The Bellingham, WA trio Wild Throne formed in 2008 and started their career with a couple EPs, Boss Rhino and Brass Tactics, which came out in 2010 and 2012, respectively. They were called Dog Shredder back then, a name they abandoned in late 2013, probably because it unintentionally conjured up some ugly imagery. If they’d maybe put a semi-colon in there, it would have actually been a pretty apt moniker: Their music is equally vicious and fun (like a dog) and it absolutely shreds. After changing their handle to Wild Throne, they released an EP in February 2014 — called Blood Maker — a record that probably would have made my list of last year’s best if it had been five or six songs longer.
Now they’re set to drop their first full-length, Harvest Of Darkness (it’s got 11 songs, FYI), and it more than delivers on the promises made by the band on that EP and everything preceding it. Wild Throne is sort of a nondescript name, but again, some punctuation might help: This shit is totally feral and out of control, and it fucking rules. Like Blood Maker, Harvest Of Darkness was produced by Ross Robinson, a guy who’s forever associated with some of the worst music of all time, but who followed that chapter in his life by working behind the boards on a handful of the early aughts’ very best, most exciting, and most cult-beloved rock records, namely At The Drive-In’s Relationship Of Command, Glassjaw’s Worship & Tribute, and the Blood Brothers’ Burn, Piano Island, Burn. The music made by Wild Throne has a lot in common with those three albums — frenetic, explosive energy; radically unpredictable arrangements; skull-scorching performances that at points seem like they should be physically impossible — but even there, I’m presenting slightly misleading comparisons: Those three albums are utterly singular. Nothing else sounds like them. Even things that try to sound like them sound nothing like them. Even the other albums made by those bands and/or their component members sound nothing like those records.
And Wild Throne, too, are essentially peerless. Harvest Of Darkness is going to be studied like scripture by young woodshedders, but Wild Throne don’t just fire off pyrotechnics to dazzle jaw-dropped audiences. These are kickass, climactically structured songs that combine elements of arena rock, prog, psychedelia, and several metal subgenres; Wild Throne are often doing more in one song than some bands manage over entire careers, and still it somehow sounds … not effortless, exactly — because you can tell these guys put in the work — but absolutely natural. It’s like watching old Jordan highlights reels — the way he was just gliding and stunting and dunking, like everyone else on the court was there not to stop him or even feed him the ball, but to make his feats look more impressive. Harvest Of Darkness does that, too, and we’re streaming it in full today, a week ahead of its release. Start with track 2, “Shadow Deserts,” if you just want to gape in awe, but then go back and listen to the whole thing straight through. It’s an amazing experience, and one that only Wild Throne can deliver. Check it out.
09/30 Missoula, MT @ Palace
10/01 Billings, MT @ Pub Station
10/02 SLC , UT @ Urban Lounge
10/03 Ft. Collins, CO @ Aggie
10/05 Kansas City, MO @ Riot
10/06 St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
10/07 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
10/08 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
10/09 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
10/10 Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades
10/11 Philly, PA @ Underground Arts
10/13 Raleigh, NC @ Kings
10/14 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/16 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
10/17 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey
10/18 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
10/19 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
10/21 Albq, NM @ Launchpad
10/22 Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
10/23 San Diego,CA @ Casbah