Oct 022011

“They say not to anthropomorphize — not to think of them as having feelings, not to think of them as being able to think — but late at night I like to imagine that they are killing; that another deer has gone down in a tangle of legs, tackled in deep snow; and that, once again, the wolves are feeding. That they have saved themselves, once again. That the deer or moose calf, or young dumb elk is still warm (steam rising from the belly, as that part which contains the entrails is opened first), is now dead, or dying.

“They eat everything, when they kill, even the snow that soaks up the blood.

“This all goes on usually at night. They catch their prey from behind, often, but also by the nose, the face, the neck — whatever they can dart in and grab without being kicked. When the prey pauses, or buckles, it’s over; the prey’s hindquarters, or neck, might be torn out, and in that manner, the prey flounders. The wolves swarm it, then. They don’t have thumbs. All they’ve got is teeth, long legs, and — I have to say this — great hearts. (more after the jump  . . .)

“I can say what I want to say. I gave up my science badge a long time ago. I’ve interviewed maybe a hundred people for or against wolves. The ones who are ‘for’ wolves, they have an agenda: wilderness, and freedom for predators, for prey, for everything. The ones who are ‘against’ wolves have an agenda: they’ve got vested financial interests. It’s about money — more and more money — for them. They perceive the wolves to be an obstacle to frictionless cash flow.

“The story’s so rich. I can begin anywhere.

“I can start with prey, which is what controls wolf numbers (not the other way around), or with history, which is rich in sin, cruelty, sensationalism (poisonings, maimings, torture). You can start with biology, or politics, or you can start with family, with loyalty, or even with the mystic-tinged edges of fate, which is where I choose to begin. It’s all going to come together anyway. It has to. We’re all following the wolf. To pretend anything else — to pretend that we are protecting the wolf, for instance, or managing him — is nonsense of the kind of immense proportions of which only our species is capable.

“We’re following the wolf. He’s returning to Montana after sixty years.”

With these words, American writer Rick Bass began a slim 1993 book called The Ninemile Wolves. I came across it yesterday. I thought this beginning was pretty fuckin’ metal. It was serendipitous, too, because at the same time I was thinking of new music from wolfish metal bands that I’ve been listening to, and two songs in particular. Both of them are emotionally affecting, beautifully melodic, and black as a moonless sky in winter, sheltering predators on the move.

The first track is “The Sentinels” from the new album by Wolvhammer, Obsidian Plains, which will be released by Profound Lore on October 25. Epic, blackened doom, this song is amazing. It conjures images of wolves, and it is so easy to become caught up, and lost, in the music. I’m intensely interested in hearing the rest of this album.

The second song is the long opening track from Celestial Lineage, the new album by Wolves In the Throne Room. It’s called “Thuja Magus Imperium”. More sweeping, epic, black majesty. More images of a wolf pack loping through the snow, with the scent of prey in the air.

[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/01-Thuja-Magus-Imperium.mp3|titles=Wolves In the Throne Room – Thuja Magus Imperium]

Back to Wolvhammer — here’s a link for the download of another song from Obsidian Plains called “Writhe”, straight from the Profound Lore web site. Right click on this, save it, and listen:

http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/mp3/ … Writhe.mp3

By the way, if you haven’t discovered the Profound Lore download page, GO HERE and check it out. There’s a shitload of awesome mp3’s to be had there for the asking.

  30 Responses to “WOLVES”

  1. You just can’t have topic about wolves without mentioning Wolfhorde


    Now, i’m not the biggest fan, but hearing the major steps they’ve taken since their EP “Deathknot” makes these guys something i’m gonna have an eye on. And of course, they are from Suomi perkele!(Finland) 😉

  2. You just can’t have a topic about wolves without mentioning Wolfchant


    I’m a huge fan. Unfortunately they’re NOT from Finland (they’re Bavarian) but they’re still pretty awesome anyway!

    • Double-wow! Two cool recommendations in a row. That’s a riotous romp of pagan metal, which probably would sound better if (a) Wolfchant moved from Germany to Finland, and (b) offered their music for free on Bandcamp. Looks like they’re planning to hit the studio next March for recording of a new album.

  3. Since we’re accumulating wolfish recommendations, I just got one on our FB page for Winterwolf, and in hunting for their music, I found that they had released a split with the titanic Disma earlier this year, which I missed. The whole split (one song from each band) is streaming here:


  4. “Varg” is ‘wolf’ in Swedish….


    • Yeah, but they havent done a good album since Wolfszeit

      No Clean Singing aside..how have we not mentioned the band Wolf


    • Two thumbs up on “Wolfszeit”. We get a wolf band name and a wolf song name (“time of the wolf”) according to google translate. btw, why do so many Scandinavian and other non-German black metal bands use German band, song, and album names?

      • They also have an album named “Wolfskult” which features the title track plus a song called “Wir Sind Die Wolfe”…their Blutaar album has the song “Wolfsmond”… but anyway. I have to wonder if the prevalence of German in black metal bands is any reflection on how it sounds? There’s a rumor that Finntroll sings in Swedish because it “sounds Trollish”.

  5. You forgot to Unchain the Wolves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg-Kva94R7Q

    How is it that you’ve become the Hunter and the Hunted? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBNvbllRHw8

    • Fuck yeah, Destroyer 666! Cool wolfish album cover for Unchain the Wolves, too. And let’s not forget their 2002 EP, “…Of Wolves, Women, and War”. Fairly eye-catching album art for that one, too. 🙂

      • All their albums tend to have a wolf motif to them. D666 likes to use them as a (I think it’s a metaphor. Might be allegory) for humanity’s savage and war like nature, and the idea that within every man lies a beast.

  6. Not wolf-related, sorry, but since you mentioned that Profound Lore mp3 page I thought I’d mention their Bandcamp http://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/ where you can stream (and buy) a lot of their older releases.

    A little self-promotion. I blogged about a few of my favorites: http://metalbandcamp.com/2011/09/acrid-plains-saros-profound-lore.html and http://metalbandcamp.com/2011/09/ludicra-tenant-profound-lore-records.html

    • Thanks. I just found your blog a few days ago, and it’s a very cool idea and a really useful service. There’s lots of bandcamp fans among our readers, and I think they’d really enjoy what you’re doing.

      • Thanks man. And it is exactly the “really useful service” angle I’m going for. There are already many excellent metal news/reviews/interviews style blogs, didn’t want to create another one of those.

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