Agalloch
Ashes Against the Grain

The End
2006
B+
Reviewed by: Cosmo Lee
Reviewed on: 2006-11-06



Posted 11/06/2006 - 09:50:27 AM by meatbreak:
 Brilliant. Thanks Cosmo. Nice intro too, this album really does benefit from being heard in a wintery environment. Though by that token, all Black Metal should be released between November and February only. Getting the Wolves In The Throne Room album at the beginning of the summer was a bit odd and I'm looking forward to getting it out again now the air is frosty (and seeing how high up my end of year chart it will be).

So, Agalloch then, and this album. A dramatic one that demands active listening. The production is near perfect with its clean sweeping lines of guitar, crunchy chords with grit and power behind them, the contrasting drums that pound roundly against the tight snares, the vocals coming in fierce rasps and earthy tones. ‘This White Mountain On Which You Will Die’ takes off into a double-bass drum rumble after it's excruciatingly intense build up, surging forward on the kind of insistent keening riff that Interpol founded their fortunes on, and an equal to ‘Falling Snow’ that you already described. Both would likely get the same response in an indie club as a metal one – I’ve done it and seen the reaction. This album cuts straight across so many sub-genres that, like The Meads of Asphodel and Woods of Infinity who utilize similar mind bendingly oblique styles in their albums, they seem to have fallen into some middle ground that rivetheads, kvultists and indie metallers can’t quite figure out. Their loss. I still haven’t figured this album out after three months of listening, but I am listening – hard, like I understand.
 
Posted 11/06/2006 - 06:29:47 PM by draglikepull:
 If you were to take away the growly vocals that show up in spots, this would hardly be a metal album at all. Easily one of the top few albums I've heard all year, I can't stop listening to it.