Saturday, March 26, 2011
The Mantle by Agalloch
The Mantle by Agalloch is an atmospheric folk metal album with the concepts of winter. The album was favored by many critics for it's experimentation of the metal genre and having a blend of many other subgenre's with it. It's a magical album that flows perfectly to the last track.
It starts off with the intro, "A Celebration For The Death Of Man..." and moves right into one of my favorite songs of all time, "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion". This song is a fourteen minute long epic of apocalyptic texture through the atmosphere and coldness you get from the tracks. Haughm's vocals are strong and pierce ears, in a good way. The lyrics also fit the atmosphere and colors it paints the story perfectly. In an interview with the band I saw on youtube, they describe the music as of being in this forest of snow and trying to find this cave or something through this journey of questioning life while freezing in the cold. As complicated as it sounds, it actually isn't. There's two climaxes to the song that are perfectly timed and although this song could of went on for fifty hours i'm sure, i'm OK that ended at fourteen minutes.
"Odal" is an instrumental that fits in with the winter storm feel also. The song has beautiful abstract images of the forests full of snow in my head listening to it. I just love how the music really puts pictures in your head. "I Am The Wooden Doors" is one of the more heavier songs on the album and has this battle feel to it. It's a good track, but probably my least favorite on it.
"The Lodge" is another instrumental and atmospheric track. You can hear someone walking through snow in the background at the beginning actually. The acoustic guitar just brings this settle feeling of plain darkness to the song and it's ear capturing in a strange way.
"You Were But A Ghost In My Arms" is my favorite song by Agalloch lyrically. It really fits with all the band wants to stand for with the winter feeling. The song does have a progressive feel to it, but what really captures me is the ending of it.
"The Hawthorne Passage" is my favorite instrumental on the album. It's more alike "Odal" and fast paced. It does stick up to the folk metal title that was given to the band on their first album.
"...And The Great Cold Death Of The Earth" is the catchiest song on the album and overall fits all the tracks in this one. It sums up what the whole album has pretty much lead to and I'd call this track the climax. The song also contains that epicness of Shadow Of Our Pale Companion. The album ends with "A Desolation song" in which Haughm's vocals just breeze into the song with the guitar and harmonica. Definitely an amazing way to end this epic album.