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Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit CD (album) cover

MARROW OF THE SPIRIT

Agalloch

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.78 | 162 ratings

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Ramma
1 stars For me this was easily the most anticipated album of the decade. Both The Mantle and Ashes are two of the most original superb albums ever released. I struggle to think of anything else that I have listened to as much as these 2 albums.

I almost wet myself upon seeing that finally a new release was out and then within 5 minutes of listening I could have cried.

This album is tragic. I don't mean as in subject matter, I mean in terms of everything. The musicianship is terrible, vocals amateurish, other than the very rare great riff here and there I have absolutely nothing positive to say about this album which is why I rate it as for completionists only. And given I would put myself in this category, perhaps a zero would have been more appropriate.

I cannot understand what the other reviewers see here and can only assume they are voting blindly on past successes. So lets talk about the album.

First, the clean vocals are gone. Why? Given Agalloch has always been about the melody I am gobsmacked they have decided to do this instead sticking with their death/doom vocal style exclusively which at times even rises to a high pitched ridiculous doom style moan. The clean vocals was their hook and defined their style.

Second, it is evident from the second song (the first is series of pleasant nature sounds) that the band have opted for more of a non-melodic break neck speed uninteresting guitar sound more along the lines of extreme metal. The sound is a little more reminiscent of the Pale Folklore album but no where near as tight. Perhaps this is due to the third point.

Third, the new drummer's drumming is dreadful. Cliche driven aimless pounding. I can't even put into words how amateurish an effort it is. My 6 year old son learning the drums could have put in a finer effort.

I could ramble on for hours but at the end of the day I've given this album multiple spins trying to work out what I'm missing and just can't. It is frankly dreadful from beginning to end. This is such a radical departure from the maturity shown with the last albums you'd think it was another band inspired by Agalloch and recording having spent a whole of 4 days practicing and recording since inception. Given the number of years it took to assemble god knows what went wrong!

I would strongly recommend even the most die-hard fan of Agalloch's past material, such as myself, seriously listen to samples before you buy. I do not say this lightly, but there is absolutely nothing positive to say about this album at all. Agalloch has fallen back into the ranks of amateur nobodies and this is truly tragic.

Ramma | 1/5 |

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