AGALLOCH
Non-Metal / Black Metal / Folk Metal • United States

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Disenchanted and frustrated with the confines of their previous projects, Agalloch began in 1995 as the creation of John Haughm and Shane Breyer. In early 1996 in Portland, Oregon, USA, songs began to be produced by the duo and, during the summer, Don Anderson was added to the band to further refine the material. These songs would later become the From Which of This Oak demo tape in the autumn of that year. This recording showed a large amount of black metal influence, with an amount of material which would later appear on subsequent albums in one form or another. Shortly after the recording, Jason William Walton was added to the line up as bassist.

In 1998, the three recorded a new promotional tape solely for labels. It caught the attention of The End Records, who offered them a record contract, resulting in the Pale Folklore album. The album features
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DORNENREICH-IN LUFT GERITZT-CD-agalloch-ulver-folk-arcturus-opeth DORNENREICH-IN LUFT GERITZT-CD-agalloch-ulver-folk-arcturus-opeth USD $11.99 Buy It Now 1h 12m
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2h 8m
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2h 24m
RUDRA brahmavidya:immortal ORIG 2011 SONIC BLAST-SEALED!-agalloch,windir,alcest RUDRA brahmavidya:immortal ORIG 2011 SONIC BLAST-SEALED!-agalloch,windir,alcest USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 27m
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RUDRA rudra ORIG 1998 CANDLELIGHT RECORDS-agalloch,windir,alcest,wintersun,absu RUDRA rudra ORIG 1998 CANDLELIGHT RECORDS-agalloch,windir,alcest,wintersun,absu USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2h 48m
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Desolation - The Stone Oracles CD Agalloch Novembre Desolation - The Stone Oracles CD Agalloch Novembre USD $2.92 (1 bids)
15h
Orpheus - Philosopher of the Sublime - CD - Bathory, Forefather, Agalloch Orpheus - Philosopher of the Sublime - CD - Bathory, Forefather, Agalloch USD $4.87 Buy It Now 17h
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21h
FEN - FEN - "The Malediction Fields" DLP Brown vinyl ALCEST AGALLOCH USD $36.00 Buy It Now 22h
POTENTIAM orka i myrkri ORIG 2004 WOUNDED LOVE REC-agalloch,nargaroth,alcest,fen POTENTIAM orka i myrkri ORIG 2004 WOUNDED LOVE REC-agalloch,nargaroth,alcest,fen USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Mathias Grassow & John Haughm - Mosaic LP - Blue Vinyl - NEW COPY - Agalloch Mathias Grassow & John Haughm - Mosaic LP - Blue Vinyl - NEW COPY - Agalloch USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Mathias Grassow & John Haughm - Mosaic LP - Black Vinyl - NEW COPY - Agalloch Mathias Grassow & John Haughm - Mosaic LP - Black Vinyl - NEW COPY - Agalloch USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
FJOERGYN jahreszeiten ORIG 2009 DIGIPAK TROLLZORN-agalloch,nargaroth,alcest,fen FJOERGYN jahreszeiten ORIG 2009 DIGIPAK TROLLZORN-agalloch,nargaroth,alcest,fen USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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1 day
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Agalloch ‎– The Mantle CD BRAND NEW! FREE SHIPPING! Agalloch ‎– The Mantle CD BRAND NEW! FREE SHIPPING! USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ULVER Bergtatt MC CASSETTE AGALLOCH, EMPYRIUM, TAAKE, MANES, BORKNAGAR ULVER Bergtatt MC CASSETTE AGALLOCH, EMPYRIUM, TAAKE, MANES, BORKNAGAR USD $54.99 Buy It Now 1 day
