Jonathan Smith

Altar of Plagues – Mammal

The second full-length release from Ireland’s Altar of Plagues is an achievement that builds upon (and surpasses) their first album in almost every way. White Tomb was (and still is) a fantastic album, but Mammal is the product of a band with a more unique identity and more matured skills.

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM: The Hellbound Interview

“It’s really not our place to tell anyone how to do anything, or to make any sort of suggestion about how people should live. That’s something that we’ve never wanted to do and we never will do. That’s something that happens in a lot of music. A lot of punk music in particular has a political agenda of trying to convince someone of something. We’ve always been against that, and we’ve never wanted to appear that we’re sitting on a high horse trying to lead people. As you mentioned, living like we do is not an option for most people. It’s appropriate for us, but it’s just for us.”

Jonathan Smith in conversation with Aaron Weaver of Wolves In The Throne Room

Falloch – Where Distant Spirits Remain

Where Distant Spirits Remain is not the strongest release of its ilk this year, but overall it’s a good debut that shows much future potential and talent. The biggest issues found here (vocals that don’t always fit in as well as tendencies toward being long-winded) are hazards of the band’s chosen style, and both are issues that could very well be addressed by the next release.


“Pausing only to remind the crowd to not take flash photos and to thank people for coming out, the band tore their way through three other songs (including a particularly inspired rendition of “I Will Lay Down My Bones Among The Rocks and Roots”). One of the appeals of a Wolves in the Throne Room performance is their ability to put their music where their mouth is and concentrate solely on creating a wall of atmospheric, ambient noise as opposed to highlighting individual performances.”

Jonathan Smith reviews the September 6th Toronto performance by Wolves In The Throne Room, Thou and more.

Sepultura – Kairos

Kairos is definitely an album produced by a band that has seemingly stuck to their guns even when their decisions have divided their fan base. While not a huge progressive leap forward, it’s a great listen.