Black Cascade is the third full-length release from Washington-based Atmospheric Black Metal band Wolves in the Throne Room. Official release date is March 31, 2009 on Southern Lord records.
Wolves in the Throne Room. I know it is often said, but these guys really march to the beat of their own drum. An often dance-y, atmospheric, black metal drum. My experience with WITTR before this Black Cascade was rather limited, but every time I listen to them I think differently about them. Black Cascade is the first album by them I actually listened to completely in one sitting.
After listening to the album for the first time, I thought it was great. Fairly unique and interesting. Upon listening to WITTR’s other two albums, I think less of it. Diadem of 12 Stars and Two Hunters are more on the mark, and it was hard to realize how lacking Black Cascade was without listening to them. This is not to say that Black Cascade is bad. It’s not, it simply doesn’t provide greatness as WITTR once had. Big atmospheric build-ups, danceable beats at times, dark black metal vocals, and slow movements: characteristic of WITTR and Black Cascade, but better executed on previous albums. As you may expect from a sort-of black metal album, the sound is very dry and low, and the lyrics are largely indecipherable – this works well, in the scheme of things, and certainly adds to the “atmospheric” sound.
Black Cascade, for me, seems like black metal for people who don’t like black metal, and are big fans of the post-rock and post-metal scenes. For anyone looking for pure black metal, or pure atmospheric metal, you will not find that here. You will find some amalgamation of the two (a seamless one at that), and it works wonderfully. For those who are already fans of WITTR this album will be a bit of a letdown; for those who have never listened to them, this album will be a more gentle transition into what WITTR are all about.
Track picks: None. There are four tracks, each at over ten minutes in length. You really have to listen to the whole thing.
Overall score: 7/10 Dvil Horns