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




Experimental/Post Metal

2.82 | 23 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars Agalloch's first demo is an adequate introduction to the band. It's not the superb atmospheric metal from later years yet but it's an interesting release for metal fans. The production is still rough around the edges but superior to many official black metal albums from the early 90's and the music is quite enjoyable.

The Wilderness is an excellent opener, sounding remarkably similar to Iron Maiden doing a frost-bitten run through their classic material with a high-pitched hoarse shriek behind the mike. Great black metal. As Embers Dress The Sky comes closer to Agalloch's trademark sound and would also end up on the debut. Fast and slightly dissonant riffs build an entrancing groove, similar to Katatonia's Brave Murder Day sound. It introduces Agalloch's clean vocals, slightly hesitant and over-reverbed but with the desired sinister effect. The composition is well-balanced and smart, probably slightly droning to some, but enchanting to my ears.

Fliorum Viridum stars with a classical instrumental piece on keyboards, very symphonic and atmospheric but nothing unusual in this type of 'gothic doom black metal' (another metal sub if you needed one). The second section features slow plodding doom riffs with those typical chilling guitar harmonies that were so popular in those years. This Old Cabin is less remarkable but competent morose black metal, reminding me a lot to Ulver's debut.

Now, how to rate a demo? Fan material by definition. Given that the sound quality is more then acceptable, given that the music is satisfactory and the total length is 35 minutes, a rounded-up 2.5 stars seems appropriate.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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