1. Wolves In The Throne Room – Diadem Of 12 Stars (2006)
Diadem of 12 Stars
is nothing shy of a masterpiece, easily the greatest black metal album of the 21st
century, if not of all time.
Singlehandedly, the debut album from Washington’s despondent
power trio Wolves in the Throne Room raised the black metal bar, giving the
subgenre an intellectual appeal and progressive intelligence that even those outside the heavy metal subculture could identify. Instead of being a lo-fi take on thrash
and death metal hailing from the snowy wastes of Norway that perpetuated
nothing but anger and hatred, Diadem of
12 Stars took black metal mainstays like frenetic riffing, quick drumming
and faded, wailing vocals and expanded upon them in ways never before thought
Wolves in the Throne Room took black metal’s intrinsic
individual parts and knitted them together with darkly ambient interludes,
progressive song lengths and Agalloch-like folk, resulting in a debut that many
now call the cornerstone of “post-black metal”, a style that would be cemented
with the breakthroughs of Alcest, Altar of Plagues and Deafheaven soon after.
And thanks to new names like Ghost Bath and Zeal & Ardor
alongside a still-escalating Wolves in the Throne Room, black metal is
continually stepping forward into a new, more experimental era. And it all started with Diadem of 12 Stars.