Agalloch - The White review




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Band: Agalloch
Album: The White
Release date: February 2008


01. The Isle Of Summer
02. Birch Black
03. Hollow Stone
04. Pantheist
05. Birch White
06. Sowilo Rune
07. Summerisle Reprise


Everyone could use a 30-minute break to contemplate the beautiful, harrowing, and miraculous nature of life, and Agalloch are here to provide exactly that break.

Being renowned in the metal community and lauded by fans of extreme, yet thoughtful music, managing to seamlessly incorporate the dark tranquillity and electro-soundscape-infused neofolk into their brand of melodic and atmospheric black metal, adding traces of gothic and doom influences throughout, John Haughm and co. decided instead to release an EP focusing primarily on their reflective inspiration based on an amazing Scottish mystery thriller film* about an isolated pagan cult. And, as a result of its influence, this mini-release flows as if it were written as a movie, with a clear vision not only of a beginning, middle, and end, but of a particular mood. And if at this point that doesn't sound exactly like something you'd expect from this band, then clearly you haven't been along for the journey for very long.

Ethereal choirs, haunting chants, and a spoken word style of "singing" make up a decent portion of the music on this EP, but that's just a microcosm of the mood presented. Acoustic guitars take over the majority of responsibilities completely, as any semblance of metal is completely disregarded, and while the tone comes across momentarily playful depending on which chapter of their story you find yourself listening to, the overall tale is absolutely dreadful. The design of each song caters to your most provocative, remorseful, blissful, and wistful memories, effortlessly capturing each and every emotion you didn't even know you had, some buried deeper than you could consciously realize, until you're forced to face every bit of the iceberg you've carefully kept hidden beneath the surface over years of self-neglect and unacknowledged depressive tendencies. It's as if, for a brief moment in time, you're connecting with someone who gets you without ever having met you, because no matter if you can admit it or not, those kinds of emotions live inside us all.

Piano backdrops weigh down the oppressive atmosphere even further, like a ton of bricks cascading over your crushed body -- soul, more like -- and a few vocal samples from said film (*the original Wicker Man, for anyone unaware) reveal themselves near the end because this isn't already burdensome enough. But to get an idea of the music, as opposed to the message, or the feel, or the concept, one only needs to compile all the depressive, atmospheric, melodic, folkloric moments of Agalloch's full-length releases, and play them back as if listening to a carefully selected, prearranged, rendered version of that compilation, and there you have The White EP.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 10


 



Written on 08.09.2019 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 88 users
08.09.2019 - 12:25
Bad English
Masterchief
Its same as windir, good band, nature, spirit and pagan spirit as basics and good music comes, neo folk is close to tr00 bm roots
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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08.09.2019 - 14:53
Alakazam
Woah this was an unexpected trip to see! Both at this personal favourite and you back. Interesting fact is that they played Sowlio Rune to tribute Christopher Lee on his death day.
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09.09.2019 - 00:26
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Bad English on 08.09.2019 at 12:25
Its same as windir

Aesthetically they share some common traits since Windir took inspiration from nature as well but I'm not sure I'd say the two are musically similar, especially on this release.
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I have no memory of this place.
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09.09.2019 - 00:32
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Troy Killjoy on 09.09.2019 at 00:26

Written by Bad English on 08.09.2019 at 12:25
Its same as windir

Aesthetically they share some common traits since Windir took inspiration from nature as well but I'm not sure I'd say the two are musically similar, especially on this release.

Still it can be its not about hate, st Ann and such taake and burzum bm
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
09.09.2019 - 00:32
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Alakazam on 08.09.2019 at 14:53
Woah this was an unexpected trip to see! Both at this personal favourite and you back. Interesting fact is that they played Sowlio Rune to tribute Christopher Lee on his death day.

Ever since its release this has been a personal favorite of mine. The fact that it's over 10 years old and I still listen to it a couple times a month really cemented its status for me as a masterpiece.

I never knew about the tribute but I'm not surprised by it at all, these guys always came across as really genuine, down to earth dudes.
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I have no memory of this place.
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09.09.2019 - 16:32
Crème fraiche
Good to see you posting things again Troy! I love this EP, perfectly fits this time of the year for me in Western Pennsylvania. This is probably my favorite release from Agalloch; it's so moody and minimal, but very brooding and thoughtful as well. I really have yet to get into the later Agalloch releases or Pillorian (saw Pillorian open for WOTTR and wasn't super impressed TBH). I am hoping Pillorian will maybe release something matching the quality and vibes of this EP.
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09.09.2019 - 18:39
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Crème fraiche on 09.09.2019 at 16:32

...

Good to be posting things again

The leaves are just about the change colors on the trees here and it's the perfect backdrop for a walk with this album. I agree with everything else mentioned, but haven't made the jump into any Pillorian material yet. I only recently even heard of their existence since I haven't been keeping up with the news but I'll get around to it all eventually.
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I have no memory of this place.
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14.09.2019 - 01:03
Alakazam
Written by Troy Killjoy on 09.09.2019 at 00:32

Ever since its release this has been a personal favorite of mine. The fact that it's over 10 years old and I still listen to it a couple times a month really cemented its status for me as a masterpiece.

I never knew about the tribute but I'm not surprised by it at all, these guys always came across as really genuine, down to earth dudes.

I felt like that upon discovering it where I felt at one point so connected to the EP's, Pale Folklore and Serpent Sphere alone because I felt I burned out the rest of the discog!

They are genuine to me but it could still be a facade if I were to play devil's advocate and take it as a pinch of naive salt. As you know about the divide between them now my last time was unfourtnate (to say it nicely) when talking to John which I don't believe was unique to me as it was on Agalloch's final tour.

He does have an iinteresting Instagram that makes me want to see more artists of same vein tap into if you know any more, it would make a good new article.
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16.09.2019 - 18:28
JÄY
Metal slave
Nice review and welcome back! I only listened to this once, when it was released... perhaps another go is in order.
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