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Arkaea - Years in the Darkness

While U.S. black metal is generally a running joke in the metal scene, Olympia, Washington’s WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM are a clear exception. No childish gimmicks are needed here and the band treat their music as art. While the four songs, which clock in at over 10 minutes, on the album are not epic numbers, the band thrive on their ability to create strong atmospheres. Even though the music is not particularly complex or technical, their relentless use of blazing guitars and blast beats in straight forward song structures just gels well. At times the blast beats become almost hypnotic and the listener almost forgets the ferocious pace at which the action is taking place. The hypnotic aspect of WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM also appears in the seemlessly subtle transitions in tempo. One second the band is blasting away and before you know it, the action has slowed considerably. While there are no huge monster riffs on Black Cascade, its the total impact of all the riffs that is the source of their effectiveness. While the band are obviously playing black metal, they separate themselves from the pack of wannabes by creating such a distinct and unique style within the black metal genre. Forget your blind allegiances to geography in metal and open your ears. (Southern Lord Records)

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