Agalloch - Pale Folklore (1999) #Review

in #music5 years ago
Hello friends! After a few days, I decided to publish another of Agalloch's great albums. Which has been for my criteria, one of the best metal bands of the last decade, for its musical versatility, its epic compositions, its style and atmosphere. It is a great pity the separation of this band, which left us a lot in their work, of the highest quality. On this occasion I will present the first album of the band, and although it is not the best, it presents the beginning and the first ideas of this band, with very good way, it is not their best work, but it is without a doubt a good start, with enough songs to rescue, for its great quality


This debut album clearly shows us the influences that marked for the rest of his career to agalloch. Mainly sounds like those of Ulver, Katatonia and Empyrium. With a very atmospheric sound, riffs quite melodic and very good metal, plus riffs and very folk sounds that blend, with clean and ripped voices of Black Metal itself. Another strong feature of this work and the rest of agalloch, is the presence of acoustic passages and folkloric instruments, which assign it a very natural, melancholic and cold theme, which attracts us to a strange environment, very relaxing. In the case of "Pale Folklore" is a good debut album, although with some details of structure, which can be overlooked, considering that it was the first time that Agalloch produced something. When I talk about those little details, it's because of some transitions between metal and acoustic passages, which are a bit out of place, but considering the beginnings of the band, they can be accepted. Since this is a feature of agalloch, the atmospheric transitions in his songs, which were improving impressively over the years.

Pale Folklore

Album Cover

Band: Agalloch
Album: Pale Folklore
Year: 1999
Genre: Doom Metal, Folk Metal, Atmospheric Metal
Country United States

1. The first 3 themes are a trilogy, but for the purpose of this publication, I want to publish each part separately, as they come in the abum, the first part, call, "She Painted Fire Across the Skyline I", starts with a long introduction, very calm, that in the distance shows us the air of agalloch. Although it seems something monotonous and simple, to many that sound reminds us completely to agalloch, that nostalgia, that melancholy, it is cold atmosphere. So little by little this theme is gaining strength, to start this album, with good riffs, which fully represent the essence of agalloch. I really like the rhythm of the drums in this theme, accompanying these epic riffs. In addition, some acoustic and operatic passages adorn this good start.

2. We continue with the second part, "She Painted Fire Across the Skyline II" , quickly a few acoustic touches, open to distorted riffs very moved and energetic, accompanied by ripped voices, completely black-metal style. A good single in the background, accompanies the main riffs, which stretches for almost the entire song. Despite its short duration, I find it very good, very energetic and with the Agalloch style. I did not like it was the paron at the end, it does not match the rhythm or I think so.

3. This last part, "She Painted Fire Across the Skyline III" , has a totally more black metal touch, both in their voices, as the background rhythm, mainly created by the drums. Very good hard metal theme by agalloch.

She Painted Fire Across the Skyline II

4. The following has a very medieval sound, called, "The Misshapen Steed", represents that folkloric style of agalloch, which leaves nature aside, to take us to mediaveles passages, through only instrumental sounds.

5. The next one is called, "Hallways of Enchanted Ebony" , which starts with clean riffs, but will quickly reach the distortion, to start a subject very moved, quite energetic, with a good rhythm, although with a background that can become something monotonous. But even so, it is undoubtedly one of the best songs on the album. In this song, are the voices torn the ones that have the greatest presence. The fast riffs of the choirs is impressive, in terms of the end, if I consider it a bit mismatched, since after so good song and energy, they wrap us in a melancholic atmosphere, that does not agree with the end, but equally they are only the last 2 minutes, the first 7 minutes are very good.

6. Starting with a good riffs, very fast, comes "Dead Winter Days" , a topic that starts very well, then have a fall, a bit incoherent, or out of place I think, to again returning with a more electric rhythm, accompanied by the ripped voices. A theme with good background drums.

Hallways of Enchanted Ebony

7. We started at once, with good metal in "As Embers Dress the Sky" , first we get some pretty good riffs, accompanied by the great clean voice of John Haughm with a very natural and folkloric touch. In addition to good riffs, the drums accompany quickly, demonstrating the characteristic sound of agalloch, and although they are its beginnings, the band was already on the right track. Surprisingly to the meditated of the song, a beautiful female voice of opera style appears, which gives a more epic touch to the song, to then move on to some acoustic instrumental minutes, very melancholic, with a very pleasant and moving sound, to finally culminate with a good metal. This song can easily be separated into three sections (metal, opera, acoustic), which are individually very good, but collectively they are a bit incoherent, for having some jumps somewhat incoherent, but to be a theme of a debut album, it is very good start. Without a doubt one of my favorites, despite its structural weaknesses.

8. Finally this first work of Agalloch, culminates in the cuspide with, "The Melancholy Spirit" It is an incredible final, to be part of a debut album. This is perhaps the most solid song, and that represents the quality of agalloch in his later works. A very original piece, and in this case, very well structured. Start in a very tenuous atmosphere, guided by acoustic arpeggios, which little by little fills us with melancholy, so that after 2 minutes, the song explodes with very good riffs, which agree perfectly with the beginning. It is important to highlight the transitions within the theme, when the distortion disappears and the bass appears, they are quite good and unpredictable, in addition to other acoustic transitions a little less adjusted. The voices are mainly torn, and appear in the strongest and best moments. In the end we are dismissed with a deeply melancholic piano.

The Melancholy Spirit

In conclusion, it is a debut album that gives me a lot of melancholy, to remember the beginning of a great band, which unfortunately has already separated, leaving us a lot of songs that will not be forgotten. A very original style, with very relaxing atmospheres. This is undoubtedly an album of agalloch that we should not overlook, that although it does not possess the quality and majesty of its later works, it has very good songs that we must rescue, in addition to the first ideas of the band, which were then worked on a lot better over the years. I rate this album 8/10.

Pale Folklore by Agalloch - (Playlist)



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