Saturday, March 11, 2023

True Widow at Substation and Wolves in the Throne Room at Neumos: Apr 21 & 30

The month of April sees two shows in town at Substation and Neumos straddling the heavier end of sounds issuing from the mutating offshoots of black metal. The related global scene's ongoing and burgeoning development have encompassed melodicism and atmospheres lifted from shoegaze and spacerock, eruptions of heavy psych rock, industrial drumming, synth exploration and electronic atmospheres, and pure experimental noise. The expansiveness of this sound is further detailed in Brad Sanders' essential overview, "Untrue And International: Living in a Post-Black Metal World". Beyond this primer, deeper reading and curation from this sphere can be found in the past decade of excellent selections in The Quietus' Columnus Metallicus column, covering releases dominantly sourced from labels like, Hydrahead, Ipecac, Deathwish, 20 Buck Spin, Sargent House, Profound Lore, Season of Mist, Roadburn, Flenser, Neurot and Relapse. The first of April’s shows from this sonic spectrum is heard in the bluesy shoegaze-laden doom of True Widow. With their signing to the Relapse label, the Dallas Texas threepiece refined their sound into a viscous melodic trudge, as featured on the perfect distillation, "Circumambulation". The bluesy guitar and pitched-down dirge would be further accentuated on their following album, "Avvolgere", as well as a development of the detached vocal harmonizing they have seemingly borrowed from The Jesus and Mary Chain. The second of next month's shows features the Northwest's own brand of doom and folk-inflected psychedelia from Wolves in the Throne Room. An advancement of their embracing a true fusion of these sounds can be heard on their newest album "Primordial Arcana" also for Relapse. As detailed in the interview with The Quietus, "Beyond the Darkness: An Interview With Wolves in the Throne Room", their seventh studio album disregards distinctions between their previous metal and ambient characteristics, finding a newly organic, free-flowing hybrid in the process. Breaking down the dichotomy between these two sounds, the album creates an often melodious interplay that washes with an uplifting grace rarely heard in music of this darkness and weight. Joining Wolves in the Throne Room is Marz Riesterer's solo Belgian black metal project Hulder, released on 20 Buck Spin. With her most recent studio full length album, "The Eternal Fanfare", her sound has broadened beyond classic black metal, to encompass pagan folk structures, melodic ambient passages, and a heavier focus on low end oppressive atmosphere.