Since their beginnings nearly a decade and a half ago, Wolves in the Throne Room have dealt in a sort of worldly magnificence. Over the years, they've dealt in the quiet fury of tremolo-picked guitar lines, deathly folk pieces, and wordless synthesizer drones alike, but all their cacophonous sounds have been united by a sort of grand spaciousness—a cavernous echo of the grandeur and fury of the world that surrounds them. To date, they've mostly been content to explore those disparate sounds separately—their last LP Celestite, for example, was a singleminded exploration of the frigid, lonely kosmische. But today, they return with Thrice Woven, a vibrant, diverse dive into all their multifarious interests.
Streaming below ahead of its September 22 release, the record is an ambitious collection dead-eyed chorales, twisted black metal bursts, grayscale ambience, and crackling field recordings. As you might expect, the lyrics deal in the sort of portentous themes that their music suggests. A press release explains that the songs deal heavily in Norse mythology, telling stories of death and rebirth of through the lens of the god-killing monster Fenris Wolf. Steve Von Till of Neurosis makes an appearance on "The Old Ones Are With Us" to herald the end of a long winter and a coming thaw. Underneath these mythic themes, they paint gnarled landscapes in curdled monochromes or florid bursts of color, occasionally scraping off layers of splattered guitars to reveal the doomy drones holding the whole thing together.
It's a truly immense and varied 42 minutes—listening to it is like standing at the base of a mountain and craning your neck upward trying to understand the scale of the thing. But you can't. Listen below.
Thrice Woven is out September 22 on their own label Artemisia. It's available for pre-order now.