Sorry for all the superlatives to come, but I’ve been freaking out over Washington State metal trio – Wild Throne for months now. Ever since I heard their four song Blood Maker EP, and the absolute atomic bomb of The Wrecking Ball Unchained, I knew this band was something special.
Today marks the release of their debut full-length – Harvest of Darkness on Roadrunner Records and it’s everything I thought it would be and more. Forget the explicit language sticker – this album should come with another sticker – “Warning – This record may cause seizures”.
Wild Throne don’t waste any time leading off with the title track, a frantic, furious song that changes time so much it could actually be four songs. Shadow Deserts enters the atmosphere at a million miles per hour, burning up before crashing to the ground. The buzzing swarm of Fear Yourself and the galloping of Lone Lust are followed by the almost quiet Radiohead opening of The Death of a Star. Well I said almost quiet.
The shoegaze tsunami of Blood Maker is followed by the insane punk-metal I of the Prism. War Is Romance and Born To Die are both monstrous tracks of Mars Volta madness, which leads to The Wrecking Ball Unchained. I can’t say enough about this song – it’s like a Balrog rising from the depths to annihilate anything in its path. This is simply a perfect example of the power of music.
The musicianship at play here is out-of-this-world. Remember this is a trio! Drummer Noah Burns plays like he has 15 arms, and along with Josh Holland’s frenzied guitar work and Jeff Johnson’s menacing bass, Wild Throne make quite a commotion. But for me it’s Holland’s voice that binds everything here together. His voice takes me back to the days when metal was about the voice – Halford, Udo, Tate, Dickinson; Holland has a little bit of all these guys happening, it’s quite remarkable.
Legendary producer Ross Robinson (At The Drive In, Machine Head, The Cure) manages to capture the frenetic energy of a band clearly swinging for the fence on the first pitch.
Wild Throne morphs and changes constantly throughout these 11 songs – metal, punk, prog, psychedelia, and straight up rock and roll. It’s like if Pink Floyd were a metal band. But one thing never happens – they never, ever take their foot off the pedal. You may even realize at the end of the record that you’ve been holding your breath.
One of my records of the year for sure. Buy it HERE!