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Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit CD (album) cover

MARROW OF THE SPIRIT

Agalloch

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.93 | 193 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Marrow of the Spirit" is the 4th full-length studio album by US post black/doom metal act Agalloch. The album was released through Profound Lore Records in November 2010.

on "Marrow of the Spirit", Agalloch play a melodic doom metal/atmospheric black metal hybrid with progressive song structures. A combination that proves quite intriguing. There are 6 tracks on the 65:13 minutes long album. Besides the intro track "They Escaped the Weight of Darkness", which is 3:41 minutes long, The rest of the tracks are each about 10 minutes long. "Black Lake Nidstång" even features a playing time of 17:34 minutes. The latter is to my ears one of the most interesting tracks on the album and a real highlight. Itīs a very atmospheric and ambient track that builds towards climaxes. At times Iīm reminded of an act like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and even Sigur Rōs.

The vocals on the album are mostly raspy black metal styled vocals, but there are clean sung vocals on the album too. In addition to being very atmospheric the music is generally also very melodic. Lots of lead guitar melodies, acoustic guitar sections and layers upon layers of ambient sounds. There are a few blasting sections on the album but the pace is generally mid- to slow and actually the black metal tag is mostly due to the raspy vocals. The band are able to create beautiful melancholic melodies. Take a listen to the reoccuring lead guitar melody in "The Watcher's Monolith" as an example of that.

While the tracks are adventurously structured, and itīs obvious that the band have tons of intriguing ideas, itīs not always my patience allow me to enjoy some of the more repetitive building part of the album. For example I find the intro track, which basically features a single cello playing a melody over nature sounds, to be unnecessarily longdrawn. The closing track "To Drown" is to my ears also too longdrawn and repetitive, but thatīs of course an aquired taste, and itīs hard not to give Agalloch credit for being able to create an authentic dark atmosphere (and even the two mentioned songs grow after repeated listens). It is however the four tracks in the middle of the album that I`m mostly impressed by. Probably because the action level on those tracks are generally higher than on the two tracks that bookend the album.

"Marrow of the Spirit" features an earthy and organic sound production which suits the music perfectly. The album was recorded on analog equipment and itīs audible and another feature that greatly enhances the atmosphere of the album and the overall listening experience. "Marrow of the Spirit" took me a while and several spins to really get into, but sometimes patience pays off, and for me "Marrow of the Spirit" is one such case. Agalloch are an act with a sound of their own and I greatly respect that. Combine that with an adventurous approach to writing music, a great atmospheric and organic sound production, and strong musicianship and "Marrow of the Spirit" ultimately comes off as a high quality release. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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