Faustian Echoes

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Band Name Agalloch
Album Name Faustian Echoes
Type EP
Data de lançamento 26 Junho 2012
Produced by Billy Anderson
Recorded at Cloud City Sound
Estilo de MúsicaDark Metal
Membros têm este álbum28


 Faustian Echoes

Total playing time: 21:34

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Crítica @ Satanicarchangel

13 Fevereiro 2013

Agalloch: True Kvlt Black Metal

Despite always having a profound Black Metal influence Agalloch have never been pure Black Metal. They’ve always had other elements in their sound which made pinning down their exact genre difficult; I think their term “grey metal” would be the most apt fitting for their particular brand of sorrowful melancholic music. However their last album “Marrow of the Spirit” placed a much greater emphasis on their Black Metal elements than anything they’ve previously done with the exception of From Which of This Oak. Marrow of the Spirit despite lacking some of the elements that made their previous albums so good was still a great Black Metal album that showcased their change in direction masterfully. Faustian Echoes carries on with the direction established on that album with one long song comprised of emotionally charged Black Metal.

Music fans, metalheads in particular are incredibly picky when it comes to music, if a band starts off heavy and then gets soft their instantly branded as sellouts e.g. In Flames and Opeth. The same can be said if they start softer and then get heavier. This can be said about Agalloch who’s last album Marrow of the Spirit whilst still receiving a lukewarm reception was treated with disdain by some fans displeased with the change in sound. Of course Faustian Echoes will do nothing to change their opinions but for us real fans who actually stick with the band then this album will deserve a spot in our music library.

Faustian Echoes actually isn’t as far removed from the rest of the Agalloch discography as most people will have you believe. It’s still Agalloch, you can still tell it’s them, all of their elements still remain including the clean guitar breaks but they’re not as common as they were in previous releases.
Clocking in at around 21 minutes this is the longest song they’ve released to date. Throughout the song there are scattered acoustic breaks mixed in with the vicious Black Metal assault. The intro riff is incredibly aggressive, being the most vicious thing I’ve heard Agalloch do. Faustian Echoes is a constantly moving piece of work, the transitions between soft and harsh work well and everything flows together perfectly. None of the transitions are rough and nothing feels out of place, everything has been merged perfectly into each other. Mixed in with the music are dark narrative passages that suit the music perfectly.

Everything on this album is completely amorphous, being able to switch from epic black metal to softer sections in a heart beat. This helps to engage the listener further because a twenty odd minute track of just pure black metal might begin to wear thin after a while. Some of the riffs are surprisingly melodic especially the one that kicks in at around the six minute mark, it’s surprisingly bouncy and is a great touch. The acoustic breaks are still good but I won’t deny that they’ve been better on past albums. They’re a great addition to Faustian Echoes and help to break up the music more, giving it more room to breathe and flow.

If there’s one thing that bothers me it’s the lack of clean vocals. I’ve always loved the clean voice of John Haugm and to see it missing from Faustian Echoes is a bit of a downer. His voice would have complimented the music nicely but the fact that it’s missing leaves me feeling a little empty. His cleans would have been a great addition to an already memorable track, such a shame that they’re not employed. Also his harsh vocals don’t feel as aggressive as they have been before; they feel much more tame which is strange considering the shift in direction to a much more blacker approach. They’re also much clearer than they have been with each word being enunciated perfectly.

Despite having a few flaws this is still a great addition to the Agalloch discography. If you were displeased with the change to a much blacker approach on Marrow of the Spirit then this album isn’t going to do much to change your mind. The main intrinsic weakness of Faustian Echoes is the lack of innovation that has come to be expected of Agalloch. The sound is much more stripped down than it has been before. I think that if Agalloch continued with their new Black Metal direction but mixed it with the innovations that I’ve come to expect from them then they could release an album that might be able to eclipse Pale Folklore.

1 Comentário

1 Like

wtydings - 18 Fevereiro 2013: This EP is Amazing This band is amazing Long Live Agalloch
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