Agalloch – Ashes against the Grain (2006)
I don’t know how they do this, but one thing is sure: Agalloch offer us again an album that can be described as nearly perfect. With their own style, which consists of a mixture between emotional Folk, atmospheric Doom and progressive structures, Agalloch propose us one hour of music which might be complex, but which nevertheless focuses on the necessary. The songs take their time to fully unfold, and still they are never boring. Strong feelings are summoned, so that the music isn’t just listened to, but also felt with one’s whole soul.One can listen to “Ashes Against The Grain” again and again, and still its charm remains intact. Simply, everything is in its place: be it the overwhelming vocals (clean vocals as well as Black Metal-like growls), the acoustic parts or the whole guitar work. Ulver’s Bergtatt is probably the album that resembles this masterpiece most, but Agalloch’s sound remains unique and freshening. “Falling Snow” and “Not Unlike The Waves” are without doubt two of the best songs on this CD, but I cannot name a single track that I isn’t good.
“Ashes Against The Grain” is definitely one of the best releases this year, and everybody should listen to this CD at least once. It has been a long time since I last heard such good music. Buy this album without hesitating much. For my part, I’m curious to see if Agalloch will do even better next time…
~ by SvArt on January 11, 2008.