John Haughm - 1865 // 1895: Cast​.​Iron.​Blood. review



Reviewer:
8.5

8 users:
7.12
Band: John Haughm
Album: 1865 // 1895: Cast​.​Iron.​Blood.
Release date: July 2020


01. Cast In The Shape Of 1878
02. A River Of Iron Flows Where Once The Gallows Stood
03. Grave Nails & Blood Trails
04. The Scars Maketh The Man
05. Pale Horse // Morbid Nomad
06. Loop 8 (The Crossing)


It's been a while since John Haughm was rogue.

The story of John Haughm in the past decade isn't a particularly happy one. Partly due to his own actions. Agalloch was at their peak of popularity and they released their two most controversial albums, both controversial for different reasons. He started a solo career that included collaborations with Mathias Grassow and Daniel Menche, but very few people seem to care that much about those. Agalloch broke up, it seems due to a combination of how committed everyone wanted to be about the band and how the decisions were taken. Things seemed to be going quite well for a while with Pillorian, but then that fell apart when Haughm posted some anti-semitic remarks and got promptly cancelled, never to be heard from again. Until now.

I'm still not sure how I feel about his cancelling, but nor have I really checked any interviews or statements to convince myself that he's more sensible about the subject now. I mean, Bruno Ganz was a pretty terrific actor indeed. Regardless, I did listen to this with an open mind, and I'm absolutely glad I did. Though Pillorian felt somewhat incomplete in attempting to recreate Agalloch's atmo/post/folk/sound without 3/4 of Agalloch, his solo work and collaborations felt a lot more awe inspiring in their sound explorations partly because they sounded removed enough from Agalloch not to draw any comparisons. Even at their least ambient, things never really strayed too close. I can't completely say the same of 1865 // 1895: Cast.Iron.​Blood. But this time, it's for the better.

The album still stays mostly in the ambient side of things, but not only does it have a very specific atmosphere in mind, one that hasn't really been explored by Haughm before, but also it delves much deeper into the post and ambient sounds that felt like they were part of Agalloch previously. Hell, there's even a black metal rasp at one moment. God, I missed those. Obviously it had to be incorporated in a way that made sense, but the entire albums feels a lot more dynamic and lively compared to his previous solo work, with the guitars having a very significant sole, and partly the vocals as well, whether wordless humming or actual chants. Everything to capture that pioneering Old West "Manifest destiny" feel of the late 1800s. A controversial subject for a controversial man, but I can't say that he didn't ace the dramatic conquest and overwhelming immensity of the American landscape.

1865 // 1895: Cast.Iron.​Blood. was recorded in the summer of 2019 with Tad Doyle of Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, and the attention to detail in the sound design and production definitely explains why it took so long for it to be released after it was recorded. Given how quietly this release passed by every radar, I'd say it wasn't because of the marketing. It was because Haughm perfected his craft. And he doesn't need any metal for it. Just cast iron blood.



 



Written on 07.11.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 27   Visited by: 144 users
08.11.2020 - 13:34
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I dont care what he says, he plats good music, aggaloch, pillorian, was awesome, where us he and where are his fellow band mates. Its same i like Halgadom dont care about their politics.
----
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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08.11.2020 - 17:06
Batlord666
He may have apologized, which is obviously good, but his first instinct was to say "Jewbook" and then turned it into "Judenbook". That's not just a stupid edgy joke, that's an idiotic and alarming thing to say. I want to listen because I love his music but I don't know if I can anymore. And that's just my opinion - I struggle a lot with when and how to separate art from the artist. I'm not going to decry anyone else who can.

Thank you for the review, regardless.
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08.11.2020 - 17:27
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Batlord666 on 08.11.2020 at 17:06

He may have apologized, which is obviously good, but his first instinct was to say "Jewbook" and then turned it into "Judenbook". That's not just a stupid edgy joke, that's an idiotic and alarming thing to say. I want to listen because I love his music but I don't know if I can anymore. And that's just my opinion - I struggle a lot with when and how to separate art from the artist. I'm not going to decry anyone else who can.

Thank you for the review, regardless.

I can't blame you. It's far from a blatant endorsement of white supremacy, but still alarming enough that I can say that he brough it upon himself.

Given how little attention this received, I'd say the cancelling worked. A bit of a shame, since it's a fantastic album.
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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08.11.2020 - 18:30
UnknownCheese
John was never cancelled. Nobody cared about his earlier solo stuff either.

If Agalloch got back together tomorrow the usual suspects would be lining up out the door for new material, especially given the overlap in the Agalloch fanbase.

