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7 tablatures for Agalloch

Agalloch - The Grey (-/10) - USA - 2004

Genre: Post Rock
Label: Vendlus Records
Playing time: 20:58
Band homepage: Agalloch


  1. The Lodge (Dismantled)
  2. Odal (Nothing Remix)
Agalloch - The Grey
After last year’s magnificent “Tomorrow Will Never Come” EP, we are treated with “The Grey” EP in a similar fashion: one disc, two songs. Questions arise. What to think of this? Are they messing around with us? Is it arrogance, or artistic eccentricity? Perhaps some of both; however, AGALLOCH are serious about their business, and I doubt they’d try and rip-off their fans in such a cheap way.
No, fact is they probably hadn’t planned this all along, and just felt like releasing some stuff they were experimenting with, or had left in stock from “The Mantle” sessions. Besides that, both “Tomorrow Will Never Come” and “The Grey” were really supposed to be sold at their recent set of live-shows in America. The Grey makes perfect sense, although I might have preferred a 7” vinyl release over a simple CD. It seems a bit odd to have a disc with only two songs on it.
Technical details aside, the music on “The Grey” is ironically less akin to the Grey Metal we’ve grown to love over their past releases. “The Lodge (Dismantled)” is leaning toward post-rock while the “Odal” remix is something of a noise experiment from Walton. I like the new version of “The Lodge” a lot, but the aptly titled Nothing remix of “Odal” really is a strange affair. Perhaps intended as a joke, but they could have just slapped any title on it. There’s some noise going on but the original is nowhere near to be found. My best guess is they took the first minute from “Odal” and stretched it into 8 minutes of static soundscapes, so it’s kind of fun from this perspective, but as reluctant I am to admit it, this is… filler. No, “The Lodge” is the real reason to get hold of “The Grey”. The version on “The Mantle’ was one of my favourite tracks on that album, but I must say I like this one even better. Both complement each other very well though.
So anyway, the info states “The Grey” ends a trilogy that began with “The Mantle” and “Tomorrow Will Never Come”, which leaves me wondering: is “The Grey” really an isolated part of the “Mantle”-cycle, or a hint at future music? When rumours came up AGALLOCH would do a post-rock album for their next full-length, I was worried, but “The Grey” somewhat assures me it would be a logical transition into new territory. If one thing is for sure, AGALLOCH is constantly developing.
“The Grey” is limited to a 1000 copies, so by the time you read this it’ll probably be sold out. I’m pleased to see AGALLOCH is growing ever popular these days, and has built a devoted following among many music lovers alike, but on the downside limited stuff like this will grow very rare in the future. However, I would suggest casual fans to check out their three major releases. “The Grey” is best viewed as a collectible for die-hard fans. (Online March 23, 2004)
Guest Reviewer Ben Meuleman

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