Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit review
|Album:||Marrow Of The Spirit|
|Release date:||November 2010|
01. They Escaped The Weight Of Darkness
02. Into The Painted Grey
03. The Watcher's Monolith
04. Black Lake Niðstång
05. Ghosts Of The Midwinter Fires
06. To Drown
07. Nihil Totem [tour edition vinyl bonus]
08. The Weight Of Darkness [tour edition vinyl bonus]
Like remembering a dream, the opening minutes of this album serenade us with a haunting cello solo. The sound of a nearby forest stream provides a backdrop for this melody; it's a familiar yet distant setting. Have I been here before? Just as the dream becomes clearer and you reach that part of your memory that hides it, the crushing guitars break open the door and all hope is lost.
Agalloch once again accosts us with their inescapable heavy atmosphere. You will be brought to this place and made to listen, to feel. Musically, we're treated to a barrage of blast beats and intense cymbal work layered with dark melody and John Haughm's vocal attack (often almost black metal style vocals with excellent diction: nearly every lyric is understandable). If you expected a crushing, moody, intense, epic journey, then you guessed right. Sometimes the speed pushes and pulls us along this rough, forested path, other times we're staggering slowly through acoustic instrumentation and whispered vocals. Cold guitars lend their icy melody throughout.
Since the beginning, Agalloch has created a sound that is uniquely their own. Though they straddle many genres (bits of folk, black, doom, gothic, ambient) they are none of these and all of these. Fans from across the spectrum find a favourite ingredient in Agalloch and are uncontrollably drawn to the rest. Marrow of the Spirit seems to draw bits more from black and doom metal at times than some of their previous albums, but fans of their folk and ambient side will not be disappointed, there's plenty for everyone. And it's all in the atmosphere: despite the speedy drum work, you can soak up this album in front of a fire on a rainy night, if you so desire, or let the crushing intensity in with a more physical gesture, headbanging options included. There is no wrong way to let this music overtake you.
The album closes with "To Drown," a slower tempo track that seems to lead us on an endless death march. Relentless rhythm and those freezing cold guitars lead this mesmerizing 10-minute instrumental closer. In the last minute, the assault ends and it seems we've been led to the ocean. It is here that we are gently laid to rest, only to crave the journey once more.
Written on 08.12.2010 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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| Troy Killjoy
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