THE MORNINGSIDE 2016 Yellow CD Dark Metal Post Rock Katatonia Agalloch Opeth THE MORNINGSIDE 2016 Yellow CD Dark Metal Post Rock Katatonia Agalloch Opeth USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ANCIENT WISDOM The Calling 1997 MC CASSETTE AGALLOCH, SATYRICON, STORM ANCIENT WISDOM The Calling 1997 MC CASSETTE AGALLOCH, SATYRICON, STORM USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KAUAN Muistumia CD 2014 Blood Music Post-Rock Atmospheric Doom Empyrium Agalloch KAUAN Muistumia CD 2014 Blood Music Post-Rock Atmospheric Doom Empyrium Agalloch USD $13.90 Buy It Now 1 day
Agalloch-The Mantle CD NEW Agalloch-The Mantle CD NEW USD $10.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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Agalloch - The Serpent and The Sphere CD NEW Agalloch - The Serpent and The Sphere CD NEW USD $21.58 Buy It Now 2 days
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CRUACHAN tuatha na gael ORIG 1995 NAZGUL'S EYRIE PROD.-alcest,agalloch,drudkh CRUACHAN tuatha na gael ORIG 1995 NAZGUL'S EYRIE PROD.-alcest,agalloch,drudkh USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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AGALLOCH - THE SERPENT & THE SPHERE (LTD.DELUXE DIGIPACK)  CD NEW+ AGALLOCH - THE SERPENT & THE SPHERE (LTD.DELUXE DIGIPACK) CD NEW+ USD $24.53 Buy It Now 3 days
AGALLOCH marrow the spirit ORIG 2010 VIVA HATE SPECIAL EDITION-katatonia,opeth AGALLOCH marrow the spirit ORIG 2010 VIVA HATE SPECIAL EDITION-katatonia,opeth USD $39.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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WYRD wrath & revenge ORIG 2005 OMVINA-agalloch,windir,wolves in the throne room WYRD wrath & revenge ORIG 2005 OMVINA-agalloch,windir,wolves in the throne room USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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WYRD ghost album ORIG 2009 KREATION RECORDS-wolves in the throne room,agalloch WYRD ghost album ORIG 2009 KREATION RECORDS-wolves in the throne room,agalloch USD $13.99 Buy It Now 3 days
DRUDKH DRUDKH "Songs of Grief and Solitude" LP hate forest agalloch USD $43.87 (0 bids)
3 days
DRUDKH DRUDKH "Blood In Our Wells" LP hate forest agalloch USD $58.49 (0 bids)
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DRUDKH DRUDKH "The Swan Road" LP 2010 hate forest agalloch USD $36.56 (0 bids)
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Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit - CD master Testpress Ultra rare LOT the mental Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit - CD master Testpress Ultra rare LOT the mental USD $499.00 Buy It Now 3 days
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4 days
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS - BECOMING CD WOLVES OF THE THRONE ROOM DARKTHRONE AGALLOCH ABIGAIL WILLIAMS - BECOMING CD WOLVES OF THE THRONE ROOM DARKTHRONE AGALLOCH USD $6.66 (0 bids)
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4 days
BEFORE THE DAWN - 4:17 / ORG PROMO CD 2004 Katatonia Agalloch Cemetary BEFORE THE DAWN - 4:17 / ORG PROMO CD 2004 Katatonia Agalloch Cemetary USD $9.99 (0 bids)
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THE MORNINGSIDE 2009 Moving Crosscurrent Of Time CD Katatonia Agalloch Opeth THE MORNINGSIDE 2009 Moving Crosscurrent Of Time CD Katatonia Agalloch Opeth USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4 days
AVENGER fall of devotion ORIG 1999 BREATH OF NIGHT-alcest,lantlos,agalloch,absu AVENGER fall of devotion ORIG 1999 BREATH OF NIGHT-alcest,lantlos,agalloch,absu USD $69.99 Buy It Now 5 days
ulver - childhood's end cd digi  alcest agalloch arcturus ulver - childhood's end cd digi alcest agalloch arcturus USD $11.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Agalloch The Grey EP CD RARE NEW FACTORY SEALED Limited to 1000 black metal Agalloch The Grey EP CD RARE NEW FACTORY SEALED Limited to 1000 black metal USD $89.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Wolverine The Window Purpose CD 2005 Prog Metal Dark Suns Katatonia Agalloch OSI Wolverine The Window Purpose CD 2005 Prog Metal Dark Suns Katatonia Agalloch OSI USD $7.99 Buy It Now 5 days
