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Pale Folklore

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(25 Reviews)

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  • No band has done what Agalloch has done with this album. It will provide everything you could want in an album. Long, Progressive ever-changing, atmospheric songs, Dark Poetic Lyrics, absolutely brilliant guitar melodies, a variety of vocals (mostly shrilling harsh vocals, but also some dark, beautiful clean vocals, and some female vocals), and the best part is it grows on you and you’ll always come crawling back for more. It’s very folk inspired, a lot of great guitar playing… and the instrumentals are truly breathtaking. Individually, the songs are very balanced. One minute will be distorted guitars, the next will be a beautiful acoustic interlude. It’s also very balanced as a whole, some long parts of songs have a very relaxed feel, some go back and forth a lot, and some fall sort of in between. Not to mention, it’s amazing how they accomplished all this on their first album…

    Now for a walkthrough of each song. It starts out with “She Painted Fire Across the Skyline,” which, as a whole song might seem sort of …unorganized. That’s why it’s 3 different parts that flow together. A Great song, to say the least, the female vocals are excellent especially when combined with the pretty much whispering vocals, and part 3 is quite agressive. The guitar work is excellent, utalizing the acoustic/metal combining and forms a unique desolate and bleak atmosphere. Maybe that’s because of the sounds of chilling winds in between each part, which also has great effect. After that monster of a song, you might want to relax into absolute musical bliss and thats just what “The Misshapen Steed” does. The majestic, yet eerie keyboard melodies of this instrumental song will totally imparadise you. The worst part of this song is when it ends, trust me you will not want this song to end. When it does end, the powerful intro to the infamous “Hallways of Enchanted Ebony” begins. This is the song that really made me want the album. Some people say it’s too repetitive, and I see where they’re coming from, but the parts being repeated are so good, you want it to keep going. The riffs in this song are just unforgettable. After that is Dead Winter Days. The riff you hear first is amazing… but probably the least impressive song overall. Then, “As Embers Dress the Sky” starts and youll hear some clean vocals for a change. This song contains what I like to call my favorite moment in music ever, and that is the acoustic interlude that lasts 2 minutes. Its the most blissfully captivating moment they’ve created. Then for the conclusion we have “The Melancholy Spirit,” more blend of distorted and acoustical goodness for your ears. A very epic song with many directions, and ends with a peaceful piano tune. I would point out standout songs, but that would be impossible.

    This album should really be heard as a whole, hearing one song from this is like hearing 1/8 of a song, so remember that if you’re sampling one. Also, this CD must be listened to in a time and place where you can concentrate on it without any distractions, for full enjoyability. I’ve listened to it in my car, and it really doesn’t sound as good because of the outside noise and the fact that I have to concentrate on the road… Also, be sure to check out Agalloch’s other full length, and the EP “Of Stone, Wind, and Pillor,” which are both very essential.

    Posted on January 20, 2010