As for the album, not my bag.
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08.11.2020 - 18:41
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by UnknownCheese on 08.11.2020 at 18:30

John was never cancelled. Nobody cared about his earlier solo stuff either.

If Agalloch got back together tomorrow the usual suspects would be lining up out the door for new material, especially given the overlap in the Agalloch fanbase.

That's exactly the way I see it. His solo work never garnered much interest, to the point where in the height of the band's popularity, I reviewed a single of his and the majority of comments were about how nobody knew it even existed. And the style of music he plays is in a completely other world compared to what Agalloch ever did, so it isn't surprising that it didn't generate the same level of hype with fans.

His comments about Facebook and Jews is offensive but hardly cause for everyone to outright cancel him. He's been a musician since before most of the users of this site were even born and that's really his only controversial moment that the public is aware of.
----
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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08.11.2020 - 18:42
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Sorry for taking away from the review there Radu; I expect I'll listen to this eventually and expect to enjoy it, but it's going to be near the bottom of the list for now. I haven't felt excited about anything Agalloch related in a while, even if this sounds entirely different.
----
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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08.11.2020 - 19:13
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Troy Killjoy on 08.11.2020 at 18:42

Sorry for taking away from the review there Radu; I expect I'll listen to this eventually and expect to enjoy it, but it's going to be near the bottom of the list for now. I haven't felt excited about anything Agalloch related in a while, even if this sounds entirely different.

I definitely like this more than Khorada and Pillorian and probably than the rest of his solo stuff too.
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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08.11.2020 - 22:11
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by RaduP on 08.11.2020 at 19:13

Written by Troy Killjoy on 08.11.2020 at 18:42

Sorry for taking away from the review there Radu; I expect I'll listen to this eventually and expect to enjoy it, but it's going to be near the bottom of the list for now. I haven't felt excited about anything Agalloch related in a while, even if this sounds entirely different.

I definitely like this more than Khorada and Pillorian and probably than the rest of his solo stuff too.

Pillorian was ok, but I did not like Khorada
----
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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08.11.2020 - 23:15
CWA
Anyone who thinks John is anti-semitic, racist, or a white supremacist because he said "Jewbook" in the context that he did, I'm here to let you know that your a damn fool.
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09.11.2020 - 00:03
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by CWA on 08.11.2020 at 23:15

Anyone who thinks John is anti-semitic, racist, or a white supremacist because he said "Jewbook" in the context that he did, I'm here to let you know that your a damn fool.

You're*

Yeah most likely not a white supremacist or anything lke that, but there's def some touches of the former two. You don't have to be a full blown KKK to engage in slightly or moderately racist behaviour. Just because he's not the stereotypical worst case doesnt mean it's entiely ok.

But yeah far from the worst he could do and he is probably more sensible about it now.

Facebook is indeed fucking awful.
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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09.11.2020 - 00:14
nikarg
Mod
Written by RaduP on 09.11.2020 at 00:03

You're*

And "anti-semite" (as opposed to "antisemitic" which needs a noun to follow)

On topic:
a) It was a stupid remark and he apologized for it.
b) Nice album, I prefer Agalloch of course but really nice music here. "A River Of Iron Flows Where Once The Gallows Stood" is a fantastic song.
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09.11.2020 - 01:52
CWA
Written by RaduP on 09.11.2020 at 00:03

Written by CWA on 08.11.2020 at 23:15

Anyone who thinks John is anti-semitic, racist, or a white supremacist because he said "Jewbook" in the context that he did, I'm here to let you know that your a damn fool.

You're*


Interpreting my typo as me being grammar dunce is a little petty me's thinks. On the topic of the "Jewbook", it was certainly a tasteless comment expressed out of frustration and nothing else. If people consider John to have any genuine ill will to other races because of his little emotional outburst then they would have considered my teenage self, and all the male teenagers i knew, to be klans men in training because of all the nonsense we said with all the various demographics attached to those stupid comments.
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09.11.2020 - 01:59
CWA
Written by nikarg on 09.11.2020 at 00:14

Written by RaduP on 09.11.2020 at 00:03

You're*

And "anti-semite" (as opposed to "antisemitic" which needs a noun to follow)


One guy pettily points out my typo and another guy comes a long to make up his own grammar rules. A noun does not need to follow an adjective. https://7esl.com/adjectives/#Adjectives_Without_A_Noun here's a link so you know more definitively for the future. Please fellow metal stormers lets not turn in fourth rate grammar police. By the way I agree with your other two points.
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09.11.2020 - 08:20
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by CWA on 09.11.2020 at 01:59

Please fellow metal stormers lets not turn in fourth rate grammar police.

