Wolves in the Throne Room Plays Show At Kuudes Linja, In Helsinki Finland.
Wednesday was one of the coldest days we’ve had here in Helsinki this fall, and as people lined up outside to see Wolvserpent and Wolves in the Throne Room; their devotion showed as they patiently queued outside. There was an air of mystery as we filtered into the dark venue, and a feeling of relief when one was able to pass through the doors into the dark blue and amber lit room. Still people kept showing up, and fighting winters approach. Just a few minutes after Wolves in the Throne Room had started, rumors were it had sold out.
The first band was Boise Idaho based duo, Wolvserpent. They entered the dark stage, and began to play their brand of drone metal. Almost immediately a calm fell over the audience. Not one person moved, the room was utterly still and frozen; the ambience of the music had cast a spell on us all. The two musicians on stage seemed completely lost in the world they had created, only movements being those that created more notes; no headbanging, no swaying; just the hypnotic motions of the players arms, and the shadows that flickered on the stage. The insistent tremolo of the violin left one fraught with tension, that was only released when the drone of the guitars came to pull you away from the edge of the proverbial cliff. After what felt like too short a time, the last notes were played and the Wolvserpent solemnly walked off the stage.
Wolves in the Throne Room’s time had come, and they slowly began setting the feeling for their set. Oil lanterns were brought on stage, casting their warm glow everwhere in soft contrast to the cold blue gel lights, and sifting a nutty scent through the room. At the edge of the stage smoke was filtered in, and the earthy smell of sage was a pleasant invasion. The ritualistic feeling only intensified the anticipation in the air, as people began to press forward, waiting for the first chord to ring out.
Throughout the performance, no one really moved, except the occasional head banger. For the most part we all just stood, completely entranced with the ethereal atmosphere, and the loveliness of the dark music filling our ears, and shaking the floor with its volume. The performances of "Thuja Magnus Imperium” and “Ahrimanic Trance” were the highlight of the event, the intricate layers of the music that for me was painting pictures of deep forest, and a lush blanket of snow burying green grass under its weight. Broken from my trance between songs, I looked around the room; and saw some eyes closed, some people embracing and some swaying completely absorbed in the moment, swept away in this void created by the wall of sound emanating from the stage.
The musicians on stage were just as lost, each solely involved with his instrument, each entrancing while simultaneously being entranced. To see this band live, is to feel like crying happy tears, with not being sure exactly why. They play on the emotions of the audience, skillfully hypnotizing us just as the Shamans of old. The performance of “Cleansing”, left me feeling as if I had witnessed something ancient being brought back to life. Throughout the whole performance there was a unification of the audience, and the musicians as if we had broken into the collective unconsciousness of the world and for a moment became a unit lost in this whirlwind. And that to me, is just what music should do.
Photos will be posted soon.
Rachel Pappila has studied classical music and folk music at the University level, and enjoys studying Folklore in her spare time. She is an avid metal and folk music fan lucky enough to be living in Helsinki, Finland. Currently, she has expanded her love of music to include photography and freelance writing. You can see more of her photography here or at liliumphotography.com.
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