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Discussion in 'RC' started by Haughm, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. Reign in Acai

    Reign in Acai Gnats before thy gums

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    For any of you who are traveling to one of these gigs, I give the L.A date my highest endorsement, as it's being held at a dilapidated art studio which moonlights as a makeshift venue. Dingy, stuffy, in a vile neighborhood, far away from the faggy Hollywood nightlife. Plus Nad has verbally confirmed his attendance. Throw on your Safari red dresses and come partay!
     
  2. Dr. Pete

    Dr. Pete Asian Frank

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    I'm already confirmed to go to both the Portland and Seattle shows.
     
  3. General Zod

    General Zod Ruler of Australia

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    I nearly spit my coffee on my computer screen. That was awesome.
     
  4. General Zod

    General Zod Ruler of Australia

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    I plan to visit Portland sometime next year. Hopefully I can do so around an Agalloch appearance.
     
  5. Climb Thar Hill

    Climb Thar Hill not family oriented

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  6. Tranquillian

    Tranquillian Svartmetallist

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    Thank you for that link!
    Will read and listen now.
     
  7. MFJ

    MFJ Active Member

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    cool song, i like it. great to hear that jeff is playing piano on the tune. jealous! but anyway, it will be nice to hear the rest of the album. haven't bought any metal CDs in quite some time
     
  8. Krilons Resa

    Krilons Resa High Infidelity

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    :lol:
     
  9. Ellestin

    Ellestin one-click buy

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    Hmm, mixed reception here, I'll wait to see how this nice, but rather unspectacular song fits in the grand picture. Then again, I remember being on the verge of fainting when first hearing "Falling Snow" :oops:
     
  10. Morfeind

    Morfeind Member

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    This song gets better after every listen. I liked Ashes but I think this song beats almost anything off that record.
     
  11. Tranquillian

    Tranquillian Svartmetallist

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    Agalloch can do no wrong in the album format. Amazing song.
     
  12. Climb Thar Hill

    Climb Thar Hill not family oriented

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  13. Ellestin

    Ellestin one-click buy

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    Two new songs, zero boner, I'm growing concerned
     
  14. Climb Thar Hill

    Climb Thar Hill not family oriented

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    It seems this album is going to be a grower requiring multiple spins. The previous albums were far more immediate. It may be a slow rising boner
     
  15. Reign in Acai

    Reign in Acai Gnats before thy gums

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    A fanboy review, but a review nonetheless. Personally, I'm going to hold off until the album's released, no samples for moi.


    By Stefan Raduta

    A great album will more often than not reveal itself from the very beginning. But an exceptional album will always take time to fully expand in the listener’s mind and conscience, being the product of an exhausting, perpetual artistic search.

    Just like you can’t expect an old Barolo to unveil its most subtle aromas within minutes, an exceptional album will always take time to comprehend and only then will it be fully treasured. An exceptional album will always demand from the listener at least as much as it’s offering to the listener. An exceptional album will bewilder and thrill, as emotionally draining to experience as it was to write and record. And no matter how sad, an extraordinary album is a pleasure that lasts, digging up memories of your own past in this life or another, leaving you with a taste that will often return in a dream. An extraordinary album will plant a seed in your heart and then haunt you down until the fruit is finally ripen, until it becomes you. An extraordinary album will transcend the identity of the band’s members and diehard fans alike, outliving all of them. And like every great work of art, it will stand as a monument to God, for not only giving man the beauty within to create it, but the desire and courage to share his beauty with the world.

    Agalloch is a band that’s consistently been releasing such exceptional albums. Here is a group that’s always followed its own voice since the very beginning, going against the grain and always coming out with something not only unique but thought provoking, pushing the boundaries of dark music as we’ve known it. Having crafted their own musical niche with a lavish and sumptuous sound, sometimes the grandeur of their songs knows no comparison, they stand out as opulent statues. They’re the kind of band that you either loved to death since day one or you’re still completely missing out on, either way there’s never been an in between with these guys, and the rabid cult following they have in today’s metal scene stands as undeniable proof. To the point where you could cut it with a knife, the anticipation for their 4th opus Marrow Of The Spirit has been building exponentially over the course of the last 4 years, and November 23rd will be the day fans will finally get a taste of it.

    Where do you start reviewing something like this? After almost a month of continuously listening to this album I have to admit I am still in a state of shock. Having spoken with John Haughm over the course of this year, I was led to expect something very different, but the result succeeded all of my hopes or expectations. This here is without a doubt their bleakest, darkest, most sorrowful piece of music they’ve ever recorded. I’ve been struggling with it for weeks now, and it’s gotten to the point where I had to write this damn thing or I would have completely lost it. This album is so overwhelmingly depressing it’s literally been draining the life out of me, much like Ordo Ad Chao did over three years ago. But this is different, it’s not suffocating, you don’t feel like something is choking you for an hour. It’s not dark in a malefic way (Agalloch’s never been about that to begin with), but in a very..deeply melancholic, dismal way - and the more you sink in it the more liberated and at peace with yourself you feel, it almost becomes a healing experience.


    Agalloch have returned to their roots. Light years away from Ashes Against The Grain, Marrow Of The Spirit takes a full turn and goes back where it all started. As much as I love their last album, this sounds like they wanted to run as far from that as possible: the sound is very harsh, it reeks of old, it has a primordial vibe to it that’s hard for me to explain. Imagine Paysage d’Hiver’s sublime landscapes meeting the rough, organic Nagelfar sound, mixed with the chronic depression and hopelessness on Bethlehem’s Dark Metal…Wrap all that up in the unmistakable Agalloch bleak, foggy weather and maybe, just maybe you can get an idea? I don’t know. One thing is certain, listening to this is like trying to understand what a deep, dense forest wants to tell you; except the sounds you hear don’t come from the trees but rather from deep underneath your bare feet. It’s asking you to dig thorough roots, soil and layers of rotten foliage - the deeper you go the clearer you can hear it. It’s an exhausting, draining day and night struggle, but you just know that the key to your very soul lies down there. And when you’ve finally reached it, when you’re finally holding it in your hands, one look around and you realize you’ve dug your grave with your bare hands. You’re finally at peace with everything and all, ready to lay your soul to rest in the one place you’ve always felt you belonged.


