Being the sharp cookies that you are, you’ve probably noticed this is a new section of ShredderNet. My fascination with the peppy ensembles of the black metal scene has been getting territorial as of late and demands a dominion of its own. Its a rich scene, difficult to navigate at times, one where you have to be careful not to be deceived by kvlt graphic treatments. To embark on one’s initial journey through the netherrealm of underground Black Metal is to stand before a vast forest sometimes desperately swallowing intimidation. So, every Friday will thus be Black Friday and we’ll help you stare down that forest, hand you an axe and send you on a chopping spree (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?). The first mighty oak is Britain’s Wodensthrone.
Anyhoo, epically dismal things are afoot in the United Kingdom. Wodensthrone are England’s answer to Negura Bunget and have even been compared to American Northwest sons, Wolves In The Throne Room. They subscribe to the Drudkh approach to layered, hypnotic black metal but focus their themes on ancient Britain, garnishing their 2009 full-length “Loss” (since re-issued) with Old English and lyrics about pre-Christianity. Devoid of any inverted goat sacrifices or vampo-drama, Wodensthrone takes the progressive attitude and building song structures of Wolves In The Throne room and fuses them to the spirit of the old world. Though apocalyptic hyperblasting nihilism has its place, its certainly not here. This is the more solemn, introspective and, above all, memorable branch of Black metal.
The production is a perfect balance that maintains some gruff edges while letting each slice of this multi-layered music have its time. It will not alienate you kvlt heads but will actually let you hear notes; call me a sell-out but occasionally I think that’s important. The record was recorded in Romania, under the tutelage of Negura Bunget and seems to provide a genuine expression of pride and understanding of the band’s roots while not crossing over into any intolerant radicalism. Check out this tune. It’s probably the best on the album.