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




Experimental/Post Metal

2.84 | 24 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'From Which Of This Oak' - Agalloch (6/10)

Having already been active for a decade and a half since this demo came out, Agalloch has certainly developed and refined their sounds very well. Along the way, they have released some absolutely majestic music. With this demo, it is proven that even from the very inception of their work, they knew what direction they were going in. Things are obviously in a very rough and unpolished state here, but as band demonstrations go, this is one of the best I've heard in the realm of metal.

The sound here is alot more along the lines of black metal than on latter releases. Inhuman shrieks, fast paced tremolo picking and a generally lo-fi sound all contribute to the classic 'black' sound. However, even this early on, there is still alot going on that makes the sound unique. There is the presence of more acoustically based instruments, the signature clean vocals of future frontman John Haughm and the same feeling of despair and melancholy that has attracted the band such a dedicated fanbase.

I personally find the low fidelity production to be not a problem at all; all of the instruments and melodies can still be heard. The musicianship here isn't quite up to par with later work however. Shane Breyer's black metal vocal work does not appeal to me nearly as much as the raspier snarl of Haughm, who would later take up all singing roles. Also, things are not quite as tight as they could be, particularly the drumwork; a problem that would also be solved with John Haughm's subsequent switch to guitar and vocal work.

While fans are certainly going to get the most out of this EP, this is one of the few demos I can listen to without simply getting a fan's satisfaction. There is musical depth here in any case, and while only those with an existing appreciation of black metal will take this demo to heart, there is quite a bit else going on here.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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