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Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit CD (album) cover

MARROW OF THE SPIRIT

Agalloch

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.96 | 208 ratings

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Progosopher
2 stars Agalloch gets just about as heavy as I care to go. I like the music, and find much of it very interesting. That aspect of I enjoy. But not the vocals. No, sorry. The sound of the vocals is not so much singing or even screaming (with an occasional whisper), as it is retching. By this I do not mean the guttural retch where it swells up from deep inside your system, but rather the ending part where the sputum vomits coarsely out of your mouth (or the vomit spews coarsely, take your pick). Now, I myself do not care to do this, nor do I really want to hear anyone else do it. If it wasn't for that, I would really like this band. Cello provides an interesting dimension, and the band can get into some pretty good grooves. The more thrash elements I can do without. The band is tight as a unit, yet there is little that stands out in terms of virtuosity. The album opens with They Escaped the Weight of Darkness, a short, slow instrumental which prominently features the cello and woodland sound effects. It is beautifully melancholy. So far, so good. Then follows Into the Painted Grey. This thrashes, and I'd rather they do something else. Then the vocals start. Oh my. I find them painful, but when the vocalist shuts up, it is pretty good. The rest of the album is more interesting, and I am pleased that they do something else besides thrash, except of course, the vocals. Most of the songs are long, between nine and seventeen minutes, and pound along in brain-hammering fury, with some interesting structural development. Much of it is very powerful and surprisingly emotional. The last track is slow again, offering a closing bookend to match the introduction. Once again, the cello is prominent. Whereas the first was lovely, this one is dark, evoking a bleak mood which fortunately does not take me down into abject depression. Instead, it provides a thought provoking ending. Change the vocals, eliminate the thrash elements, and I would like this band a lot better. As it is, one album by Agalloch is enough for me.
Progosopher | 2/5 |

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