Agalloch - Pale Folklore
The End Records
Dark/ Atmospheric/ Acoustic-laced Metal
8 songs (62:10)
Release year: 1999
The End Records
Reviewed by Nathanael
Archive review

Emotions are a funny thing. When faced with the darkness our mind often envelopes us in, it can sometimes feel as though we are being consumed, only to find that just as quickly as it arrived, the despair is gone, a mere fleeting memory. However bleak the world may look with one set of eyes, the same landscape will come across as clear and hopeful through another. However, if you do not indulge in the bleak, you cannot fully appreciate its opposite.

To put it lightly, Portland, Oregan’s Agalloch left a lasting emotional mark on me with their sophomore album The Mantle, a musical work that I vow to take to the grave. Its textured sound was like an inescapable, heavy emotional blanket that, upon feeling cold at first, eventually grew to become comforting in its ability to take my mind elsewhere. The art of music is and will always be the marriage of sound and emotion, which is something Agalloch achieved tenfold on The Mantle. Yearning for more, I went back into their catalogue and successfully found a copy of their debut full-length Pale Folklore hoping for a similar emotional endeavor.

Whereas The Mantle conveyed autumn’s longing with stunning accuracy, Pale Folklore perfectly captures the bitter cold of winter. Opting for a greater emphasis on harsh guitar work and rougher production compared to its textured, more acoustic-oriented counterpart, Pale Folklore is an aural journey across barren landscapes. Though heavier than The Mantle, the chilling acoustics found among layers of atmosphere never once cause the listener to look twice at the name on the sleeve. More so a feeling than a conventional band, Agalloch paint winter’s chill on a musical canvas of unbridled emotional wealth, never once sacrificing their integrity or abilities in a vain attempt to sound evil. Few bands can successfully stake such a claim, which is why I will continue to hold Agalloch in a sacred light.

To those already in awe of Agalloch’s majesty, I have said nothing new, but for those whose interest I have piqued, I urge you not to wait a moment longer. An entity in every sense of the word, Agalloch lead the mind through dark paths of dense emotion that, though at times seem hopeless, in the end leave you with a new appreciation for the clear and hopeful landscapes that lay before you...

Killing Songs :
...all but The Melancholy Spirit hits me the hardest...
Nathanael quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Agalloch that we have reviewed:
Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Agalloch - Faustian Echoes reviewed by Milan and quoted No Quote
Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain reviewed by Misha and quoted 80 / 100
Agalloch - The Mantle reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
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