Agalloch - Pale Folklore review

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Band: Agalloch
Album: Pale Folklore
Release date: June 1999

01. She Painted Fire Across The Skyline I
02. She Painted Fire Across The Skyline II
03. She Painted Fire Across The Skyline III
04. The Misshapen Steed
05. Hallways Of Enchanted Ebony
06. Dead Winter Days
07. As Embers Dress The Sky
08. The Melancholy Spirit

In recent years, only a handful of bands surprised me as much as Agalloch from Portland, Oregon. With albums such as The Mantle and Ashes Against The Grain, they established themselves as one of the most talented US acts. I suddenly realized that I was missing out on one of their albums, 1999's Pale Folklore.

The first observation is that Agalloch's unique style - an atmospheric blend of folk, doom, death and much more - is already well defined on this album. While the production is understandably of poorer quality compared to their more recent releases, it is clear enough to enjoy the large amount of creativity showcased throughout the tracks.

'She Painted Fire Across The Skyline' is a typical Agalloch creation, divided into three distinct parts, which gives Pale Folklore a great base. Listeners who are already familiar with their discography, will recognize 'The Death Of Man' as the lead build-up of The Mantle album.

Without giving up too much information, 'Hallways OF Enchanted Ebony', 'Dead Winter Days' and especially 'As Embers Dress The Sky' constitute the essential heart of the album while 'The Melancholy Spirit' is a slower-beat outro with a fantastic piano conclusion.

Pale Folklore is an extremely interesting album, played by very convincing musicians and in a unique style that is sure to gather people with different musical background. It may be a notch under their grandiose The Mantle, but it's not far from it.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 6


Written on 04.11.2006 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.


Comments: 18   Visited by: 268 users
04.11.2006 - 15:31
Angel of Lust
Yeah I agree, a very good album with a poor production (compared with their last 2 amazing albums), but very enjoyable anyway. Agalloch: simply great and unequalled...
Good review!

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
15.11.2006 - 17:15
I'd say the performance was outstanding but probably the greatest success of Pale Folklore was their originality.
And sometimes I despair
At who I've become
I have to come to terms
With what I've done
28.02.2007 - 22:58
Best album ever.This is all.Thank you.
oh my fucking god, fucking dinosaurs
29.04.2007 - 10:55
well every agalloch release is among the best albums ever
Don't turn away just take my hand and when you make your final stand i ll be right there i ll never leave all i ask of you is believe...
08.05.2007 - 21:24
by far their best in my opinion. it had a most hauntingly beautiful atmosphere, such that i didn't find in the later albums
03.07.2007 - 01:19
First album I found by Agalloch. I can't remember when or where but it was ages ago and probably illegally. I looked everywhere for the CD but I could never find it. (And Sweden is supposed to be good at this metal stuff!) Eventually I did find it in a backwater store somewhere you never would have expected. I guess that's irony.

Easily my favorite album. Dead Winter Days makes me shiver every time I hear it.
04.07.2007 - 02:25
Account deleted
I know people are going to disagree, but it would be amazing is Agalloch considered a rerecording on this album. This album really deserves it.
18.07.2008 - 12:09
Account deleted
great album but the production was a bit poor 8.5/10
27.11.2008 - 14:26
Great but poor production
14.01.2009 - 21:44
Red Nightmare
I don't give a shit about production, the only thing I know is that album is fucking great, period.
IntoPlighT said: "Slipknot is 15 years old how the fuck is that Nu metal?"

28.07.2009 - 19:25
Best agalloch album!!!
28.07.2009 - 19:41
Heaven Knight
For me a bit weaker one, but only because "Ashes Against The Grain" and "The Mantle" are so wonderful...
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again

23.12.2009 - 09:52
Liver Failure
For me too. Worst of their albums. But that does not mean a bad album at all . The three part ''She Painted Fire Across The Skyline'' are not so good, but the album gets a lot better from there to on.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
01.02.2011 - 23:52
For me, this is their best album.
16.09.2011 - 03:20
Looking back I have to say that this is Agallochs best album. The production is not a bad thing on this album IMO as it helps feed the atmosphere, This album does not need to be rerecorded.
19.10.2011 - 23:41
Good, album. Its sort of obvious listening to it that it's their first though as theyve progressed a lot imo. The only thing lacking in this album is that I can see the goddamn pixels on the album cover. (I bought the album) I know this was 1999 when it was released..but still that so cheap haha.
09.10.2012 - 13:55
I listened to this album carefully and found no production issues at all. Sound is great so as the album. Such a beautiful debut album naturally led to a display of power and talent, which we saw in their following works throughout the years.
02.02.2016 - 15:59
Bad English
Awesome album what some how twisted, turned and changes American metal, its European sounding album, I might be wrong but in big picture nothing like this before exited there, all was like hair, th, dm, grunde and what MTv promoted, nothing like this well US and Eur influenced each other but Europe gave to metal much more as US gave into such genre
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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