"Diadem of 12 Stars" (Vendlus; 2006)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


Wolves In The Throne Room’s “Diadem of 12 Stars” is a stunningly good example of epic bleak black metal. And it’s been a while since I’ve heard a good black metal album – of any sort.

“Diadem of 12 Stars” contains three songs over four tracks as one song is broken into two parts; accordingly, the album echoes the monolithic approach of Pink Floyd’s “Animals” while obviously sounding nothing like it. “Diadem of 12 Stars” requires patience and repeated listens to fully enjoy – it’s the classic argument that some music requires a little more effort than most, but the rewards are more than two-fold. 

Even though black metal can seem stylistically stunted at times, some bands in the genre have can generate enough excitement and variety as to really make the listening experience worthwhile. Wolves In The Throne Room deftly move their way through multiple movements within each song to create a rich, darkened journey. Elements of atmospheric doom permeate the album, harsh black metal parts heighten the sonic senses, acoustic/folk interludes deepen the disc’s impact, and the inclusion of female vocals keep things interesting.

While I’m not quite ready to elevate Wolves In The Throne Room to the status of the likes of Emperor or Ulver (let’s wait to see what the band’s catalog looks like in a few years) it still is an impressive start for an American band in a style more likely to be perfected by a Norwegian band.

“Diadem of 12 Stars” was produced by Wolves In The Throne Room and Tim Green. The production is better than the typical black metal album, yet still retains some of the characteristics of black metal’s sub-standard approach to recording.

Wolves In The Throne Room: Rick on vocals and guitars, Nathan on vocals and guitars, and Aaron on drums.

For more information visit http://www.wolvesinthethroneroom.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 27 May 2024 14:00:24 -0400.