Originally written by Jason Jordan.
I’m not grim by any measurement of the term, but I do like to revel in a hefty slab of black metal occasionally. So, following the ecstatic, favorable press that’s been lowered on Wolves in the Throne Room (recently signed to Vendlus Records), I knew I had to step up to the plate and see what the hoopla is all about. Mostly, 2005 Demo is a continuation of the saga that Weakling began with their one-and-only effort, titled Dead as Dreams, which presents a glimpse into raw-yet-outstanding, American black metal.
In my experience as a reviewer, and fan alike, the word “demo” is often synonymous with “short” and/or “crappy.” Not the case with this particular release; its claws grasp the fifty-minute mark with no trouble whatsoever. Remarkably, there are only three tracks to be found on 2005 Demo: “Queen of the Borrowed Light,” “Dagger of Amethyst Crystal,” and “(A Shimmering Radiance) Diadem of Twelve Stars.” The latter is a twenty-five minute beast that traverses all crevasses of BM that I’ve ever heard such as ambient, plodding, biting, driving, etc. The two openers mirror one another in the length department (about thirteen minutes each), and we’re led forebodingly into each composition.
On all three exemplifications, after a minute or so, the black metal fury begins by way of primitive vocalizations and aggression-laden instrumentation. Essentially, Wolves in the Throne Room aren’t changing the face of the subgenre with what they have to offer but – in spite of the aforementioned lash – this dynamic duo is utterly mesmerizing, whether they become influential or not.
I’d say, citing the advent of active, USBM acts like Wolves in the Throne Room, Nachtmystium, Leviathan, Xasthur, and Thralldom, we have quite a healthy scene on our hands. 2005 Demo does indeed rise above most of the pack, though, and I must confess that I’m heavily anticipating a proper full-length from this Washington-based group. Now back to you in the studio Matt.