|Review: Agalloch - Pale Folklore|
Label: The End Records
Year released: 1999
Genre: Folk Metal
Review online: July 2, 2001
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.81/5 (76.23%) (53 Votes)
Let's simplify the music realm for a moment. There are two types of bands: Bands that play music, and bands that play music that makes you think, that makes you feel something, makes you reach inside your soul, that will adapt to your mood. Agalloch are part of the latter category. They are categorized as depressive Dark Metal, but, listening to the album on many different occasions, when I was either in a depressive or in a good mood, that their music seemed to adapt to my mood at that very moment. For that reason I'd rather drop the "depressive" moniker.The music conveys a dark atmosphere and yet, it doesn't necessarily depress me, unlike say a Doom Metal album. This is a very strange feeling to explain and I guess you just have to see for yourself - I wouldn't be surprised if this brilliant music had a different effect on different persons.
The music is pretty much slow to mid-tempo, sometimes heavy, sometimes very light, and simply beautiful. The booklet depicts images of gray winter days, and that's a good visual representation of the music here. Don't expect crunching guitars and blast beats on this album. Most of the vocals sound a little like Black Metal vocals but whispered instead of screamed and this perfectly fits with the music. There are also some clean vocals, some spoken passages and also some female vocals.
The only negative point is that the lyrics are somewhat hard to read in the booklet, but that's something that really can't overshadow this essentially perfect album. You owe it to yourself to listen... or rather experience this album.
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