Rating:
8.9
Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain
8 August 2006


01. Limbs
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.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 7


Band profile: Agalloch
Album: Ashes Against The Grain


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 20.06.2006

Guest review by
strade

Rating:
8.0
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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published 11.03.2012 | Comments (25)



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Lokomotiv - 20.06.2006 at 06:19  
didn't you note that this sounds incrediblt Black Metal?
dancingdecember - 20.06.2006 at 19:54  
great album from one of my fav bands.i just love their creativity and amazing songwriting.and i love it when they use acoustic guitars.i'm sure they will keep up this good work
Demonic Tutor - 21.06.2006 at 05:28  
It does not more Black Metal than their usual standards, I guess that's why I omitted it.
Shadowthrone - 23.06.2006 at 11:10  
i'll give it a try
IgarTheTerrible - 17.07.2006 at 07:23  
Great review dream_taster. Great record by agalloch, but the main problem I had with it was that "This White Mountain On Which You Will Die", "Our Fortress Is Burning... I" and bloodbirds feel weak and uninspired compared to the rest of the album. 8.6 is about where Id put this album as well.
McDoom - 22.07.2006 at 09:40  
Cant wait for the release and up and coming European tour too.
scskowron - 22.07.2006 at 17:07  
Best album of 2006, I think.
Fayde - 12.08.2006 at 10:29  
Best album of 2006 is right, this is easily Agalloch's most outstanding album to date, I can't stop listening to it.
abraxas - 13.08.2006 at 22:56  
absolute masterpiece. i love it.
Snake-Eye - 15.08.2006 at 01:42  
Wow yes, it competes with Dolorian - Voidwards for the title album of the year!
Krankheit - 27.08.2006 at 20:34  
Great review dude. Agalloch is truly one of the best bands out there.
Alabaster - 29.08.2006 at 20:41  
This album is great. Loving it.
WarMaster - 30.08.2006 at 06:27  
So far my #1 Album of this year.
Snake-Eye - 13.09.2006 at 17:54  
Album Of The Year?

It might wéll be!
demogorgon51 - 02.10.2006 at 06:41  
Great album! Great lyrics, as well. A little hard to find, but they're here... http://shadowduet.com/index.php?p=59&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1#more59
canmewaterbee - 05.10.2006 at 06:02  
Incredible masterpiece here. Not one single song is out of place or poorly written. 10/10.
Dangerboner - 05.10.2006 at 07:06  
This is probably the only doom album that I can pay attention to and enjoy. 8/10
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.10.2006 at 00:50  
Written by Dangerboner on 05.10.2006 at 07:06

This is probably the only doom album that I can pay attention to and enjoy. 8/10


Aarrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhh this is NOT doom, not by a mile.
lazarus - 27.10.2006 at 06:01  
I don't know, but it seems that something was missing in the whole concept of the album, probably the folk touch, I'll have to get use to it!
Dandelion - 29.10.2006 at 01:01  
its just greaaaaaaaaat-i could hear it foreveeeeeeeer....
DragonSlayer - 05.11.2006 at 01:33  
Album of the year. Fantastic masterpiece from one of the best bands in the world. From the moment the incredible heavy and catchy riff of Limbs starts blasting I knew that this is was going to be one hell of a album. Well done!
Promonex - 06.11.2006 at 12:41  
Written by Guest on 05.11.2006 at 01:33

From the moment the incredible heavy and catchy riff of Limbs starts blasting I knew that this is was going to be one hell of a album.

It really took you that long?
The very first time I listened to this album, the first thing I heard was this one guitar tune way before the riff enters - from that moment on it was clear that there was no way back, either I'll have to go through the entire album or... well, there wasn't really an alternative. A pity that after several listens the riff seems to kill the hypnotic effect of the very first seconds.
Stigmatized - 02.12.2006 at 19:01  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.10.2006 at 00:50

Written by Dangerboner on 05.10.2006 at 07:06

This is probably the only doom album that I can pay attention to and enjoy. 8/10


Aarrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhh this is NOT doom, not by a mile.


What genre do you consider it to be?
Dandelion - 03.02.2007 at 11:27  
Written by Stigmatized on 02.12.2006 at 19:01

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.10.2006 at 00:50

Written by Dangerboner on 05.10.2006 at 07:06

This is probably the only doom album that I can pay attention to and enjoy. 8/10


Aarrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhh this is NOT doom, not by a mile.



