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7 tablatures for Agalloch

Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain (10/10) - USA - 2006

Genre: Doom Metal / Black Metal
Label: The End Records
Playing time: 59:49
Band homepage: Agalloch


  1. Limbs
  2. Falling Snow
  3. This White Mountain On Which You Will Die
  4. Fire Above, Ice Below
  5. Not Unlike The Waves
  6. Our Fortress Is Burning…I
  7. Our Fortress Is Burning II: Bloodbirds
  8. Our Fortress Is Burning III: The Grain
Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain

Picture stepping outside of your cottage to be greeted with the sight of the rising sun glaring through coniferous foliage... deer sipping from a flowing creek with waterlilies blooming everywhere. This is the sort of feeling that blooms in your heart from the very moment the first track of this Oregonian band, "Limbs", kicks in; with soaring power chords and enchanting distorted notes floating above it all, as touching as if it were a flute in a folk band.


AGALLOCH has always been somewhat of an enigma and some people hesitate to call them Metal at all... people have been forced to try and think of new genre names just to classify these guys. Grey Metal, Progressive Blackened Post-Rock Metal... my personal favorite is "Forest Metal", which I think suits them handily! Throughout the album you're treated to equal parts acoustic Folk ala OCTOBER FALLS or NEST, upbeat melodies and somber post-Rock passages more reminiscent of bands like MOGWAI or GODSPEED YOU, BLACK EMPEROR!, melancholy yet powerful 7-string gothic rhythms ("Limbs"' main theme sounds just like "When Love And Death Embrace"... and this album, just like the rest of AGALLOCH's catalogue, is one song. A concept album, if you will... all the songs are written in the same relative keys (Bb major and G minor if you're curious ;)) and flow together in flawless fashion. Pictures from inside the studio reveal that the band carefully mapped out all the parts of every song in blackboard diagrams; everything on this album is professionally planned and flawlessly executed - you can tell that music is the number one priority in the lives of these four individuals.


Productionwise, everything is very open and vast - the guitars sound gritty and have that organic rectified crunch to them, the drumming sounds great and the parts are all very memorable and spectacular behind the kit. One member of the band even uses a set of large floor toms as timpanis live, adding that added medieval and epic touch to their overall sound. The clean vocals, while not technically impressive, are incredibly heartfelt and emotive and the notes being sung will tug on your heart strings and even bring a tear to your eye, as was the case for me on the song "Falling Snow" (which is available to hear on their


A grand masterpiece of musical expression, it pulls you through a spectrum of emotions; from the sprawling ("Limbs") to the uplifting ("Falling Snow") to the oppressive ("Not Unlike The Waves") and the introspective (the "Our Fortress Is Burning..." trilogy) and is a very cathartic listen to be certain. I could listen to this and the new ANATA for the remainder of the year and still be smiling ear to ear on New Years Eve! One of the best of 2006! (Online August 10, 2006)

Sean May

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