1. A Celebration For The Death Of Man...
2. In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion
3. Odal
4. I Am The Wooden Doors
5. The Lodge
6. You Were But A Ghost In My Arms
7. The Hawthorne Passage
8. ...And The Great Cold Death Of The Earth
9. A Desolation Song

J. Haughm

S. Breyer

J. William

AGALLOCH: "The mantle"        agalloch    

I turned up my nose at the cd when a close friend of mine first gave ‘The Mantle’ from Agalloch to me. Especially after he said ‘a good atmospheric-dark-epic-black metal’ copy… Shit I thought, you can’t find a damn good album which can be named simply as metal or rock.

  So I didn’t haste to listen it considering that I know exactly what I will hear. Probably a female voice over some keyboard, mixed with scream vocal.

  However the band members J. Haughm and S. Breyer kicked my ass so bloody that I can hardly write this review sitting on it. 

What I heard is a definetely progressive sound which caused me to swear to my friend for his dump definition for this brilliant cd.  Because of the acoustic substucture of the album I just felt as if Opeth’s new acoustic album has been out. (You hate to put bands in stupid genres huh.. check this out). Hmm yes I think ‘natural-forest-black’ is definetely the most satisfactory definition for the album. Lol. Joking apart the cd is full of nature. And especially oaks. With hissing of the leaves, or the footsteps you hear on humid soil you feel yourself in a black forest that no man ever stepped before. I wonder if the members are living in Finland. I would definetely bet that they are from North Europe. 

  But no they are not. And to my surprise Agalloch is from USA… I was nearly shocked to see that the band is not from Europe. Because there is nothing to do with USA in this cd.  There is an unbelievable nuance between the music and lyrics that causes full of saddness. 

Sorrow, agony, pain and salvation is perfectly reflected by the metaphors of nature. There are also some supernaturality and sceptism in the lyrics that made you think of something. Whatever they are, they are better than some so loved bands’ lyrics like ‘suck my blood satan’, ‘oh cut me deeper behometh’.


Agalloch shows that you can’t make good songs with just hard and complex riffs. You need brains to combine it with the general outstanding of the songs. As I said before the musical part of the album is based on acoustic guitar.I don’t mean that all songs are acoustic but strangely they sound like… Beside this, ‘Agalloch’ use a large selection of  instruments from accordion to viola. This makes the sound richer and progressive. One of the most thing I like is about the voice. There isn’t any female vocal in the cd. Don’t push me so hard, I don’t mean that I don’t like female vocals but I’m tired of listening to these bands. Every band that wants to be somehow atmospheric or gothic gives the microphone to a coquettish voiced damn bitch. And this makes me mad. And Agalloch shows how can you be (I’m sure this is not what they want to be) atmospheric with a plain male voice. The voice is male but he didn’t lagged back with a simple usage. He did some experiments with hisses, whispers, screams growls etc. It’s really satisfactory. So here is not a taste of chick but plain performance. Lol


The only thing that concerns me that the amount of instrumental songs on the album. Album is nearly 70 minutes and nearly half of it is instrumental. From my point of view if you make an instrumental song it has to be a masterpiece with it’s melody etc. Because it lacks of lyrics that makes the song more understandable and clear so it must have the magic that opens our third eye. Unfortunately there is only one song that deserves to be instrumental which is called ‘The Hawthorne passage’. (it must be some place that where our band takes their inspiration). It’s definetely one of my favourites. Sorry but the others are just intros or maybe bad ‘My Dying Bride’ songs .

  A Desolation Song ‘and ‘The Great Cold Death of the Earth’ are my others fav ones. But all songs needs to be paid attention

  ‘The Mantle’ is not an album which you can listen when you are doing something or when you are in mood of joy etc. It makes you sad and warm like old Paradise Lost, Opeth, and My Dying Bride. It’s depressive, dark and somehow ambient that needs to be given all of your attention to find out what lies beneath the humid leaves.

  May the silver elk guide your path in the oak woods.


Ayhan "Neotyrant" Sahin