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AGALLOCH

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Agalloch biography
The essence of AGALLOCH'S music is a combination of cold, dark sorrow and natural aesthetic beauty. The foundation of the band began in late 1995 when a doom/death project called Aeolachrymae was reduced to a pile of ash. From those ashes, three bands were born - SUSURRUS INANIS, NOTHING and AGALLOCH. The primary goal in the beginning was to create majestic and epic dark metal. This vision was shared by the two main creators; John Haughm and Shane Breyer. In early 1996, a few songs slowly started to take form and in the summer, a second guitarist, Don Anderson was found. Later in the autumn, the debut demo "From Which Of This Oak" was recorded and shortly after its release, a permanent bassist - Jason William Walton Joined the effort. In early 1998 AGALLOCH recorded a new promo tape for labels only. The uniqueness of that promo earned the band a deal with The End Records and in January of 1999 they entered the studio to record their debut album.

The album, entitled "Pale Folklore", was released in June of 1999 and received much acclaim for it's grim concepts and folkloric aesthetics. Throughout 2000, the band kept a very low profile until finally emerging again with the release of a limited MCD entitled "Of Stone, Wind and Pillor" in mid 2001. This is a collection of unreleased material from 1998 - 2001 and includes a cover of Sol Invictus' "Kneel to The Cross". This cover also appears on Cynfierdd's "Sol Lucet Omnibus", a 2CD tribute to SOL INVICTUS. From late 2001 - early 2002, the band recorded their second album. Entitled "The Mantle", the album is a 70 minute epic which brings to life a darker, more bleak view of the world through more transcendental, existential, and nihilistic motifs. "The Mantle" is an expression of longing, decay, and the desperation of hope.

In 2006, the band released their third full length album "Ashes Against The Grain", which marked a shift towards a more stripped down sound compared to previous releases. Following in 2008 was "The White EP", a limited release which saw an increased aesthetical focus on acoustics and ambient soundscapes. AGALLOCH are set to release their fourth studio album, entitled "Marrow of the Spirit" in November of 2010. The release includes Aesop Dekker on drums, Dekker has previously toured and performed with AGALLOCH following the release of "Ashes Against The Grain". AGALLOCH also released a live DVD named "The Silence of Forgotten Landscapes" in 2009.

AGALLOCH hails from Portl...
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The Serpent & The SphereThe Serpent & The Sphere
Profound Lore 2014
Audio CD$9.32
$13.88 (used)
Pale FolklorePale Folklore
The End Records 2002
Audio CD$6.40
$6.38 (used)
Ashes Against the GrainAshes Against the Grain
The End Records 2006
Audio CD$5.69
$5.12 (used)
The MantleThe Mantle
The End Records 2002
Audio CD$5.96
$6.14 (used)
Marrow of the SpiritMarrow of the Spirit
Profound Lore 2010
Audio CD$10.99
$10.98 (used)
Faustian Echoes EPFaustian Echoes EP
Dammerung Arts
Audio CD$19.99
Of Stone, Wind, and PillorOf Stone, Wind, and Pillor
The End Records 2002
Audio CD$79.00
$89.89 (used)
The Grey EPThe Grey EP
Vendlus Records
Audio CD$119.99
$105.42 (used)
From Which of This Oak [Vinyl]From Which of This Oak [Vinyl]
Single · Import
2009
Vinyl$69.99
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AGALLOCH shows & tickets


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AGALLOCH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

AGALLOCH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.69 | 126 ratings
Pale Folklore
1998
4.06 | 282 ratings
The Mantle
2002
3.80 | 180 ratings
Ashes Against The Grain
2006
3.78 | 168 ratings
Marrow Of The Spirit
2010
3.50 | 37 ratings
The Serpent & The Sphere
2014

AGALLOCH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AGALLOCH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.14 | 12 ratings
The Silence of Forgotten Landscapes
2009

AGALLOCH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.13 | 7 ratings
The Demonstration Archive
2008
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Compendium Archive
2010
4.67 | 3 ratings
Whitedivisiongrey
2011

AGALLOCH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.82 | 21 ratings
From Which of this Oak
1996
3.27 | 34 ratings
Of Stone, Wind, and Pillor
2001
2.26 | 19 ratings
Tomorrow Will Never Come
2003
1.83 | 22 ratings
The Grey
2004
3.51 | 48 ratings
The White EP
2008
4.30 | 26 ratings
Faustian Echoes
2012
3.67 | 3 ratings
Celestial Effigy
2014

AGALLOCH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Serpent & The Sphere by AGALLOCH album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.50 | 37 ratings

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The Serpent & The Sphere
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The masters of atmospheric metal are back with their latest release.

