Wolves in the Throne Room – July 13, 2014 @ Venue, Vancouver BC

It is not a secret, that Drunk in a Graveyard is rooted firmly in the terra firma of metal and heavy music – this is the music we grew up with, were weaned on, and what forms the soundtrack of our day to day living, even when we aren’t drunk or in an actual graveyard.  What would my drives to work be without Ghost, Fall of Efrafa, Watain, Mayhem, or Burzum?  What would a gathering of our friends be, without someone cranking Slayer and shotgunning beers (a goddamn poor one, allow me to say)?  Metal is a lifestyle for me, and for the eponymous dreadly Scotty Floronic.  We travel across the country to see metal shows, and it is in that brotherhood of the battle jacket, that we find our friends (and of course our enemies – but only the ones wearing store bought battle vests..  if you didn’t make it yourself, you didn’t earn it).

One of the solids in our friend group, is the bond we have over black metal, an offshoot to metal that rebels against convention, norms of both society and the metal sub group, and against the colonization of both land and the mind by the Christian faith.  Black metal is almost passe, now, though.  It’s not shocking anymore – the corpse paint and church burnings are cartoons and memes, and in truth, some of the major players of the black metal game are now exaggerated charicatures of themselves (looking your way, Varg).  That does not mean, however, that the emotion and raw power of that music has faded out in the last swansong of the Norwegian black metal scene, but rather the torch passed to a select few bands, both Norwegian and not, who carry on the name.  One of those bands is Wolves in the Throne Room, from Olympia, Washington, a scarcely scene or interviewed group who seeks to “channel the energies of the Pacific Northwest’s landscape into musical form”.

Wolves in the Throne Room, have been in particular, a soundtrack to a lot of moments in the lives of the two founding drunks – getting our kitten and bringing her home in the car to the sound of Two Hunters, flying to Austin Texas for the first time for the inaugural Housecore Horror Festival, and when Robin received her acceptance letter into the RN program – are just a few of these transformative moments.  Wolves in the Throne Room transcend the boundary of black metal and move into the realm of witchcraft through auditory experience.

Their music is not easily explained, and it can really only be heard, and what better way to hear it..  then live?

We drunks made a special pilgrimmage to the ever expanding city of Vancouver BC to see Wolves in the Throne Room play a very special and very intimate show at Venue in downtown Vancity.  The Venue is a small, artsy little club that resembles very much Fangtasia from the failed vampire HBO show True Blood – the drinks are expensive, but the crowd is friendly.  Opening the show was Vancouver locals Neck of the Woods, and Nommo Ogo.  Not entirely sure as to why Nommo Ogo played a show in bee keeper outfits, but the music was really intense.  Sadly, none of the attending drunks were high enough to make full use of their auditory offering.

Wolves in the Throne Room was another story, however.  The crowd gathered tightly at the base of the stage, oil lamps were lit before beautiful cold banners and the band played.  There was no onstage banter, no joking, the performance was rhetorical and not involved.  There was no need for rhetoric because the music involved and permeated through the subconscious of those in attendance.  I have stated before that seeing concerts, specifically like seeing Ghost, is like attending a church service – and this was the same.

When i journeyed to the front I saw a young man clutching a vinyl record, who was sobbing – a sight which may not be uncommon at the concerts of teen pop idols, but seemed grossly out of place at a metal show.  However, it made sense.  The music was slick, the sound was amazing and the crowd swayed as the magick was wrought.  When the spell was broken, there was no encore, no autographs signed and no set lists given out – things which may seem out of place at “regular” metal shows, but served in this case as the statement it is meant to be.  This is black metal.

If you have the chance to see these guys while they tour, I recommend it highly.  That’s really all I can say.

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So until next time darklings – take your coffee black, just like your metal, and ALWAYS STAY SPOOKY.

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