    Marrow Of The Spirit is an emotional rollercoaster that will take your breath away and with time will feel like the inner journey you’ve always waited to embark on. Like all of their previous works, it’s not an album for everyone, but this one in particular is actually quite difficult to get in to, and at times I get the feeling that there’s a certain artistic intention to willingly throw you off, as if it’s saying you have to want to get this, look deeper, earn it.


    The songs vary in intensity and structure, and are placed in an intriguing order…First one, They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness is an instrumental, desolating piece where you hear a river flowing on the background, while a Cello (couresy of Jackie Perez Gratz of Grayeceon, Giant Squid) is heard playing a very sad, mourning tune. If you look at the album’s morose cover you realize that you’re actually listening to that very wintery landscape; it’s just marvelous, it draws you ever closer, alluring you in. Then BAM! Into The Painted Grey comes out of the blue and you’re hit with a sanguine black metal sounding piece that strikes you like lightning. Very harsh sounding, the drums are pummeling down like thunder but don’t think Abyssic Hate here, it’s only aggressive enough to wake you up and shake you real well. As the album progresses the songs space out a little bit, giving you more room to breathe, becoming more accessible and leaving no doubt that you’re listening to the great Agalloch. The Watcher’s Monolith (featuring a beautiful piano ending by Jeffrey Neblock of Vindensang) is to be an instant killer live for sure. Very subtle melodies layered with the utmost care, dismal guitar solos intertwined with acoustic passages that build up on intensity and transcend you, killer signature riffs bound to massacre your soul, Agalloch seem stronger than ever before.


    And then there’s number four, Black Lake Nidstang. Oh My God. Wait until you hear this one…it’s without a doubt the most heartbreaking, gut wrenching song they’ve ever written, it’s Agalloch at its finest, most intimate and fragile moment. The moog played by Nate Carson (Witch Mountain) definitely adds more drama to this. I thought Bloodbirds was their masterpiece, but this just totally destroys you. It’s a song that has the potential of bringing every listener to his knees, so utterly sorrowful and devastating to listen, equally painful and electrifying. John’s wailing reaches a level of paroxysm unheard before, it literally cuts your breath off. You wish you could take back every moment you ever used the word “epic”, because this brings it to a new level. Then it shifts into some kind of strange, trippy Ulver soundtrack piece only so that later can enwrap you all over again. A 17 minute heart attack, Black Lake Nidstang is not only proof that Agalloch remains one of the most amazing metal bands of our times, but they’re not afraid to experiment.


    Ghost Of The Midwinter Fires has to be my favorite song of the album besides the previous one of course. It’s just fantastic, it’s got some of the most beautiful guitar work they’ve ever written; there’s two particular moments in the song where it gets so intense you feel like exploding with…joy?! Yeah I know, hard to believe. Without a doubt the most exhilarating audio parts on this album. I almost get a smirk on my face because I just know, I bet that they will play this song live. Expect the next Falling Snow in popularity.


    Closing the book, To Drown is yet again a very disheartening, majestic piece reminding all of us that the band keeps metamorphosing and maturing musically, always pushing the envelope of both sound and form, never stopping to amaze. The Cello from the first song returns with a vengeance this time around, mixed with raucous guitars sounds (somehow reminding me of a very early Shining?), shifting between the image of an incoming apocalypse and the calmness of an ocean. Breathtaking

    I am smitten folks, listening to this album really is a blissful experience that will leave you begging for more. Every time I listen to it I feel that it ends too soon, and that’s strange cuz it’s not a short recording at all. Those who loved Agalloch’s music from the beginning will eat this up like hot bread, and I can only hope that those who enjoyed their more approachable side with Ashes will have the willingness to dig deeper into this one. There was never a doubt in my mind that Agalloch were going to release the album of the year, but this could easily turn in to the album of the decade. I am dying to see these new songs live and re-experience the catharsis of seeing them in flesh.


    Lastly, this review would not be complete (or even relevant) if I didn’t mention that with Marrow Of The Spirit, Agalloch are officially welcoming (omg, finally!) the addition of drummer extraordinaire Aesop Dekker, who’s been with the band for a few years now. For those of you who don’t know this delicious character, he’s one of the best skin beaters the Bay Area has to offer, and has over the course of time developed a taste in joining awesome bands that feature extremely talented and beautiful female musicians (the great Ludicra and more recently Worm Oroboros, both on Profound Lore). Congratulations Aesop, congratulations Agalloch!
     
  16. dorian gray

    dorian gray Returning videotapes

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    Just what I need!!
    ;)
     
  17. lurch70

    lurch70 Member

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    :lol:

    Agalloch should be mentioned on the Oregon Tourism Board website an official state attraction.
     
  18. Tranquillian

    Tranquillian Svartmetallist

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    Thanks for the link to the second track.
     
  19. Reign in Acai

    Reign in Acai Gnats before thy gums

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    From Which of This Oak slays my face and rapes my unborn progeny. :kickass:
     
  20. lurch70

    lurch70 Member

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    you guys are on crack. you make fun of my nostalgic trips but this stuff is interchangeable with anything in their catalog.

    and yeah i listened to those tracks (the first one).
     

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