Agalloch – Marrow of the Spirit
Release date: 2010Nov23 (US)
Label: Profound Lore
Agalloch are one of those really popular bands that have somehow escaped my ears thus far. I’ve heard tons about them and how they are one of the best metal bands around today, but for some reason have just never managed to give them a listen. Upon hearing Marrow of the Spirit, I regret all of this time wasted.
For those of you in the same boat, you may need a little description of Agalloch‘s sound — it’s certainly unique. Let’s just say that it combines the best elements of gothic death/doom, melodic black, folk, and post-metal. While there are times on this album where you may say to yourself “oh, that sounds just like Alcest“ or “I can hear lots of Anathema influence”, these moments only last for short periods of time. Minutes later, they change it up and explore other concepts. The strangest thing, however, is that it works. Far too often, bands go down this path and end up sounding incohesive due to a bounty of ideas which get developed, yes, but do not get developed together. That’s the key. Agalloch builds music that stands as a strong and fortified structure, with every little piece working to create something mesmerizing in the end.
While Agalloch may have elements of certain trends in the black metal scene, they never come across as trendy. There’s a certain originality they channel even when they snag parts that sound like they came directly from an Amesoeurs song (“The Watcher’s Monolith”). It’s this that makes Marrow of the Spirit an engaging listen throughout its entirety. You want a good album to listen to this winter? Well, here it is, staring you straight in the face.
Try 2, 3, 4, 5
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