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Agalloch - Pale Folklore

1998 The End Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-06-30

Remember how, for a time, you were perfectly safe to buy anything off a certain label, for you knew that the bands were quality? Earache was like that in the late 80s/early90s, Roadrunner kinda picking up where they left off during the great death metal surge. Well, now we have The End Records. My only problem is really that I can't pigeon hole this label into something as concrete as others can be be catagorized. I guess that with The End, expect the unexpected in terms of genre-twisting, but whatever this label has to put out, I've come to love. No exception then is Agalloch's Pale Folklore. It's funny, just as Epoch of Unlight makes me yearn for Caress of Stel-era Rush, Agalloch reminds me of (if anything) Animals-era Pink Floyd. And that is not said lightly, Animals easily being one of my favorite albums of all time, period. There's a lot of heavy delay guitar (ala The Edge), but everything is just so steeped in sadness, it's almost unbearable at times. I'm not even going to dare pulling out the old "drums sound great, fills abound" or "guitar riffs from hell here!" to try and describe this, for that would be an insult. Maybe think Opeth for the breadth of scope and heaviness in emotion, but Agalloch really transcend a lot of traditional restrictions here. Simply put, it's just a killer album that demands to be listened to as a whole body of work. No, there's no hit song, and you probably won't want to throw this in to start the day, but when you want an album to remove you from the confines of youe everyday existence, this is the one. Highly recomended.