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Agalloch - The Grey CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

2.06 | 31 ratings

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3 stars Dubbed "The Grey EP" due to the all grey-shaded, no text packaging, this release features reworkings of "The Lodge" and "Odal", two instrumentals from The Mantle. Apparently, this completes a trilogy beginning with The Mantle, continuing with the Tomorrow Will Never Come 7" and concluding with this recording. "The Lodge (dismantled)" functions upon the basic riff idea from the original Mantle version, replacing the acoustic with the electric, translating the piece into a full-band performance. In this extended interpretation, the band allow melodies to develop above the framework, traversing through peaks and valleys, ascending and descending, fluctuating through emotional highs and lows, before arriving at a thunderous intensification, dissolving into drones of feedback as fragments and embers falling to the Earth. This is an extraordinary exercise in Agalloch's ability to manipulate emotions and thoughts within the listener. This EP is worth tracking down for this piece alone, an essential experience for anyone who has ever been moved by this band's work. The second track here is a Nothing (J.William W.'s ambient/experimental/noise project) remix of the beautifully stunning "Odal". "Destroyed and rebuilt" by bassist J.W.W., this is a quite strange interpretation. It bears very little to no resemblance whatsoever to the original on the surface, though further concentrated listens manage to reveal familiar elements. Listening to this is akin to wandering through a dark, dank corridor within a rusted steel construction, uncertain of a way out. It's the sound of structures, of all forms, breaking down, crumbling slowly to nothingness. Certainly not as "easy" a listen as "The Lodge" reworking, yet maintaining a level of interest left for darker, deader moments.

bleak | 3/5 |


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