From Which of This Oak

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Band Name Agalloch
Album Name From Which of This Oak
Type Demo
Data de lançamento 1996
Labels Self-Released
Estilo de MúsicaDark Metal
Membros têm este álbum31


1. The Wilderness 11:18
2. As Embers Dress the Sky 08:00
3. Foliorum Viridum 02:41
4. This Old Cabin 13:18
Total playing time 35:17

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Crítica @ Satanicarchangel

15 Fevereiro 2013

Melodic Black Metal Masterpeice

Being the release that predates their debut album Pale Folklore one would probably expect a similar sound. Therefore it’s surprising that From Which of This Oak is a very different beast from the follow up. If you’re familiar with Agalloch’s discography but have so far eluded this release then it may come as a bit of a shock to you. The sound is much rawer and colder than on their following releases and puts a much greater emphasis on their Black Metal elements. Despite containing some of the elements that made Agalloch what they are they are found in a much smaller quantity than on anything they’ve done after this.

To an extent it does sound like Pale Folklore but the production is much rawer, the vocals nastier and the folk elements much more subtle. The album kicks off with The Wilderness which is probably the best song on the album and one that I personally feel should have been rerecorded on a latter release. The riffs are absolutely stunning and I like how well they harmonize together. They’re not played in the standard Black Metal fashion; they’re much more melodic and are easy on the ears. Some of the dual guitar work sounds slightly Gothenburg but don’t let this put you off. The drum beat is really rather good, it goes well with the rhythm of the song and is surprisingly bouncy. The vocals are surprisingly vicious and aggressive; despite not sounding fully professional they carry with them a lot of power and hatred.

The next track is As Embers Dress The Sky which was rerecorded for Pale Folklore. Although I prefer the version on their debut it’s still interesting to see how it started. The harsh vocals on this track lean much closer to Death Metal; despite not being the most powerful vocals I’ve heard they’re certainly decent enough. They’re also fairly unique in the sense that they’re not as animalistic and aggressive as other vocals of a similar fashion. They sound very throaty and the words are easily decipherable from them. He also utilizes a shriek that sounds very similar to a majority of the bands within the Depressive Black Metal realm. They’re quite far back in the mix, giving them this eerie distant feeling akin to Trist. The clean vocals on this track are sublime; they’re very hypnotic and carry suitable levels of emotion. If there’s one small complaint to be made about this track is that the drums completely overpower the acoustic break in the second half of the song. They also sound very flat in conjunction with the acoustics and for me personally it detracts from the atmosphere majorly.

The next track Foliorum Vidium sounds exactly like it does on Of Stone, Wind and Pallor. It’s a beautiful instrumental work mixed with some haunting strings and a desolate atmosphere. This is the most folk oriented track on the album and is a sign of things to come from this band. The string are absolutely beautiful on this track, they’re very clear and contain suitable levels of melancholy. There’s some confusion about this track and I’d just like to say it does actually end at 2:46 where This Old Cabin starts but during the recording process it got mixed in with the first three minutes of it.

This Old Cabin is another killer track and another I’d have liked to have seen rerecorded. The riffs on this track are brilliant; they’re highly melodic and flow together really well. The bass is pushed very far back into the mix, you can still hear it but it’s very faint. The clean vocals despite being immature when held up to their latter releases compliment the music nicely, the fact that it’s slightly amateurish gives it a more convincing emotional performance. Once again the harsh vocals are brilliant, utilizing the same blackened shriek that’s found on The Wilderness. The atmosphere on this track is brilliant, Agalloch have always been really good with the atmosphere and This Old Cabin is one of the most atmospheric tracks they’ve recorded. Definitely the high point of this release.

Any fan of Black/Folk Metal owes it to themselves to pick this up as soon as possible. This is a really good release and is a sign of things to come from this band. The sound might seem more amateurish than on latter releases but that is what makes it more special. Of course Black Metal fans will get the most out of this but there is a profound level of musical depth that needs to be experienced by all.

1 Comentário

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wtydings - 18 Fevereiro 2013: My Favorite track has to be As Embers Dress The Sky. Agalloch is definitely great music. In fact my favorite band mainly do to how unique there sound is.
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