We'd lose ourminds if we had to grammar check Bad English.
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
Loading...
09.11.2020 - 10:29
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 09.11.2020 at 00:14

On topic:
a) It was a stupid remark and he apologized for it.
b) Nice album, I prefer Agalloch of course but really nice music here. "A River Of Iron Flows Where Once The Gallows Stood" is a fantastic song.

a) Thankfully. Still a bit off, but nothing I think should be career ending, especially since it's the only significant controversy in his ~30 years career.
b) Probably my favorite not Agalloch since Agalloch disbanded. Sad to see thing only having two ratings.
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
Loading...
09.11.2020 - 18:54
nikarg
Mod
Written by CWA on 09.11.2020 at 01:59

One guy pettily points out my typo and another guy comes a long to make up his own grammar rules. A noun does not need to follow an adjective. https://7esl.com/adjectives/#Adjectives_Without_A_Noun here's a link so you know more definitively for the future. Please fellow metal stormers lets not turn in fourth rate grammar police. By the way I agree with your other two points.

My comment was meant to be humourous, although I acknowledge that it probably didn't come across as such and that it wasn't really funny. I did not mean to insult you in any way and I am sorry if I did. However, the sentence "I'm here to let you know that your a damn fool" does not apply as valid argument and sounds a bit offensive, don't you think? This is probably why Radu and I sort of came at you with the grammar police comments.

I still think this is a wrong use of the word but it doesn't matter much. We say that someone is "antisemite" when, for example, he is using "antisemitic" rhetoric. "Antisemite" refers to someone who essentially has a certain point of view which in turn bears such a strong connotation that it is considered to be a personality characteristic. It is like when we say "he is an optimist" and it means that someone sees things optimistically in life in general and this characterises him as a person, but we also say "he has an optimistic way of thinking". In this example, we could say "he is optimistic" if we refer to a certain instance, like "he is optimistic about a particular outcome" or "he is feeling optimistic" (right now, at this very moment). The link you provided is irrelevant to what I said, I never implied that all adjectives need to be followed by a noun, just that the particular adjective "antisemitic" needs a noun after it. Anyway, as I said it doesn't really matter, after all English is your first language since you're Canadian, maybe you know better.
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09.11.2020 - 22:38
CWA
Written by nikarg on 09.11.2020 at 18:54

Written by CWA on 09.11.2020 at 01:59

One guy pettily points out my typo and another guy comes a long to make up his own grammar rules. A noun does not need to follow an adjective. https://7esl.com/adjectives/#Adjectives_Without_A_Noun here's a link so you know more definitively for the future. Please fellow metal stormers lets not turn in fourth rate grammar police. By the way I agree with your other two points.

My comment was meant to be humourous, although I acknowledge that it probably didn't come across as such and that it wasn't really funny. I did not mean to insult you in any way and I am sorry if I did. However, the sentence "I'm here to let you know that your a damn fool" does not apply as valid argument and sounds a bit offensive, don't you think? This is probably why Radu and I sort of came at you with the grammar police comments.

I still think this is a wrong use of the word but it doesn't matter much. We say that someone is "antisemite" when, for example, he is using "antisemitic" rhetoric. "Antisemite" refers to someone who essentially has a certain point of view which in turn bears such a strong connotation that it is considered to be a personality characteristic. It is like when we say "he is an optimist" and it means that someone sees things optimistically in life in general and this characterises him as a person, but we also say "he has an optimistic way of thinking". In this example, we could say "he is optimistic" if we refer to a certain instance, like "he is optimistic about a particular outcome" or "he is feeling optimistic" (right now, at this very moment). The link you provided is irrelevant to what I said, I never implied that all adjectives need to be followed by a noun, just that the particular adjective "antisemitic" needs a noun after it. Anyway, as I said it doesn't really matter, after all English is your first language since you're Canadian, maybe you know better.


A) "I'm here to let you know that your a damn fool" is definitely not a valid argument, that is just my way of venting about people not dropping the most mundane and petty controversy known to man. I sure it's offensive to some people but I guess I'm insensitive to, what I would consider, peoples more petty emotional side. Especial since it's in regards to them characterizing someone as a racist or an antisemite (see I'm learning )
B) You just redeemed yourself to a first rate grammar police. Your clarification makes sense and I will keep that in mind for the future. Even though English is my first language, I don't have master over the grammar. Actually, I spent four years studying Latin and I know the grammar of that language better than my own. I slept through all my English classes.
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09.11.2020 - 23:24
musclassia
Written by RaduP on 09.11.2020 at 08:20

Written by CWA on 09.11.2020 at 01:59

Please fellow metal stormers lets not turn in fourth rate grammar police.

