Currently traveling across Europe for an extensive tour to promote their new album “Thrice Woven”, Wolves in the Throne Room were appointed for a few shows in Scandinavia as well and I caught up with them in Stockholm at a venue called Kraken (in the southern part of the Swedish capital, near the Ericsson Globe). They’re playing at different countries every day and for the specific show, they were supported by The Moth Gatherer, post-metal locals from the city who opened the gig for them. It was my first time seeing both bands and I have to say that my main motivation for going there was a live experience of the atmospheric black metal giants that are Wolves in the Throne Room, along with the fact of how great their latest record is.
The doors were supposed to open at 19:00 and we were let in with a small delay “as usual”, while Moth Gatherer didn’t get on stage until after 20:00, enough time for the crowd to sink in and get comfortable in the venue, which had sitting places as well as two serving bars and a merchandise table, featuring stuff from both bands, which was visited very often during the event. In the beginning, were maybe 30 or 40 people, but more kept coming and by the time of the headliners, the front area of the stage was full.
From the very beginning of their set, The Moth Gatherer played their material with sheer passion and had more than enough energy to give on their performance. They presented their excellent blend of post-metal, bits of hardcore and electronic, with switching vocals done by the guitarist and the bassist. I can only think of positive remarks when seeing the attitude of that bassist, who was on fire throughout the whole show, his vocals were marvelous and his playing style intense, he was also behind the merch table for most of the time before and after they played. He was also talkative in between the tracks but I didn’t understand any of the Swedish, still they had a connection with the crowd, most of which seemed to really enjoy them. At some moments, I felt like the live performance provoked even more than their recorded studio albums and I was, more or less, impressed. The band created its own atmosphere, built on smart electronics, growls / screams and post-metallish grooves, depicting their unique character in general. I don’t know how famous they are outside or inside Sweden but they should be more known.
A silent, building noise sound let the people know that something was going on after the break when Moth Gatherer finished their part. The eerie introduction marked the entrance of Wolves in the Throne Room, who led a burning candle that released smoke and a strong scent which quickly spread inside the area and locked our attention on the stage. The theatrical smoke kept coming and going during their whole set, from moments when you could see the band clearly and others that even the person in front was hardly visible. The band was greeted strongly and burst into action with the opening of “Thrice Woven”, the already recognizable “Born from the Serpent’s Eye”. As in Moth Gatherer’s part, the sound in the room was really good and pleasantly audible, while Wolves’ playing was professional and flawless. Pretty satisfying and delivering in a great manner, they also played “The Old Ones Are With Us” from the new album as well as their characteristic, 18 minute long, “I Will Lay Down My Bones Among The Rocks And Roots”, one of the best tracks in their discography. The background noise kept ongoing in the change of the tracks, so the atmosphere never really broke. The band played over an hour, which doesn’t account for more than 5-6 tracks in the WitTR length. Ideally, I would prefer a longer show but it’s difficult to give huge concerts when touring that much. Still, it was a great experience for sure and I listened to tracks I knew and already enjoyed, played greatly.
All in all, I strongly urge you to check the band’s tour and find a location that fits you to see the as you won’t get any less than what you would expect from a band of this level. As for the rest of the show, Kraken was well organized and comfortable, while The Moth Gatherer proved themselves on stage and did a great job preparing the ground for what was to come. As a whole, a fine concert.