"The Serpent & the Sphere" feels like a continuation of "Ashes Against the Grain" in that Agalloch continues to drift from their black metal tendencies, (even if they were always tempered with folk and prog) with more focus on black metal aesthetics, atmosphere and song writing. While Haughm's classic raw, gravely rasps remain, there are very few blast beats to be found, and indeed the overall album has a less intense pace and feel to it. The songs are mid paced and far more subdued than their last album, "Marrow of the Spirit". In fact, I'd say "The Serpent & the Sphere" is more subdued than their overall body of work, which has never been a stranger to tremolo picked guitar work, or bludgeoning. Not to say these aspects are absent, (there's even some good ol double bass chain drumming) but there just seems to be "less" of everything, if that makes sense. A more sparse, less heavy feel to the music. Certainly less intensity, and even more acoustic/light guitar. The balance between light, melodic passages and heavy, raw passages seems to have tipped definitively towards the former.

The tone of the music itself is cleaner and lighter than "Marrow of the Spirit", which admittedly took a bit of adjustment..I am used to Agalloch loud, buzzing, fuzzy guitar noise. My natural inclination upon first hearing this is "flat" or "lacking power" but of course it just is different sounding. I personally applaud the band for the lighter style.

This is perhaps not unexpected, as Agalloch was moving progressively in this direction until they released Marrow. So maybe the style is what we should have expected, is it successful?

Of course.

The songwriting as solid as ever. Textured, layered guitar work with riffs and melodies to die for, (even if they are lesser on this album than previous) and songs that move like a river, drifting but not without direction. There are a few other minor changes, such as more prominent bass, and a smidge "more" to the drumming than is typical. The songs are shorter than usual, and this album has a continuous flow to it, with segue pieces to connect the songs elegantly.

So overall, another solid, (if unspectacular) output from Agalloch, and as we know solid from them is better than most other bands could hope for. I will be sure to give this album many listens over the near future, and like all their other albums I'm sure this album will grow on me more and more.

Four Stars

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 Marrow Of The Spirit by AGALLOCH album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.78 | 168 ratings

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Marrow Of The Spirit
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by stranded_starfish

4 stars What happened? In my reviews of Agalloch's preceeding efforts, I wrote, essentially (spoiler alert!) that they were adequate but unexceptional. Then along comes this, a much darker and heavier release ' much closer to their Black Metal origins ' and it's a formula that really works. The musicality is still there, which is made apparent right from the outset with a tastefully classical-sounding introduction track, which is then mirrored in the final track. But it's enough that this feels more like a beautifully melodic black metal album, in parts oddly reminiscent of French band Peste Noire (albeit without the horrendous politics). A lineup change is, perhaps, partly to be credited for the shift in style: a new drummer, whose work sits comparatively prominently in the recording, driving the music elegantly and unstoppably forward. The guitar work is different too, feeling more centred around genuine riffs, as opposed to being used purely as a 'mood-generator'.

An extremely good album, of interest to anyone seeking the heavier end of post-metal or the more melodic end of black metal. Particularly of note is the album opener proper, Into The Painted Grey.

4/5

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 The Mantle by AGALLOCH album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.06 | 282 ratings

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The Mantle
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by stranded_starfish

3 stars The second full-length release from Agalloch is not without it's moments of beauty, moments that emerge from the dappled shade of both darkness and light. This is particularly true of the sections in which the instrumental work is allowed the space to breathe and develop.

That said, my overall impression of this album is something of a lack of impression of it. It's certainly an adequate release, but I'm not altogether convinced it goes much further than that. Singer John Haughm's voice can match neither the beauty nor the power of the instrumentation, which itself somehow falls a little beyond the edge of my memory. A decent enough release, but not one that sits as a post-metal great in my eyes.

In terms of highlights, this is an album that improves as it goes on. The track 'The Hawthorne Passage' is, in particular worth a listen. I hope moments such as these will make this album a grower, given time.

Overall, I give this album a 3/5

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 Marrow Of The Spirit by AGALLOCH album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.78 | 168 ratings

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Marrow Of The Spirit
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On Marrow of the Spirit, Agalloch dial back the folk a little bit compared to Ashes Against the Grain - it's not that they turn their back on folk metal, there's still aspects of it here, but equally they set themselves a sonic agenda so rich here that folk needs to step over to make room for everything else. With post-rock in the style of Godspeed You Black Emperor blending into Alcest-style "blackgaze" blending into more pure black metal bellows and doom metal dirges, it's a rich feast of sounds, but what's most impressive about it is the way Agalloch are able to assemble it into a coherent whole such that all of these distinct flavours blend into each other and seem to fit together.

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 Ashes Against The Grain by AGALLOCH album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.80 | 180 ratings

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Ashes Against The Grain
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by progbethyname

5 stars AGALLOCH CREATE A UNIQUE AND DARK ALBUM WITH ASHES OF THE GRAIN.'

