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Review: Agalloch - The Serpent & the Sphere
The Serpent & the Sphere

Label: Profound Lore Records
Year released: 2014
Duration: 59:58
Tracks: 9
Genre: Folk Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: June 12, 2015
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
The Serpent & the Sphere

Rated 3.23/5 (64.62%) (13 Votes)

Fifth album by the unique, iconoclastic Agalloch. This is a highly divisive band, with some people just hating everything they do. They are also an unpredictable band, shifting restlessly from place to place within their own unique sound, emphasizing different facets of their sound with each release, never sounding quite the same from one album to the next. They don't go easy on their audience, and you never know quite what you are going to get.

When I first heard this last year I found it rather boring, and I am obviously not the only one, as this album has not been much talked about. Like all their releases, this one is ambitious, and seeks to highlight the slow, spacey, atmospheric aspects of their style. The songs here are all slow, moody, and dense with detail, making for a hard listen. It is something of an achievement to create work that sounds so featureless and inert if you don't pay attention to it, yet unfolds with detail and pleasures if you do. This is in all ways an Agalloch album – pretentious, monolithic, expansive, and iconoclastic. It takes a few spins – or more than a few – to appreciate this, and it will never hold up to something like The Mantle. But this is a worthy addition to their canon.

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