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Agalloch - The Mantle CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.15 | 378 ratings

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5 stars Agalloch's second album... how to describe its sound? Maybe a mixture of neofolk bands (Nest, Ulver...), soft black metal (specially noted in the raw voices) and the tempos of some doom bands like Anathema, would be a good description, but inaccurate.

The sound here is based on clean, very clean, guitars, which play rythms, licks, and solos, and which appear clearly in the introductions and breakdowns of the songs, and which get just a rythmic and decorative function when the distorted guitar appears, and plays long chords and licks. However, the clean guitars are prominent among the distorted. There is also a duality between clean voices, in the most relaxed songs, and raw, black metal voices in the others.

If there is a general characteristic that is remarcable in this album is the atmosferic sense. Slow tempos, folk instrumentation, dense songs, full of details and few voices.

The songs are, more or less, similar, with some exceptions: as I said, very long, slow songs, based on clean guitars, with long, very long intrumental parts and an alternation between clean and raw voices. Exceptions to this are the intro, a short instrumental piece that is a good summary of what we are going to find in the album. Another extrange song is I am the wooden doors, that is almost totally played by distorted guitar and black voices. Another instrumental, The lodge, drives us to one of the heaviest songs in the album. Then, peace again.

I think that this album is the perfection in its genre. It has no merit, nowadays: Agalloch has a unique genre. There isn't another band that can play like them. After showing this album to some friends, they all told me that it was boring. Don't trust them. Trust me. Why? Well, they also find bands like Pink Floyd or King Crimson to be boring. I recognise that this album is not suitable for a party. But hey, it's progressive rock, not rockabilly. Perfect album to be listened with the lights off or, better, in an autumnal forest. If you enjoy neofolk and ambient, this album is for you.

Blackdog | 5/5 |


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