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Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.96 | 208 ratings

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5 stars It's good to see that emphasizing their more extreme metal characteristics makes them "amateurish." I never would have figured it out after my own 8 or so play-throughs of this album. What I heard here was the same old Agalloch maturing even further, taking the more extreme metal-oriented elements from their first full release and mixing them artfully with the neofolk vibe of their critically acclaimed masterpiece, The Mantle. A large part of the appeal on this new release is their new drummer who has brought with him a much rawer and frantic approach to the percussion, a style that very strongly suites the heavy atmospheric black metal style shown on songs like Into the Painted Grey, which starts with an incredibly frantic, tremolo picked riff that evolves gracefully into classic Agalloch acoustics. It's is interesting to note that the clean vocals are entirely absent on this album (aside from some background accompaniments), but as Haughm's clean vocals have always been one of the weaker parts of their overall ensemble (even if the vocal arrangements were excellent) it doesn't bother me in the slightest and, if anything, only further contributes to the raw atmosphere of the album. Agalloch also went with a rougher production style on this release, as opposed to the squeaky clean painfully crisp production of most modern music, the sound is a bit muddier than their earlier works and the bass isn't ass pronounced, but as with all of the changes they've made on this album, it's just one of many things that contributes to the album's unique presence.

I cannot, for the life of me, comprehend how one could be e a fan of Agalloch without having an appreciation for their roots. In all honestly, implying that blast beats are easy to play is about as ignorant a statement as implying that extreme vocals are easy to employ (though both are relatively common statements). It's just inherently untrue.

arglactable | 5/5 |


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