastness & Sorrow
3. Cleansing
4. I Will Lay Down My Bones Among The Rocks & Roots

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