Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain review
|Album:||Ashes Against The Grain|
|Release date:||August 2006|
02. Falling Snow
03. This White Mountain On Which You Will Die
04. Fire Above, Ice Below
05. Not Unlike The Waves
06. Our Fortress Is Burning... I
07. Our Fortress Is Burning... II - Bloodbirds
08. Our Fortress Is Burning... III - The Grain
09. Scars Of The Shattered Sky (Our Fortress Has Burned To The Ground) [Double LP Vinyl 1000 Copies Limited Edition bonus]
In today's world of overplayed musical styles and boring sameness, a few bands stand out as innovators. Agalloch from Portland, Oregon is one of those bands. With their unique blend of Doom, Gothic and elements of Death metal, those musicians managed to break through the US scene with the highly-acclaimed album The Mantle back in 2002. The band witnessed the arrival of Chris Greene taking over drumming duties for John Haughm (who remains very busy with guitars and vocals) while the rest of the lineup is still rounded up by Jason William Walton (bass) and Don Anderson (guitars).
Now, after several EPs and vinyl discs to bridge the gap, a new album has been brought to life, namely Ashes Against The Grain. And boy, you can already bookmark this one as one of 2006's best records.
As they mastered on their previous records, epic compositions carrying loads of longing and exquisiteness are back to the program. The opener 'Limbs' is already a great sign of things to come. Complex, fulfilling and most of all way too catchy to be tagged as Doom metal; but that's the beauty of this band, to be able to transcend the boundaries of music to define something unique.
The surprise of the record is undeniably 'Falling Snow', which features a faster tempo and a recurrent guitar theme that enhances this song tremendously. Some might be reminding of early Paradise Lost tunes, just more creative.
As the album unfolds, Agalloch's talent becomes more and more obvious and finishes taking over your mind. Without giving everything away, let's just say that 'Fire Above, Ice Below' and 'Not Unlike The Waves' are even better than the two previous songs and 'Our Fortress Is Burning' is a great three-part magnum opus that might just be Agalloch's best work up-to-date.
Creating another great album without repeating themselves, Agalloch latest should lift any doubts concerning their talent and please the crowds. Managing to assemble a killer "menu" of great quality songs, of which one cannot really settle on a favorite one for long, the combo from Portland has brought forth another one of those impossible to ignore releases.
If you have never heard of them, you ought to stop whatever you are doing to rush straight to their website to check out the most talented band in the States. You won't regret it.
Written on 20.06.2006 by
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|Agalloch's Ashes Against The Grain. Never have I found another release I love so much yet feel so unsatisfied by. There's so much here, yet it feels as if so much is missing. It's so spot on, but I just don't find it a flawless or even exemplary demonstration of the genre in question. I'd call it the perfect musical embodiment of a love/hate relationship. With that said, however, I must admit that I feel a far greater abundance of the former than the latter.
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