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Agalloch - The Mantle CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.11 | 305 ratings

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4 stars I find this to be a very seasonal album. For instance, if you live out in a rural area in a snowy place surrounded by forest, this is an ideal album. It's very wintery, with a production I can only describe as very forest-like. I live in a Canadian city with trees absolutely everywhere you look, so maybe I have an advantage in connecting with it, but who knows?

Anyways, as said before, it's best listened to in a forest/winter setting, preferably in a walk through snowy woods. If you're confined to the home, in the middle of a big city, or in a snowless region, fret not. This is still a very nice album, and quite dense for a sort of folk metal/black metal fusion. The production isn't crisp and clear, but it works much so to the albums advantage as it magnifies the winter forest feel the band is clearly aiming to achieve. So really, the production is impeccable to this one's ears. The vocals might take some getting used to. The harsh is a snarly black metal growl, and the clean is sort of uninteresting. It's not a large flaw though. The lyrics are somewhat hard to grasp, but often paint a beautiful portrait to go with the music. The softer parts of the album are led by a 12-string acoustic, which speaks for the bands folk metal side, and sometimes stretch out a bit too long. Other times it's perfect, and quite beautiful. The heavier parts actually don't feel so heavy, and if it weren't for the harsh vocals this probably wouldn't feel like a metal album at all.

So not everyone will enjoy this album. Some will find it boring and uninteresting, and some just won't be able to connect. Being a Canadian winter-forest boy, this might have increased my ability to enjoy this album, but who knows. Either way, I find it to be a diamond with a couple chips here and there. Close to masterpiece status, but just falls short of the honour. 4 stars.

DisgruntledPorcupine | 4/5 |


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