AGALLOCH — The White EP (review)

AGALLOCH — The White EP album cover EP · 2008 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
The Angry Scotsman
Agalloch's lightest work, in terms of music, this album has very little metal on it. In fact it is almost entirely acoustic guitar, with some electric guitar sometimes fluttering around in the background, hardly any vocals and little percussion. So if you NEED metal...this is not for you. However, please don't look over this one!

"The Isle of Summer" starts with a sample from The Wicker Man of children chanting "we carry death out of the village" fading away as a folk riff comes in. The acoustic guitars carry on throughout as the only heaviness on the release is heard at one part. Some gentle electric guitar takes over near the end.

"Birch Black" has some great folk riffing with, not too heavy, electric guitar filling the background with tribal type pounding percussion and a powerful ending.

"Hollow Stone" is an electronic ambient piece.

"Pantheist" has a pretty similar feel to Birch Black. There are vocals on this song, limited to choir "aahs".

"Birch White" starts with perhaps my favorite riff on the album and features Haughm reciting A.S.J. Tessimond's poem "Birch Tree" in typical deep whispering fashion. His voice, over the absolutely awesome riffing and some bagpipe in the backdrop which adds a haunting, beautiful touch. My favorite song on the EP.

"Sowlio Rune" is quite slow and ambient. Very moving.

"Summerisle Reprise" is a solo piano piece which starts with a familiar sounding melody, I think it is similar to the opening track. The piece moves along at a slow pace, varying slowly throughout with some real subtle electronic ambiance and ends with another sample from The Wicker Man.

Obviously the movie had some impact on the band, and this EP seems more like a dedication to it, than inspired by it. A superb work that is honestly near perfect, but it is not a metal release at all. Not going to try and pretend it is. C'mon though, if you are listening to Agalloch you probably have some taste for non metal, and even if you don't I urge everyone to listen to this. Don't let acoustic folk scare you away, (if it even can) this is a superb work. Lots of awesome folk riffing, great movement both in every song and the overall album, not to mention stunning atmospheres. Agalloch are the masters of creating atmosphere and they do so again with the "The White".

A difficult one here, this is a near perfect release, however is not metal at all, but I simply can't give such a magnificent piece a low rating. A must for any Agalloch fan, and anyone who needs to some music to chill out with.

Four Stars
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