Wolves In The Throne Room - Underworld, London

It was Black Metal night at the Underworld, with Sunderland's Wodensthrone backing Olympia, Washington's Wolves in the Throne Room for a double bill of all things sinister. The vast line of fans outside were testament to the anticipation for the headliners, the scent of incense leading you down into the dark ...

Wodensthrone took to the stage as the venue was still filling up, but their performance was energetic and captivating, their twin-guitar attack propped up by a keyboard player hidden away in the darkness. In conversation afterwards it was clear that many attendees, previously unaware of the NE outfit, were leaving converted to their Heathen ways, determined to investigate their Emperor-influenced thrashings further.

With the climax of Wodensthrone’s set, it was time for the set up of Wolves in the Throne Room, whose ambient Black Metal seems at odds with their home town, best known for its indie and riot grrrl scenes. The atmosphere began to build, with the eerie, fascinating stage set testament to their interest in all-things ecological and earth-based. In place at the front of the stage was a tree trunk, roots facing out of the stage and candlesticks and a skull in place in front of it. Tarot cards were carefully laid out stage-front, and either side was a few tea light candles. Around the rest of the stage were more tea lights, and at this point I realised this was going to be a hard gig to shoot, especially with the notice of ‘no flash photography’ on the way in!

Although the venue was almost pitch-black, the fact that you could not really see anything was not a problem at all, as their atmospheric and moving performance was enough to leave people almost hypnotised, with the only form of movement coming from people softly head banging. After what had only felt like minutes, the hour-long set had finished leaving the audience wanting more, cast adrift on their waves of sound that owe as much to drone and shoegaze bands as the Scandinavian black metal masters. Wolves in the Throne Room? Kings for this day, certainly.

Setlist: Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog / Face in a Night-Time Mirror (Part 2) / Dea Artio / Vastness and Sorrow / Crystal Ammunition

Category Gig Review

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