seem to get overlooked when it comes to the metal scene, with no justification. If you ask me, they're one of the most talented bands out there right now. So it's no surprise that they brought out yet another masterpiece and more in 2006. I've never seen a band master atmosphere and pure musical genious in such a short space of time before. It leaves me spellbound whenever I listen to this album.
The production in this album is crystal clear and spot on the money. The guitars, however simple they are played, and amazingly played and timed nonetheless. I've never heard rhythm guitar quite this perfect this before. As is the lead.
They splice together acoustic sections and pure metal sections so well, considering that they're total polar opposites, yet Agalloch
blend them perfectly to make a diverse medley of sophisticated songs that still never fail to utterly and completely blow my mind.
We start this epic journey with "Limbs
", which starts with an almost headache-enducing guitar melody (IT'S BLOODY HIGH), but soon, sheer beauty breaks the monotony as the rest of the band come in with no warning but a small and insignificant drum fill. Again
, I've never heard guitars this...perfect before. They mastered the progressive aspect perfectly, almost like minimalism, slight changes every now and again, I just didn't want this song to end. In a blink of an eye, a beautiful, tear enducing acoustic section comes in. Before again, being interrupted by sheer metallic beauty. This track blends between these sections like patchwork, and makes into one of the best songs I've ever heard in my life.
The vocals are a mix between absolutely beautiful clean vocals (They're trancendant...) and a strange whispery, raspy scream. It's quite...different, it sounds really atmospheric, but it may take some getting used to. But now, I can't get enough. Did I mention the clean vocals are brilliant?
We then enter the realm of "Falling Snow", which is a very good song, but not up to the standard of Limbs
, but it's a bloody great song. Written really well in the same sort of influence as Limbs
We're then faced with somewhat of a bleak 1-2 minute pure atmosphere track called "This White Mountain
on Which You Will Die
". It's totally unnecessary and uncalled for, and it gives me the impression Agalloch
are trying a little too hard to make this album atmospheric. It's just totally out of place.
But all is forgiven with the next two tracks. The next two tracks are the best on the album. We're faced with "Fire
Above, Ice Below". A beautiful, melancholic, and pure genious track. The most emotional track on the album. And
then we're faced with the best Agalloch
track I've ever heard, "Not Unlike The Waves". Everything about this song is perfect. Just...Perfect. I'm not even going to go into how perfect it is, because it would be impossible to fault this song.
The next three songs, again, take a very atmospheric approach. They're a P1 P2 P3 series of songs called Our Fortress
, and they're all brilliantly atmospheric. It's almost like post-rock with a metal influence, but not heavy enough to be post-metal. Pure
I can't even go into how I feel when I listen to this album. The majority of the songs can only be described as pure genious and pure perfection. Everything about this album is polished and perfect, and the songwriting is amazing. The lyrics are great, and the vocals take me so far away...
But something tells me Agalloch
have been trying a little too hard to make it atmospheric. I think they need to focus more on their brilliance than the atmosphere, because the songs they make are brilliantly atmospheric anyway, without the silly 2 minute track gimmicks.