Friday, July 30, 2010

Agalloch - The White (2008)

1. "The Isle of Summer" – 3:58
2. "Birch Black" – 2:40
3. "Hollow Stone" – 4:15
4. "Pantheist" – 7:17
5. "Birch White" – 3:44
6. "Sowilo Rune" – 5:40
7. "Summerisle Reprise" – 4:55

 Agalloch is a near flawless band. With the release of The White, a departure from their trademark folk metal fused with black metal is witnessed with astounding results. What begins with a sampling of the 1973 film The Wicker Man then spreads into an ethereal neofolk fable concerning religion, culture, children, morality, hindsight, and foresight. 

I simply cannot overstate the beauty this seven track EP possesses. Ornate soundscapes depicting Spring revived countrysides transport the listener to a realm where pagan and Christian worldviews collide. There is a naturalist splendor to this album that speaks of trees, stones and seasons like divine gifts from an immortal or immortals to living mortals. 

Although this is surely the way Agalloch, a band that wears their pagan beliefs on their sleeves, wants the listener to see this music, a person neither a pagan or a Christian, like myself, can transcend the conflicting religious doctrines and simply admire, in awe, the breathtaking musical work The White undoubtedly is.

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