Wooden Throne
Eternal Wanderer of the Night Sky

I usually check out almost all of the Purity Through Fire promos we get, as I usually know what I am getting; frosty or raw, or some sort of decent to excellent quality old school or second-wave inspired black metal, usually from Germany or Scandinavia. The likes of Eisenkult, Kryptamok, Mavorim, Noidva, and such have been examples of the better releases they have kicked out.

However, I was not expecting what I got when I opened the promo for the second album from Wooden Throne, the Finnish solo project from one Mikko Lehto, he of October Falls. So I was at least expecting something a little more atmospheric when considering October Falls‘s more doomy, ambient and light/dark hues. what I wasn’t expecting was an almost Summoning or Fathomage level of orchestral, moody, majestic black metal.

Even knowing Lehto’s other output, I thought Wooden Throne might be an outlet for a more aggressive, icy offering, ( admittedly I have not heard the debut) but here he leans really hard into the piano-driven melodies and somber, mopey pace, that’s certainly doomy, but also wondrous and befitting song titles like “The Autumnal Frost”, “Forward into Starless Abyss” and “Firm Roots of the Scarred North” and the title track, “Eternal Wanderer of the Night Sky”.

It’s all very subdued and majestically morose with that Summoning-paced moody march for most of the 35-minute, 6-song runtime, with Lehto providing a standard, pained black metal rasp over slightly tinny but atmospheric guitars. But on these songs, his ivory work and choral/symphonic backdrop is the star of the show. Especially standouts  “The Autumnal Frost” and “The Earthly Womb”. 

There is one slightly faster number in the penultimate song, “Firm Roots of the Scarred North”, which is a more traditional 90s symphonic/ melodic black metal track but is still driven by the superb piano work before closer “Talvikki” ends the album with a more despondent 7-minute number, ending the album with a nice dose of emotion.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 5th, 2023

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