Personnel: Nathan Weaver, Rick Dahlin (guitar); Aaron Weaver (drums).
Recording information: Louder Studios (08/2005).
Photographers: Johnny Delacey; John Westrock.
The Pacific Northwest has a lot in common with Scandinavia, at least from a climate standpoint, so it's a natural fit for Olympia, Washington's Wolves in the Throne Room to be creating the kind of epic black metal that may as well have come from the wind-swept hills of Norway. However, as opposed to a fixation on battle and Norse mythology, Wolves draw their inspiration from an almost pagan form of nature worship, seeking to re-connect with the ecological world. The band's more interested in using black metal song structures to create atmosphere and layered texture rather than mindless aggression, and while the guitars rage like an ice storm and bury the harsh vocals, it occasionally comes off more like muscular shoegaze rock than thrash. Fittingly, gentle folk influences and crystalline guitar passages occasionally poke their heads through the otherwise stormy squall. DIADEM OF TWELVE STARS is a textbook example of using ugliness to create something beautiful.