Agalloch "The Mantle"

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon ReviewsRating: 0.93/1
Agalloch "The Mantle"
  • Album: The Mantle
  • Year: 2002
  • Label: THE END
  • Artist: 
  • United States

Either I became a fan of this American label or the majority of albums lately released at THE END plainly continue to fascinate me...as they actually are a great part of my play-list: WINDS, SLEEPLESS, ARCTURUS... and now, AGALLOCH! "Pale Folklore" was an album that shocked me since mixture of Dark with Gothic, Doom and Black actually turned my face to the past and a near reference might be SADNESS. It has been more than three years since their debut was released but here they come, after a MCD regarding which you recently read on the site, with great news: John Haughm &Co returns with a new multidimensional opus, structured in 9 epic sequences of a remarkable melancholy, with Rock, Folk, Ambient openings as well as Metal ones from Doom and Gothic to Black or Death. We can enjoy diverse tracks, from quite extended ones ("In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion", appreciatively 15 minute) till acoustic interludes, extremely lent and meditative. On a superficial audition you actually tend to believe that tracks are meaninglessly prolonged as the entire 70 minute might have been expressed as well in only 45. I don't know which the reality...is and frankly I don't care either...important is only the exquisite emotional state and this is more than enough. As a matter of fact, no doubts, instrumentation is the key point of the sound and the voice embraces different frames during the tracks, from the clear calm even whispered /recited/intonated one to the aggressive and yelling one. If I had to compare the two albums, I discover that Metallic part plays a second role while the acoustic and solos now govern the whole musical universe and some parts remind me of ULVER, SOL INVICTUS, ULVER or PINK FLOYD while the voice often has FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM echoes. I don't know if it is not rather pointless to present more details because, for a successful album, I can only use superlatives...And one of those might be, from now one, enclosed in your vocabulary: AGALLOCH! I need to say a few more things: fragments of acoustic guitars remind me of BATHORY ("Twilight of the Gods"); metallic instruments are inspiringly mixed with synth or other spiced elements such as mandolin, wind box/accordion, trombone, bells, cymbal and contrabass...all is mystical, all is Dark ...and all is harmony.
Welcome in AGALLOCH's realm!