ANCIENT night visit ORIG 2004 DIGIPAK METAL BLADE-agalloch,alcest,les discrets ANCIENT night visit ORIG 2004 DIGIPAK METAL BLADE-agalloch,alcest,les discrets USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5 days
LEVIATHAN/SAPTHURAN - xasthur wolves in the throne room velvet cacoon agalloch LEVIATHAN/SAPTHURAN - xasthur wolves in the throne room velvet cacoon agalloch USD $5.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Agalloch Marrow of the Spirit Double 12 Agalloch Marrow of the Spirit Double 12" Vinyl picture Disc LP Fauna Drudkh USD $60.00 (0 bids)
6 days
GODGORY way beyond ORIG 2001 NUCLEAR BLAST-crematory,agalloch,alcest,unholy,absu GODGORY way beyond ORIG 2001 NUCLEAR BLAST-crematory,agalloch,alcest,unholy,absu USD $14.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Circadian - Flanking the Black Moose CD OOP Limited Agalloch RARE Noise Circadian - Flanking the Black Moose CD OOP Limited Agalloch RARE Noise USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Nothing - Silence Came Back In CD OOP Limited Agalloch RARE import Nothing - Silence Came Back In CD OOP Limited Agalloch RARE import USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Nothing - The Grey Subaudible CD RARE OOP import First Pressing Agalloch Lycia Nothing - The Grey Subaudible CD RARE OOP import First Pressing Agalloch Lycia USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6 days
AVENGER shadows of the damned ORIG 1998 BREATH OF NIGHT-agalloch,alcest,dawn AVENGER shadows of the damned ORIG 1998 BREATH OF NIGHT-agalloch,alcest,dawn USD $79.99 Buy It Now 6 days
LUX OCCULTA forever alone immortal ORIG 1996 PAGAN REC-agalloch,alcest,wind LUX OCCULTA forever alone immortal ORIG 1996 PAGAN REC-agalloch,alcest,wind USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6 days
LUX OCCULTA my guardian angel ORIG 1999 PAGAN RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,windir LUX OCCULTA my guardian angel ORIG 1999 PAGAN RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,windir USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6 days
AGALLOCH / NEST - THE WOLVES OF TIMBERLINE / LAST VESTIGE OF OLD JOY 10 AGALLOCH / NEST - THE WOLVES OF TIMBERLINE / LAST VESTIGE OF OLD JOY 10" NEW! USD $119.99 Buy It Now 6 days
THE ELEMENTAL CHRYSALIS The Dark Path To Spiritual Expansion 2xCD Agalloch THE ELEMENTAL CHRYSALIS The Dark Path To Spiritual Expansion 2xCD Agalloch USD $8.98 (0 bids)
6 days
EPOCH OF UNLIGHT Beyond The Pale 1994 Demo Tape Absu Incantation Agalloch USBM EPOCH OF UNLIGHT Beyond The Pale 1994 Demo Tape Absu Incantation Agalloch USBM USD $20.00 Buy It Now 7 days
The Mantle by Agalloch (CD, Aug-2002, The End) The Mantle by Agalloch (CD, Aug-2002, The End) USD $8.00 Buy It Now 7 days
AGALLOCH - The Serpent & The Sphere Digipak CD 2014 Profound Lore New/Sealed AGALLOCH - The Serpent & The Sphere Digipak CD 2014 Profound Lore New/Sealed USD $12.99 Buy It Now 7 days
AGALLOCH - Pale Folklore CD 1999 The End Records New/Sealed AGALLOCH - Pale Folklore CD 1999 The End Records New/Sealed USD $10.99 Buy It Now 7 days
MITHOTYN in the sign of the ravens ORIG 1997 BLACK DIAMOND-windir,agalloch,ulver MITHOTYN in the sign of the ravens ORIG 1997 BLACK DIAMOND-windir,agalloch,ulver USD $39.99 Buy It Now 7 days
MITHOTYN king of the distant forest ORIG 1998 INVASION REC-agalloch,ulver,alcest MITHOTYN king of the distant forest ORIG 1998 INVASION REC-agalloch,ulver,alcest USD $39.99 Buy It Now 7 days
DEPRESY a grand magnificence EP ORIG 1998 SHINDY PROD-agalloch,alcest,ulver DEPRESY a grand magnificence EP ORIG 1998 SHINDY PROD-agalloch,alcest,ulver USD $29.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere NEW CD Digi Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere NEW CD Digi USD $18.25 Buy It Now 7 days