We'd lose ourminds if we had to grammar check Bad English.


*our minds
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12.11.2020 - 18:56
eschaton1000
Written by nikarg on 09.11.2020 at 18:54

I still think this is a wrong use of the word but it doesn't matter much. We say that someone is "antisemite" when, for example, he is using "antisemitic" rhetoric. "Antisemite" refers to someone who essentially has a certain point of view which in turn bears such a strong connotation that it is considered to be a personality characteristic. It is like when we say "he is an optimist" and it means that someone sees things optimistically in life in general and this characterises him as a person, but we also say "he has an optimistic way of thinking". In this example, we could say "he is optimistic" if we refer to a certain instance, like "he is optimistic about a particular outcome" or "he is feeling optimistic" (right now, at this very moment). The link you provided is irrelevant to what I said, I never implied that all adjectives need to be followed by a noun, just that the particular adjective "antisemitic" needs a noun after it. Anyway, as I said it doesn't really matter, after all English is your first language since you're Canadian, maybe you know better.


Just to be an even bigger grammar Nazi (for my first ever post too - that's a bad sign, if there ever was one! ), "antisemite" is a noun, not an adjective, so someone can't be "antisemite" (treated as a predicate adjective, since it's not an adjective) but they can be "an antisemite" (predicate noun). "Antisemitic" is the adjectival form and can modify nouns but also, as an adjective, can be used as a predicate adjective - so "He is antisemitic" or "That remark is antisemitic" are perfectly good English. There's no such thing as an English adjective that can't be used as a predicate adjective; that's just part of the grammar. So, bad: "He is antisemite"; good: "He is an antisemite" or "He is antisemitic." (Just to be clear, I've worked as editor (both copy editor and otherwise) for multiple academic works in the social sciences/humanities (I'm currently working on two at the moment), so this isn't just guesswork on my part).
[EDIT: I just looked up the word "antisemitic" in Merriam-Webster's and the example sentence used to illustrate the word has it being used as a predicate adjective: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anti-Semitic]
*Quietly slides back into silent lurking so others can get back to talking about the album without further nerdy animadversions on English grammar*
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12.11.2020 - 19:46
nikarg
Mod
Written by eschaton1000 on 12.11.2020 at 18:56

first post

Thanks for that. This thing was bugging me to be honest, it's good to have a detailed clarification.
I guess now we can finally go as you said yourself
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15.11.2020 - 15:25
Hyamendacil1450
I like what this guy made in Agalloch and Pillorian, but this is not a serious effort by any stretch. Most of the music here is awful, boring and overlong. It relies way too much on ambient and samples, which is not a valid musical genre on its own. Listening through this felt as if someone recorded a jamming session as a full-length album. Almost everything seems random, incoherent, quirky for the sake of it. You just keep hoping of hearing something interesting, forcing you to forward through it. Even when the heavy passages kick in, they feel empty and improvised. No wonder his solo career is overlooked. There is nothing of quality to be found here.
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15.11.2020 - 15:53
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Hyamendacil1450 on 15.11.2020 at 15:25

It relies way too much on ambient and samples, which is not a valid musical genre on its own.

I, once again, stopped reading after this.
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
Loading...
15.11.2020 - 22:47
Hyamendacil1450
Written by RaduP on 15.11.2020 at 15:53

Written by Hyamendacil1450 on 15.11.2020 at 15:25

It relies way too much on ambient and samples, which is not a valid musical genre on its own.

I, once again, stopped reading after this.


Well it ain't. I can appreciate ambient when combined with a valid musical genre, or music in general. But standalone, there is no difference between ambient and listening how the wind blows. Then again this is the age of hipsterdom. Minimalism and sloth is now the epitome of artistic expression.
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15.11.2020 - 23:07
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Hyamendacil1450 on 15.11.2020 at 22:47

Then again this is the age of hipsterdom. Minimalism and sloth is now the epitome of artistic expression.

What about the age of Tangerine Dream? I get that this is a hill you're prepared to die on, but you (thankfully) aren't the arbiter of what constitutes music or genres. Ambient music in many ways offers a wider range of emotional interpretation than the entire expanse of metal could ever hope to achieve. Now, this album isn't exactly one I'd consider to be among the genre's best, but John Haughm does a pretty good job at emulating his influences that were done in superior fashion.

