I thought it’s time, according to my recent references, to review the last (and first!) release of Gallowbraid! Like you might see, Gallowbraid are playing atmospheric folk/black metal and therefore are following the footsteps of Agalloch. Interested? Read on!
Gallowbraid were founded in 2006 in the USA by the first and only member Jake Rogers. Ashen Eidolon is his only release yet, but got an record deal with Northern Silence Productions which could be an evidence for quality.
The EP consists of four songs, whereby two of those songs are interludes, respectively loosening instrumentals. Although there are just two “real” songs, the EP has approximately 35 minutes of playing time, what’s to ascribe to those two songs which play over eleven minutes.
Those who might think, that those songs are linear and little surprising are mistaken, as you will see as early as in the titletrack. Rogers mobilises his full soundarsenal, fast melodic riffs fluently with hoarse growls migrate to calm acoustic parts with clean, opera like vocals.
The mix of aggressive and calm passages causes goosepimpels and so time passes by in a flash. The first of two instrumentals creates a calm, autumn-like melancholy atmosphere, which gets provided by choral-vocals. This atmosphere gets transferred into the second “real” song.
Oaken and Aspen is really calm compared with the titletrack but still not bad. The delicacy of feeling gets loosen and so the sound is more brachial, without losing the aspect of melancholy though. Especially the outro of this song creates something really special these day, but it won’t be spoiled what that might be!
The composition of this EP is of a really high standard and so the arc of suspense is really good in all of the songs, although two of them are overlong. The instrumentation is good as well, because Rogers hired some session musicians to relinquish synthesized instruments. There’s no flaw in terms of production as well.
Rogers accomplishes that, what most bands don’t manage: He creates a really moody and nearly perfect piece of art. The only real flaw is the first instrumental, not because it’s bad at all, but a bit too long in my opinion. Everyone who would call himself a fan of Agalloch, or even those who like Ov Hollowness and co, should try to listen to it!
|3.||Oaken Halls of Sorrow||11:23|
|Total playing time||31:39|