TUMULUS Winter Wood CD obscure Russian pagan folk/prog metal SCALD agalloch NEW TUMULUS Winter Wood CD obscure Russian pagan folk/prog metal SCALD agalloch NEW USD $11.98 Buy It Now 7 days
VINTERSORG - ODEMARKENS SON CD 2005 EMPYRIUM BORKNAGAR AGALLOCH ENSLAVED VINTERSORG - ODEMARKENS SON CD 2005 EMPYRIUM BORKNAGAR AGALLOCH ENSLAVED USD $9.34 Buy It Now 7 days
KATATONIA LP For Funerals To Come opeth agalloch SEALED KATATONIA LP For Funerals To Come opeth agalloch SEALED USD $20.00 Buy It Now 8 days
PRIMORDIAL storm before the calm ORIG 2002 HAMMERHEART REC-agalloch,alcest,absu PRIMORDIAL storm before the calm ORIG 2002 HAMMERHEART REC-agalloch,alcest,absu USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8 days
PRIMORDIAL spirit the earth aflame ORIG 2000 DIGIPAK HAMMERHEART REC-agalloch PRIMORDIAL spirit the earth aflame ORIG 2000 DIGIPAK HAMMERHEART REC-agalloch USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8 days
SOLEFALD pills against the ageless ills ORIG 2001 DIGIPAK CENTURY MEDIA-agalloch SOLEFALD pills against the ageless ills ORIG 2001 DIGIPAK CENTURY MEDIA-agalloch USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8 days
HELHEIM yersinia pestis ORIG 2003 MASSACRE RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,les discrets HELHEIM yersinia pestis ORIG 2003 MASSACRE RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,les discrets USD $34.99 Buy It Now 8 days
HELHEIM jormundgand ORIG 1995 SOLISTITIUM RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,les discrets HELHEIM jormundgand ORIG 1995 SOLISTITIUM RECORDS-agalloch,alcest,les discrets USD $39.99 Buy It Now 8 days
KARG-APATHIE-DIGI-ambient-depressive-black-agalloch-schattenlicht-schabbock KARG-APATHIE-DIGI-ambient-depressive-black-agalloch-schattenlicht-schabbock USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Of Stone, Wind and Pillor by Agalloch, NEW, ULTRARE! Ltd. to 1000 copies! Of Stone, Wind and Pillor by Agalloch, NEW, ULTRARE! Ltd. to 1000 copies! USD $129.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Agalloch Faustian echoes lp 2012 KH007 N.Mint Agalloch Faustian echoes lp 2012 KH007 N.Mint USD $50.00 Buy It Now 9 days
YEARNING plaintive scenes ORIG 1999 DIGIPAK HOLY REC-SEALED!-agalloch,alcest YEARNING plaintive scenes ORIG 1999 DIGIPAK HOLY REC-SEALED!-agalloch,alcest USD $34.99 Buy It Now 9 days
MARBLEBOG forestheart ORIG 2005 TANHU REC/STUNDE DES-agalloch,les discrets MARBLEBOG forestheart ORIG 2005 TANHU REC/STUNDE DES-agalloch,les discrets USD $69.99 Buy It Now 9 days
FOREFATHER legends untold ORIG 2000 MILLENIUM MUSIC-absu,agalloch,alcest,windir FOREFATHER legends untold ORIG 2000 MILLENIUM MUSIC-absu,agalloch,alcest,windir USD $39.99 Buy It Now 9 days
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The Mantle (Remastered) (2xLP Gatefold Vinyl)The Mantle (Remastered) (2xLP Gatefold Vinyl)
The End Records 2016
Vinyl$29.98
Pale FolklorePale Folklore
The End Records 2002
Audio CD$9.28
$6.94 (used)
Marrow of the SpiritMarrow of the Spirit
Profound Lore 2010
Audio CD$16.50
$12.98 (used)
The Serpent & The SphereThe Serpent & The Sphere
Profound Lore 2014
Audio CD$8.99
$7.02 (used)
Ashes Against The Grain (Remastered) (2xLP Gatefold Vinyl)Ashes Against The Grain (Remastered) (2xLP Gatefold Vinyl)
The End Records 2016
Vinyl$29.98
Faustian Echoes EPFaustian Echoes EP
Dammerung Arts
Audio CD$18.99
Of Stone, Wind, and PillorOf Stone, Wind, and Pillor
The End Records 2002
Audio CD$47.56 (used)
The Grey EPThe Grey EP
Vendlus Records
Audio CD$149.99
$83.88 (used)
Ashes Against the Grain by AGALLOCH (2006-08-15)Ashes Against the Grain by AGALLOCH (2006-08-15)
The End Records
Audio CD$27.04
$25.50 (used)
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AGALLOCH Discography

