WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM + WOLVENNEST @ Arena, Vienna (A) – 09/07/2018 (ENG)

by Giuseppe Piscopo

Looks like it’s gonna be an intimate evening: turns out that the show will take place in the smaller hall of the Arena, the same place I had the chance to be familiar with during the latest Vienna Metal Meeting. Two bands on the bill, very similar to each other in terms of sound: Wolves In The Throne Room and Wolvennest.

Italian version

The support band isn’t well known yet and, in fact, they’ve just put out their debut album. They come on stage quietly, preparing their gear with care and then the hypnosis begins. I’m actually attending something I’m not so familiar with, a genre I’m not that prepared for: ambient, Norwegian style black metal and pure psychedelia. This complexity, however, is not an issue. Strangely enough, Shazzula’s theremin is not annoying to our ears and it embraces the three guitars and bass – which miracolously work well close together on the tiny stage. Songs about 10-20 minutes long, clean and crystal clear. The hall’s acoustics are prefect for the band, with sounds bouncing on the walls and going straight back into the audience bodies. After the photocameras leave the first row, some girls start a slow and twisted dance, barefoot.
It’s almost a pity that the Belgians had to leave the stage, they were sending some shivers down my spine especially with the closer “Out of Darkness Deep“, occasionally reminescent of shamanic rituals.

After a refreshing beer at the pub next to the hall – so “intimate” that it left a mark on us in the form of sweat drops – it’s time for the headliners. Kody Keyworth comes on stage and spreads some incense.
It’s a pretty slow start, with the main acts taking position with unusual calm. A 20-minute delay, and also the opener “Thuja Magus Imperium” has an extremely long intro. Our spirits are then lifted by ‘s voice.
The most anticipated piece is “Born From The Serpent’s Eye“, everyone was waiting for it, so much that the audience twitched and started following the rhythm like they were attending a proper black metal show. Rapture, enthusiasm, desire to grind their teeth and almost break them.

But then, repetitiveness takes its toll. Of course, the percussions hit by the keyboardist hit our chests, making just one big vibration, but the lengthy intermissions and a really annoying acoustic effect – which works even with my earplugs – ruin the atmosphere a bit. I’m not the only one trying to protect myself from screeching, which is absolutely absent on the album.

I’m then left to think that, maybe, the Kleine Halle isn’t the best place for this whole concert. Yes, the audience isn’t crammed, but it’s enough to fill the place and the exits as well – probably trying to breathe some clean air.
On my way to the metro, time to collect some impressions: fans or not, everyone was impressed positively by the performance. And tonight, again, we go home satisfied.

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