Epic. While this term is heavily overused within the metal community, there's really no other way to describe this past Monday's Wolves In The Throne room show, a show that took place in a run down attic above a North Tacoma bar.
I showed up just in time to catch the first official set by "Earth Control" aka the artists formerly known as "Owen Hart".
"You fucking sold out," announced vocalist Timm Trust as he stood gripping the microphone, just inches away from the faces of a packed attic. "You changed your fucking name. You're making tons of money. They want to sue you and take all your money. Fuck you, you don't do anything. You're just fucking old. Fuck you, Earth Control. You suck, fuck you. I piss on you. That's the last review you're going to see for Owen Hart tonight. Just that."
I'm sorry to disappoint Mr. Trust, but their set was actually nothing short of raging, as they blasted through a half-dozen-or-so fierce-as-fuck deathgrind songs. The band's energy was contagious, swallowing the crowd into a windmill of a circle-pit; a stark contrast to the stunned silence that later overcame the audience as they took in the ethereal (post?) black metal of Olympia's Wolves In The Throne Room.
Large ornate paintings depicting wolves, trees and webs (along with indiscernible black metal script) hung above the heads of the crowd as smoke from bundles of burning sage billowed into the attic, signaling the beginning. The overhead lights were lowered as candles were lit.
For 45 minutes, this Cascadian crew captured the full attention of the couple hundred lucky enough to be packed into this dingy attic. As they soared through 7-to-12 minute songs from their newest album, "Celestial Lineage," I couldn't help but notice how perfect, yet immense the sound was inside this otherwise echo-y room, a true achievement for a D.I.Y show inside a space that has never and will never be booked again.
I left completely satisfied. The mood Wolves In The Throne room captured before they even started playing was gorgeous, but the music raised the event from average concert level to sheer performance art level, as they shredded, sulked, and truly captivated the minds and ears of all in attendance.