AGALLOCH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.72 | 30 ratings
Pale Folklore
Folk Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.21 | 64 ratings
The Mantle
Folk Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.97 | 49 ratings
Ashes Against the Grain
Folk Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 4.06 | 38 ratings
Marrow of the Spirit
Black Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 3.67 | 12 ratings
The Serpent & the Sphere
Black Metal 2014

AGALLOCH EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.94 | 11 ratings
Of Stone, Wind, and Pillor
Folk Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 2.38 | 7 ratings
Tomorrow Will Never Come
Non-Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 1.83 | 8 ratings
The Grey EP
Non-Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Agalloch / Nest
Non-Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.85 | 12 ratings
The White EP
Non-Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 16 ratings
Faustian Echoes
Black Metal 2012

AGALLOCH live albums

AGALLOCH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 2.93 | 9 ratings
From Which Of This Oak
Black Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Promo 1998
Black Metal 1998

AGALLOCH boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 2.80 | 3 ratings
The Demonstration Archive 1996-1998
Black Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Compendium Archive 1996-2006
Black Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
The Wooden Box
Folk Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Whitedivisiongrey
Non-Metal 2011

AGALLOCH singles (3)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nihil Totem
Non-Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Weight of Darkness
Non-Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Alpha Serpentis (Unukalhai)
Non-Metal 2014

AGALLOCH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Silence of Forgotten Landscapes
Folk Metal 2009

