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Agalloch - From Which of this Oak  CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

2.84 | 24 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars The debut work by Agalloch, this may surprise fans of their later work.

This demo is the closest Agalloch got to black metal. While still closely rooted to black metal, (and indeed shares many of its tenets) even with this early release we see Agalloch branching off from the tree.

This is a pretty low fi recording, with a healthy bit of tremolo picking, double bass, blast beats, and raspy shrieks. However, this is not your standard black metal release. While raw, it's not nearly as low fi as most black metal. Which is good since you can hear everything but still get that raw, gritty black metal feel.

However, it's the songwriting that sets this apart from the norm, and makes it a really good album. These are not 7 minute long walls of frantically tremolo picked guitar and blast beats. Black metal is built on its simplistic, rarely changing song structures and sonic assaults. This demo has pretty progressive song writing, actual riffing and musical talent. There is even use of acoustic guitar and clean vocals. Not too often does the music descend into sonic barrages and in fact is often quite beautiful.

A really impressive demo. Even here Agalloch displays wonderful songwriting ability and creativity. The only other band I can think of with a similar sound at the time was Ulver, and while Garm may have created the atmospheric, progressive folk tinged style of black metal, this demo has a different feel than Ulver's work.

The second song can drag at times, and many metal heads will struggle with this style, either due to its progressive nature or rawness, but this is an impressive release.

I personally give "From Which of this Oak" a rating of THREE STARS, but while this album is progressive, it does not have enough actual prog for fans of non metal. If you have no taste for metal than this will be terrible for you. However, a good work for fans of metal. Therefore, for this site I give it a rating of:


JJLehto | 2/5 |


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