I'm curious what keeps bringing you to discuss ambient music when you apparently can't differentiate it from hearing the wind blow. I don't think it's a matter of trolling on your part as you seem genuine in your opinion of its merit, but why would anyone so opposed to the genre bother listening to releases that fall into that category? It would be like me listening to Dragonforce or Avantasia. I know I'm not going to get any benefit from listening to that stuff so I just ignore it. It's pointless to venture into those territories and then try to convince anyone who listens to it that it doesn't qualify as music according to my own definitions.
----
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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15.11.2020 - 23:21
Hyamendacil1450
Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.11.2020 at 23:07

Written by Hyamendacil1450 on 15.11.2020 at 22:47

Then again this is the age of hipsterdom. Minimalism and sloth is now the epitome of artistic expression.

What about the age of Tangerine Dream? I get that this is a hill you're prepared to die on, but you (thankfully) aren't the arbiter of what constitutes music or genres. Ambient music in many ways offers a wider range of emotional interpretation than the entire expanse of metal could ever hope to achieve. Now, this album isn't exactly one I'd consider to be among the genre's best, but John Haughm does a pretty good job at emulating his influences that were done in superior fashion.

I'm curious what keeps bringing you to discuss ambient music when you apparently can't differentiate it from hearing the wind blow. I don't think it's a matter of trolling on your part as you seem genuine in your opinion of its merit, but why would anyone so opposed to the genre bother listening to releases that fall into that category? It would be like me listening to Dragonforce or Avantasia. I know I'm not going to get any benefit from listening to that stuff so I just ignore it. It's pointless to venture into those territories and then try to convince anyone who listens to it that it doesn't qualify as music according to my own definitions.


There is nothing emotional in background noise. Do you find the sound of wind emotional? I doubt you do. Same here. Ambient music offers nothing if played alone. If combined with valid musical genres, one of it being metal, then it can do wonders. Rarely, but it can. Here it does not, precisely because most songs contain an ambient only section, sometimes interrupted by a few random samples, and the followed by a random heavy section. Incoherence and randomness is what describes the music here.

Ambient is the kind of music, or better yet sound that you hear when you are waiting for the elevator to reach the top floor. Essentially stuff that is supposed to be ignored. I believed that the post-rock genre tag this 'music' got me thinking that it might bring a decent tune, but I was expecting too much. Dragonforce and Avantasia make crap cheesy music, but at least that is music, sort of. Despite the overall product being abysmal. I guess I am also curious to understand the psyche of someone actually liking this stuff genuinely. For me it is something unfathomable. I'd have to be heavily on Bolivian mushrooms for this background noise to somehow impress me.
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15.11.2020 - 23:34
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Hyamendacil1450 on 15.11.2020 at 23:21

For me it is something unfathomable.

I don't take any issue with that, but the rest of your rant is literally just you ignorantly saying something isn't music simply because you can't identify with it. And considering the amount of people who can, it isn't exactly a rare phenomenon that requires a deeper understanding of human psyche. I'll leave you to your thoughts though as this discussion doesn't serve to benefit anyone.
----
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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16.11.2020 - 11:27
Hyamendacil1450
Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.11.2020 at 23:34

Written by Hyamendacil1450 on 15.11.2020 at 23:21

For me it is something unfathomable.

I don't take any issue with that, but the rest of your rant is literally just you ignorantly saying something isn't music simply because you can't identify with it. And considering the amount of people who can, it isn't exactly a rare phenomenon that requires a deeper understanding of human psyche. I'll leave you to your thoughts though as this discussion doesn't serve to benefit anyone.


Not ignorance, but reality. The sound of wind blowing is not music. Otherwise everyone can become a musician. One of the reasons why this kind of artistic sloth comes even close to be considered music these days is that people, in general, have no standards or very low standards. Which explains why music in general today is mostly garbage. This kind of tripe back in the 80s or 90s would have been laughed at. Now it is praised as some kind of epitome of artistic expression. When there is no artistic expression. Just random noise packaged as art or 'music'.

Anyway, it is good that his solo career is unnoticed and it should stay unnoticed. At least this way he may actually focus on serious musical projects. Receiving too much praise when you release tripe can make one go for ego trips. Back in the hey day of metal music and not only, fans had more of a positive influence when it came to the musical direction an artist or band takes. But back then they had some standards. They would not praise garbage as music. But times have changed. Now you can glue a banana on a wall and use the lamestream media to promote it as a form of art. Same goes for music, movies and other arts.
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