AGALLOCH Reviews

AGALLOCH Ashes Against the Grain

Album · 2006 · Folk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
The difference between your average black metal band and Agalloch is like the difference between the populist fiction of Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and a literary classic like Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Other bands write songs. Agalloch compose symphonies in miniature. Agalloch’s third full length album ‘Ashes against the Grain’ meshes metal seamlessly with classical instrumentation, ambient vistas, and powerful dynamics. Despite the complexity of the songs and the multi-faceted influences, this is still undoubtedly a metal album. ‘Limbs’ begins with an alternative rock sounding intro leads into a gothic acoustic section, with electric guitars playing like a distant echo, and builds to a doom crescendo. Then John Haughm opens his mouth and unleashes an abrasive vocal tirade, and without the listener realising it, the song has become distinctly black metal in character. Suddenly it breaks into disconsolate acoustics, and then the dread-laden music returns. Second track ‘Falling Snow’ throws in a livelier, almost hopeful riff, to contrast the previous song. It has less of the complexity, instead relying on a forcible beat, powered by driving double kick drums and a cascade of cymbals. Haughm also introduces vocal contrast, with a second voice of monastic clarity. This definitely isn’t music for anyone wanting a simple three-minute blast of high tempo metal. Only the ambient ‘This White Mountain on Which You Will Die’ clocks under five minutes, and several tracks approach in excess of double that. There is also an elemental, natural theme running through the album, interwoven with martial motifs. ‘Our Fortress Is Burning...’, ‘Bloodbirds’ and ‘The Grain’ form an epic trilogy to close the album. ‘Our Fortress Is Burning’ seems like a gentle instrumental, but has some tormented effects playing behind the main melody. ‘Bloodbirds’ continues with a dreamy air to it, and eventually hits a multi-layered guitar overdrive. Huge slabs of distortion and guitar effects grate together like tectonic plates on ‘The Grain’, eventually grinding down to nothingness and fading into the ether. This is an album to play to non-metal fans who think metal is all noise, and non-black metal metal fans who love to mock badgers in bullet belts. The music is not entirely in your face, instead swelling from humble beginnings, but scales some unexpected extremes. Only the cuts and contrasts allow you to realise how far Agalloch has taken you. Anyone undertaking the journey of this album will feel more than fulfilled.

AGALLOCH The Serpent & the Sphere

Album · 2014 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
bartosso
Spiritual Oregano

Hello and welcome to my first Agalloch review. Open your eyes, raise your arms and behold the beauty of the universe... You may wonder what's the reason for such a theatrical introduction, so I hasten to explain that primo, Agalloch has never started an album with a more exalted track than "Birth and Death of the Pillars of Creation" (oh come on, really?). Secundo, the whole album is incredibly solemn. So, I just had to keep pace with the band, you see! The Serpent and the Sphere is the fifth LP from Agalloch, preceded by bleak and raw Marrow of the Spirit. This one on the other hand is much more accessible. And here's why...

Before I tell you why, one more thing. Don't think I'm belittling the concept behind this album. If only for how consistent every Agalloch album is, the band should be praised. As usual music, artwork and lyrics complete each other and create a stunningly atmospheric whole. Still, even though the sound production fits the music on The Serpent and the Sphere pretty well, I can't help but miss the raw black metal sound of the previous record. Agalloch's music relies on atmospheric layers rather than composition complexity and doesn't really need such a polished sound production. It just seems more genuine with a rawer one. Songwriting itself is strong as ever, even if I got a deja vu more than once. While Agalloch don't necessarily get stale, the polished sound would allow of more experimental approach. What we got instead is an atmospheric doom/black metal album that sounds a tad less post-metal. Neo-folk influences, on the other hand seem to have gained more ground. I may not like all the changes in direction but, despite all that, it's a very enjoyable and catchy record. Just another proof that Agalloch's got the magic, no matter what!

Every so often I catch myself turning a blind eye to anything that, in my humble opinion, Agalloch does wrong. Songwriting is sometimes rough, and pathos sometimes too abundant. Yet still this music is so honest and genuine that I can't help but get carried away with it. Even though a little less bold than before, Agalloch still stands out as one of the more original extreme metal acts. All fans of atmospheric metal should give this album a go, especially newcomers, as The Serpent and the Sphere is their most accessible release to date.

..::Originally written for: shrineofllyria.blogspot.com ::..

AGALLOCH The Serpent & the Sphere

Album · 2014 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"The Serpent & the Sphere" is the 5th full-length studio album by US doom/black metal act Agalloch. The album was released through Profound Lore Records in May 2014. It´s been 4 years since the release of "Marrow of the Spirit (2010)", but looking down over their discography that seems to be their regular release cycle for studio albums. Agalloch have however released the "Whitedivisiongrey (2011)" compilation and the "Faustian Echoes (2012)" EP to bridge the gap between the two studio albums.

