Agalloch is a soft, resinous wood with a highly aromatic smell that is often used as parfume or incense in many asian countries. If that was the paragon for the band to choose their name is left open, but that they’re quite popular as well is a fact. Read on, if you want to know if they could keep the level of their first three albums or if they did subside.
The band was founded in 1995 in the USA, whereby they could be seen as “oldies” of black metal. During their career they developed their style to atmospheric Folk Metal with Black Metal influences and therefore Marrow Of The Spirit is introduced by an natural, calm sound.
Of course, this quiet beginning isn’t always chosen in the following tracks, especially the second song Into The Painted Grey starts a lot harder. Nevertheless, all songs have something in common: Agalloch focused on the melodic leading and, for sure, on the atmosphere, whereat you could hear some outbreaks concerning the highs which do not completely fit into the composition.
The balance between melodic, natural parts, which figuratively carry you off into the woods, and black metal parts is really good. The vocals vary between hoarse black metal screaming to shivering whispers.
According to the melodies, Agalloch might have inspired a lot of bands, such as Gallowbraid or partly Ov Hollowness, as you find similar songstructures, concepts and melodies quite often. But not only Agalloch inspire, they are also inspired by other bands, for instance you could name Drudkh here, since the sound approaches.
Anyway, the album contains of six songs but these last for at all 1:09:31 hours. You might have recognized: The songs are overlong but they didn’t become boring and keep a solid arc of suspense, due to creative songwriting and well chosen input of stylistic elements. In case of production, the vocals could have been mixed more into the foreground from time to time, but all in all it’s a proper production and there’s nothing to complain about since it’s a matter of taste.
Agalloch‘s new album doesn’t disappoint their fans, in fact they should have gained even more. The songwriting is clearer than in the older albums and the merging of different styles is better than ever. One single, little flaw is the last song To Drown, which is beautiful atmospheric halfway through but then becomes kind of chaotic, but that’s a question of taste. So, to come to an end the album might be the best of the band history so far, buy it!
- They Escaped The Weight Of Dark…
- Into The Painted Grey
- The Watcher’s Monolith
- Black Lake Nidstång
- Ghosts Of The Midwinter Fires
- To Drown