AGALLOCH — Ashes Against the Grain (review)

AGALLOCH — Ashes Against the Grain album cover Album · 2006 · Folk Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
bonnek
My encountry wasn't love at first sight. It sure sounded interesting but at first I thought it to be too similar to Opeth. I couldn't be more wrong. Sure it has heavy and harsh parts mixed with gentle and melodic parts but the way this music flows is entirely different from Opeth.

What you get with Agalloch is an organic and spontaneous flow of music that goes through the motions step by step: it builds up tension and releases it, it works up from gentle atmospheric to big orgiastic climaxes. Opeth is much more mathematical: 4 bars loud, 8 bars of acoustics, 4 bars loud again 16 bars something else and so on. In fact, with reference to composition, Agalloch sits closer to bands like Anathema or Neurosis, who, even though they create a very different type of music, they both share that same natural flow.

The reason I spent so long on that argument is because it explains why you need to sit through this entire album in one go. Each individual song is great by itself but together they build up to something that is larger then life. Actually, despite the spare instrumentation this album contains the most epic music I’ve ever heard.

So I will avoid a track by track overview. The entire album is brilliant, the epic feel is out of this world but never bombastic, the chants are gorgeous and the production is at the same crystal clear, rough and organic. And I am quite sure there is not one other band that can be compared to them. What more do you need?
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