The music on "The Serpent & the Sphere" pretty much continues down the atmospheric and epic doom/black metal path that the band also tread on "Marrow of the Spirit (2010)". It´s a music style that´s actually a bit hard to describe correctly as it also features elements of folk, goth, post rock, and progressive rock. The only "real" black metal trait in the music is the raspy and raw vocals, which are occasionally whispering instead. Otherwise this is predominantly heavy, atmospheric and epic extreme metal. It´s very dynamic music with both grand massive sections and beautiful mellow acoustic moments.

The album features 9 tracks and a full playing time of 59:58 minutes. There´re everything from 3 to 5 minutes long tracks to tracks like "Birth and Death of the Pillars of Creation" (which features an opening that screams My Dying Bride) and "Plateau of the Ages", that both exceed the 10 minutes mark. As something extraordinary Canadian neo-folk musician Nathanaël Larochette has written and performs some acoustic guitar pieces, that work as little breathers between the more metal oriented tracks.

"The Serpent & the Sphere" is a well produced album featuring a warm, heavy and organic sound, which suits the music well and overall it´s another high quality release by Agalloch. It´s not their most creative release but it´s still adventurous and well played and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

AGALLOCH The Serpent & the Sphere

Album · 2014 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Angry Scotsman
The masters of atmospheric metal are back with their latest release.

"The Serpent & the Sphere" feels like a continuation of "Ashes Against the Grain" in that Agalloch continues to drift from their black metal tendencies, (even if they were always tempered with folk and prog) with more focus on black metal aesthetics, atmosphere and song writing. While Haughm's classic raw, gravely rasps remain, there are very few blast beats to be found, and indeed the overall album has a less intense pace and feel to it. The songs are mid paced and far more subdued than their last album, "Marrow of the Spirit". In fact, I'd say "The Serpent & the Sphere" is more subdued than their overall body of work, which has never been a stranger to tremolo picked guitar work, or bludgeoning. Not to say these aspects are absent, (there's even some good ol double bass chain drumming) but there just seems to be "less" of everything, if that makes sense. A more sparse, less heavy feel to the music. Certainly less intensity, and even more acoustic/light guitar. The balance between light, melodic passages and heavy, raw passages seems to have tipped definitively towards the former.

The tone of the music itself is cleaner and lighter than "Marrow of the Spirit", which admittedly took a bit of adjustment..I am used to Agalloch loud, buzzing, fuzzy guitar noise. My natural inclination upon first hearing this is "flat" or "lacking power" but of course it just is different sounding. I personally applaud the band for the lighter style.

This is perhaps not unexpected, as Agalloch was moving progressively in this direction until they released Marrow. So maybe the style is what we should have expected, is it successful?

Of course.

The songwriting as solid as ever. Textured, layered guitar work with riffs and melodies to die for, (even if they are lesser on this album than previous) and songs that move like a river, drifting but not without direction. There are a few other minor changes, such as more prominent bass, and a smidge "more" to the drumming than is typical. The songs are shorter than usual, and this album has a continuous flow to it, with segue pieces to connect the songs elegantly.

So overall, another solid, (if unspectacular) output from Agalloch, and as we know solid from them is better than most other bands could hope for. I will be sure to give this album many listens over the near future, and like all their other albums I'm sure this album will grow on me more and more.

Three and a Half Stars

AGALLOCH Marrow of the Spirit

Album · 2010 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
On Marrow of the Spirit, Agalloch dial back the folk a little bit compared to Ashes Against the Grain - it's not that they turn their back on folk metal, there's still aspects of it here, but equally they set themselves a sonic agenda so rich here that folk needs to step over to make room for everything else. With post-rock in the style of Godspeed You Black Emperor blending into Alcest-style "blackgaze" blending into more pure black metal bellows and doom metal dirges, it's a rich feast of sounds, but what's most impressive about it is the way Agalloch are able to assemble it into a coherent whole such that all of these distinct flavours blend into each other and seem to fit together.

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