Following the winning formula that AGALLOCH did with their previous release THE MANTLE, the amazing guitar interplay is once again at hand.'

AGALLOCH create very unique and interesting music is the Progressive metal world, which is why many consider them as an experimental band. This is rightly so and highly evident on ASHES TO THE GRAIN. There are not too many bands that can blend an Acoustic guitar, electric guitar and noise-scape bass sequences firing off so beautifully and simultaneously as well as AGALLOCH. Indeed, AGALLOCH are a tremendously unique band.'

I must say I had an incredible time and experience listening to AGALLOCH's dark, conceptual album about the very foibles of the lyrical mind of JOHN HAUGHM's recited tortured depiction of the human soul, that is in complete agony and suffering. Sounds like a good time, right? Well actually, it is because the musical expression to convey the feelings of what ASHES AGAINST THE GRAIN represents is astonishing. The listener is treated with so much with ASHES. I absolutely love this album from the opening track, LIMBS where right away the listener is sucked into an electric guitar distortion that is almost ambient like. Continuing the unique trend, THE WAVES (track 5) has this grabbing nature that hooks you into a world of the most exquisite guitar interplay that any prog metal fan would enjoy. Having the acoustic guitar being played so delicately and accompanied by an electric 5-string at the same time is something to be truly appreciated and admired. Other tracks on the album (9 in total) follow suit with this formula with some slight differences here and there like the use of an EBOW by HAUGHM on the track 'FIRE ABOVE, ICE BELOW.' Truly, a wonderful offering. Also the PIANO from editor, sound mixer and producer RON CHICK, is played beautifully on LIMBS & OUR FORTRESS IS BURNING. CHICK even adds some 'pretty nifty noise samplings on WAVES as well to help create the moody atmosphere on the track. Needless to say, CHICK is like the 5th member of the band. ;)

All in all, what I like most about AGALLOCH is that they have this ability to play like a tech extreme metal band without the blinding speed of course. The guitar passages are long, repetitious (in a good way though!) and very technical, especially since the foundation of AGALLOCH's sound is a dual guitar wielding of an acoustic and electric sequences. Also, the vocals by HAUGHM are sparse throughout the album much in vein of the tech extreme style. HAUGHM voice offers harsh, death growl vocals as well as a soft, steady melodic pitch that can be greatly appreciated, especially for those who are a fan of the interchangeable pitch tones offered by the likes of MIKAEL AKERFELDT(OPETH) BURTON C. BELL (FEAR FACTORY) and even TRENT REZNOR for that matter.'

Thus, ASHES OF THE GRAIN has created a very lasting impression on me. I am simply captivated by the unique genre and style of music they accompany. They even offer an ambient style that is so hypnotizing its incredible. For instance, the last track on the album (OUR FORTRESS IS BURNING pt3 THE GRAIN) will darkly sedate the listener with an ethereal sound offering that sounds so similar to London's IDM and electronic group AUTECHRE, where off their album GARBAGE they created a track called VLETRMX and I really do urge proggers to listen to that track to hear where influences can be traced. ;)

I really have nothing very critical to say about AGALLOCH's ASHES AGAINST THE GRAIN. I think maybe where people might feel a bit jaded or disappointed is that ASHES really doesn't stray that far away by how THE MANTLE sounds. Thus, I know proggers, even like myself, always crave difference or innovation but this time around I have to go against that grain because THE MANTLE is a masterpiece and so is ASHES AGAINST THE GRAIN. 'Sometimes it's best to stick with a winning formula and not stray away from what really works sound wise. I respect AGALLOCH's approach to continue and breed their success for at least one more album.'

' 5 big ones.'

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 The White EP by AGALLOCH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.51 | 48 ratings

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The White EP
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by thwok

2 stars "The While" EP earns two stars in my opinion. It fits the definition given by everyone's favorite website. Only someone who is a major supporter of Agalloch would truly appreciate this recording. I'm only mildly impressed.

The administrators of Prog Archives have listed Agalloch as an experimental/post metal band. Categorizing music into genres can be unnecessarily limiting, but it can also be very helpful when you're exploring music that is unfamiliar. This EP and "Of Stone" are the only Agalloch music that I have. So far, I hear very little metal. I think a bigger metal influence would give this music the variety it lacks.

The music on "The White" and "Of Stone" sounds more like progressive folk to me. That is not a bad thing at all. I'm a huge fan of Alison Krauss, an artist who has nothing to do with this site. I've also recently discovered and enjoyed Mostly Autumn. My problem with this EP is that it's monotonous. There's not enough musical development to keep me interested. More vocals would help. However, "Birch White" is the only track with any sung lyrics in it. As such, it is my favorite track here.

