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Agalloch The Demonstration Archive album cover
2.23 | 9 ratings | 3 reviews | 44% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Wilderness (11:18)
2. As Embers Dress the Sky (8:00)
3. This Old Cabin (13:18)
4. Of Stone, Wind and Pillor (7:01)
5. Foliorum Viridium (2:41)
6. Haunting Birds (3:45)
7. Hallways of Enchanted Ebony (7:30)
8. The Melancholy Spirit (8:42)

Total Time: 1:02:15

Line-up / Musicians

- John Haughm / Vocals, Guitar, Drums
- Shane Breyer / Keyboards
- Don Anderson / Guitar
- Jason William Walton / Bass

Releases information

Compilation of early material. (1996-1998)

Artwork by Gustave Doré & Albrecht Dürer. Design by John Haughm.

"All the material was taken from the original analog sources. Aside from some
slight mastering to keep the songs at an even volume, nothing was edited or
polished. This collection includes a 12-page booklet with notes, era-related
artwork, and never-before seen photos from a January 1998 session."

Thanks to Conor Fynes for the addition
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AGALLOCH The Demonstration Archive ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (44%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AGALLOCH The Demonstration Archive reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
2 stars 'The Demonstration Archive' - Agalloch (Compilation)

Now considered one of the premier acts of underground metal in North America and around the world, this compilation shows the band when they were at a more unpolished, rocky stage in their development. Taking some rare and unreleased demo material and compiling it together, 'The Demonstration Archive' is a rough combination of the first 'From Which Of This Oak' demo, the 'Of Stone, Wind & Pillor' EP, and a couple of demos from 'Pale Folklore' to top things off.

The music aside, it seems a bit odd that this compilation wouldn't opt to simply include the entire demo and EP, at the loss of the Pale Folklore demos. The great Sol Invictus cover 'Kneel To The Cross' is not included here for example, and as uncommon as the EP it's played on is, it would certainly have been nice to see it included here. In terms of the actual music itself, there are plenty of flaws to speak of here, but the band shows great chemistry early on. The production and some of the performance sounds amateurish, but the songs here have a very primal sound to them that Agalloch would sacrifice once they moved on to greater things.

Agalloch's 'Demonstration Archive' is meant for fans of the band. There is some great early material here, but one of the legitimate releases might be better for someone who isn't so familiar with the group.

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
2 stars Agalloch, The early years.

The Demonstration Archive is a collection of material from the youngest days of Agalloch from 1996 to 1998. This includes the most of From Which Of This Oak, the first 3/5 of Of Stone, Wind And Pillor and a demo from 1998 containing two early versions of songs from their debut CD Pale Folklore. Right off the bat this seems perfect for fans of the band who are unable to acquire the bands early material as it was first released. And in that sense this is an excellent compilation album. Not surprisingly the material here is rawer, rougher, less polished, and less brilliant than their later works, but there are still some gems to be found.

The main feature here is the two epic pieces The Wilderness and This Old Cabin, both seething with typical Agalloch features in their embryonic stage. The metal factor of Agalloch's music is also on the forefront throughout most of this release, with the folky, ambient bits more or less constrained to the shorter songs. Having said that, This Old Cabin is an excellent song that holds the listener in from the beginning and it is a shame that this song was never included anywhere else other than their first demo. The material from Of Stone, Wind And Pillor isn't bad either, showing a slightly different side of the band, and certainly alluding to the progress they made from their earliest of days. As the reviewer above me I would have loved to have Kneel To The Cross and A Poem By Yeats included on this CD (as they were the two songs left off from Of Stone, Wind, And Pillor). Alas as they say. The album finishes on a bit of an average note with two demo versions of songs fans know from the Pale Folklore album. Both of these songs (as well as As Embers Dress The Sky) do differ from their album counterparts, however I do believe I like the true album versions better.

All in all, this is a fine compilation of some of the rarer Agalloch material. The main downside should be obvious...this is essentially for the most part a collection of demos which means there are plenty of "rough edges" around the music and production. (Having said that the sound quality of the album is surprisingly good for this type of material.) The drums in particular come off as being full of awkward sounding fills and a bit amateurish. However, there is some good stuff covered in the dust of time. For that I'll rate this with 2.5 stars, rounded down being this one really is for the dedicated fans of the band, even though the material itself is closer to three stars.

Latest members reviews

2 stars First of all, this is a five star release for any fan of Agalloch. I can't say that it will be of much interest to anyone else, though, unless you're some sort of demo tape aficionado. Included are their first demo, From Which of This Oak; an unreleased 7-inch better known as an extended EP (more on ... (read more)

Report this review (#511809) | Posted by PinkFloydrulez | Tuesday, August 30, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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