What genre do you consider it to be?

its some kind of atmosferic metal- for me agalloch cant be put in any category-its just agalloch
-DC-002- - 04.02.2008 at 08:46  
weird. even though their from Oregon, i've never heard of them coming to Seattle. the state right to the North.
Marcus - 10.07.2008 at 10:04  
This is a great album, but The Mantle is much better. I enjoyed the screams of Solstafir on "Not unlike the waves", he rarely does those.
gerrard888 - 23.07.2008 at 18:30  
great album (Fire Above, Ice Below 10/10)
omjaimes - 06.09.2008 at 23:03  
great equilibrium
Powerslavex - 27.11.2008 at 14:30  
Agalloch never stop amazing me!
Longships - 06.02.2009 at 08:44  
This album permeates every conscious and unconscious part of your mind. The album is so beautiful it stings your eyes. Listen from start to finish again and again as it bathes you in its radiance fusing fire, water and earth elements. The production is ethereal with a drum sound second to none. Difficult to compare to others but closest to the most precious gems from Opeth and Katatonia.
Ellrohir - 06.02.2009 at 17:55  
Mantle is better, but it is because Mantle is extraordinary, not because this one is bad
ms68 - 22.04.2009 at 21:09  
Written by Ellrohir on 06.02.2009 at 17:55

Mantle is better, but it is because Mantle is extraordinary, not because this one is bad

this is more than extraordinary. you can't find higher than this. this is the best.
Solstafir! - 15.05.2009 at 20:14  
Awesome album!!! "Limbs" is one of the best openers I've heard in a long while...
MrSpaceman |BR| - 12.11.2009 at 15:50  
There are 3 years I'm listening to this album. It's amazing. I always return to it... maybe one of the best albums of the decade.
THE_BLACK_GOD - 24.01.2010 at 13:32  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.10.2006 at 00:50

Written by Dangerboner on 05.10.2006 at 07:06

This is probably the only doom album that I can pay attention to and enjoy. 8/10


Aarrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhh this is NOT doom, not by a mile.

yes this is not a doom album, just has dark atmosphere as doom metal. Its something like black gothic metal or atmospheric gothic metal with some folk influences. really nice album I cant never accept them as an American band. cause such bands are very rare in their metal music.
Dark Cornatus - 16.02.2010 at 06:58  
I love the song 'Not Unlike The Waves', its probably my favourite Agalloch song and ive listened to almost everything they have released now. It reminds me a bit of Ulver and (strangely, i know) even the vocals from the Australian aboriginal rock band Yothu Yindi who were big in the early 90's. To to whoever said their wasnt any folk influences, maybe there is one in that song.
Anjana(SriLanka) - 21.09.2010 at 17:38  
Written by -DC-002- on 04.02.2008 at 08:46

weird. even though their from Oregon, i've never heard of them coming to Seattle. the state right to the North.

Yes! I agree with you .. \m/
ISIS is somewhat similar to Agalloch .. I guess
Daniell - 21.09.2010 at 21:59  
One of the greatest masterpieces of the last decade. I never get bored of it.
lugardo - 12.11.2010 at 04:30  
Best album IMO; cannot wait for their new installment, I am dying to see what have they composed now.
Dragzad - 02.02.2011 at 00:02  
Well, for me this is agalloch's weakest album.I was disappointed to see that the acoustic guitars of The Mantle and the Haunting Atmosphere of pale folklore, the two main reasons i love this band for,were mostly gone.
The only exceptions are the songs Fire Above, Ice Below and Not Unlike The Waves, which I find incredible.The other songs of the album range from mediocre to completely bad.
Evil Chip - 19.04.2011 at 02:34  
Best record from Agalloch IMO. Limbs is a masterpiece itself and the rest of the songs keep it up aswell.
Dogsbreakfast - 20.03.2012 at 00:37  
I have to agree with the 10 ratings some people are giving it. On the strength of this album alone, I picked up everything I could find from Agalloch. Did the same thing for Baroness because of the Blue Record a while back too. No Canadian tour dates announced for Agalloch through to the end of May so have to keep checking.
growl_kid - 09.05.2013 at 20:55  
I felt like crying everytime i hear this....so good

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