The songs sound well played, but they also don't sound like they would be very challenging. There's not enough melodic material here to sustain 30 minutes of music. Perhaps I'm not listening to the right Agalloch. Their other releases are supposed to sound more metal, more varied than this one. I'm apparently in the minority of reviewers when it comes to Agalloch. Out of deference to the other listeners on this site, I will give "The White" two stars.

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 Ashes Against The Grain by AGALLOCH album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.80 | 180 ratings

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Ashes Against The Grain
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Agalloch were formed out of the ashes of doom/death project Aeolachrymae in 1995 and this is the third full length album to date. They hail from Portland Oregon but I have to say from hearing this, the first thought is that this band is from Northern Europe and not from the US at all. The reason for that is this is an emotional album that while bringing together thoughts of acts like Katatonia manages to also bring in black metal and Scandanavian style progressive rock together with atmosphere beyond measure. There are times when the music is quite light in nature, very melodic and almost joyous (notice the word 'almost') while at others it is bleak and nihilistic, with the pressure of the world on top of them all.

One reason that this works so very well is that there are a huge range being employed, there is a real sense of dynamics so for every sorrow there is another deeper to compare it against. The production isn't too heavy handed and the band are more than capable of turning it up and being very heavy indeed or bringing in folk influences and bringing out the acoustic guitars. Extremely emotional and cathartic, this is an album that can be draining in its very intensity and is always powerful.

This is definitely one for those who enjoy their music to be away from the norm, but also with plenty of passion and depth. www.grau.cd

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 Pale Folklore by AGALLOCH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.69 | 126 ratings

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Pale Folklore
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by SpectralHorizons

4 stars The debut of Agalloch is a surprising find for many who are accustomed to their more "stripped- down" style found on The Mantle and onward. Pale Folklore is a wonderful gem that features many folk and symphonic elements that Agalloch abandoned on their later albums in favor for more post-rock elements.

The obvious attraction of Pale Folklore is the She Painted Fire Across the Skyline suite. The mysterious, repetitive guitar invites us in before taking us on a haunting adventure featuring many moods and styles, but always retaining that trademark "haunting" feel that Agalloch is so good at painting. Other highlights of the album include the epic The Melancholy Spirit and the Opethian As Embers Dress the Sky.

I am tempted to give the album five stars, but John Haughm's vocals bring it down. The black- metal vocals permeate the album. The problem is that only a handful of vocalists can do that style well, and Haughm is not in that handful. He does sing clean on some of the songs, but he has not developed as a vocalist in that regard either.

Easily four stars. A rare style of work. While I do enjoy later Agalloch, their is a yearning inside of me that wishes that they did more material such as this.

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 Marrow Of The Spirit by AGALLOCH album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.78 | 168 ratings

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Marrow Of The Spirit
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by ole-the-first

4 stars An excellent work.

Actually it was first Agalloch album I've listened to, and it took some time to get into its atmosphere. The music here is pretty bleak and cold, a bit of monotonous, but excellently done with some good melodies and sheer winterish atmosphere (which is maintained by slow guitar parts, whicpered/screeched vocals and nature soundscapes).

It opens with a short folk rock instrumental called 'They Escaped the Weight of Darkness'. It's not really sets any moods here and excellentely different from all the rest on this record, but it's still a very nice and interesting thing.

The real Agalloch comes with the second track 'Into the Painted Grey', which is in that gloomy doom/black metal vein which fills the whole LP with its bleakness. This mood continues on the next tracks, 'The Watcher's Monolith', 'Black Lake Nišstång' (which is a perfect 17 minutes long prog metal epic, the highlight here) and 'Ghosts of the Midwinter Fires' (some excellent bass parts here).

The record closes with more mellow track, 'To Drown', which is pretty far from metallic taste of previous songs. Very dark, and so very beautiful track, it ends with lovely, almost symphonic melodies on kinda marchy attitude.

The atmosphere here has really got that kind of beauty and immersion, so you shall be at least intrigued with this work even if you dislike this kind of music. In general, it's a solid album highly recommended for those who are into the experimental side of progressive metal.

9/10

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 Faustian Echoes by AGALLOCH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.30 | 26 ratings

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Faustian Echoes
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Puppies On Acid

5 stars Sure its just an EP, but how can I resist reviewing this and making sure other people hear it. In my opinion, this does not sound anything like Marrow of the Spirit, like some may be expecting. Then again, Agalloch seem to refine and re-imagine their sound from album to album. With this EP I have finally grown accustom to Aesop Dekker's drumming and really come to enjoy his style, whereas before with Marrow of the Spirit I didn't really care for the drum style at first and preferred the drumming on Ashes Against the Grain and The Mantle much more. Now, being only 1 song and only about 21 minutes long, Agalloch still manages to cover a lot of ground here. I especially like the funeral doomish part in the middle and the spoken word parts fit really well. Agalloch is always treading new ground and I cant wait to see what they come up with next.

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