I haven't heard a ton of ambient black metal albums in my years of following heavy music, but after hearing Wolves in the Throne Room's latest release Celestial Lineage, that will have to change.
This album doesn't fail to deliver on both the ambient and the black metal parts of the band's sound. Album opener, "Thuja Magus Imperium", perfectly showcases both the brutal black metal and the unsettling ambience the group is able to create, and does a great job of setting the tone for the whole album. It's only eight tracks long but it clocks in at around 50 minutes, all of which are sure to keep listeners engaged from beginning to end.
Vocalist Nathan Weaver delivers fierce and tortured vocals throughout, which readily recall the vocal styles of classic black metal bands of old. Additionally, drummer Aaron Weaver pummels the listener's ears from the first song to the last, which helps reinforce the positively primal feel the record is meant to convey.
All told, this album, and Wolves in the Throne Room in general, is far more than the sum of its parts. This record takes the listener on an epic journey through a veritable forest of emotion and feeling which certainly makes it worth listening to many times. Even for the relatively uninitiated black metal fan (like me), to listen to this album is an absolute pleasure. Go find this one when you can.