Agalloch - The Serpent & The Sphere



8.1 | 623 votes |
Release date: 13 May 2014
Style: Atmospheric black metal, Neofolk

Owners:

474 have it
84 want it


01. Birth And Death Of The Pillars Of Creation
02. (Serpens Caput)
03. The Astral Dialogue
04. Dark Matter Gods
05. Celestial Effigy
06. Cor Serpentis (The Sphere)
07. Vales Beyond Dimension
08. Plateau Of The Ages
09. (Serpens Cauda)
10. Omega Serpentis [Japanese bonus]
11. Sigma Serpentis [Japanese bonus]

The Best Melodic Black Metal Album Of 2014

Line-up
John Haughm - vocals, guitars, percussion, zither
Don Anderson - guitars, mellotron, backing vocals
Aesop Dekker - drums, percussion
Jason William Walton - bass

Additional musicians:
Nathanaël Larochette - acoustic guitars
B. Anderson - piano, throat singing
Veleda Thorsson - electric saw, waterphone
R. Sforcina - synthesizers, oscillation & wires

Additional info
Produced by Billy Anderson and Agalloch.

Recorded at Cloud City and mixed at Everything Hz by Billy Anderson. Guest appearance by guitarist Nathanaël Larochette of Musk Ox, who wrote and provided the album's acoustic interludes.

Staff review by
R'Vannith
Rating:
8.3
Agalloch have never favoured doom as forcefully as they have on The Serpent & The Sphere. So blatantly delivered, it would appear that this new resolve has completely shattered their ability and will to instil the expected level of atmosphere in their fifth full-length effort. But appearances can be deceiving.

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published 13.05.2014 | Comments (39)

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Comments: 228   Visited by: 1497 users
13.05.2014 - 00:48
Rating: 7
Erik M.
Written by Mr. Doctor on 13.05.2014 at 00:34

I doubt it. You gave it a 9.


As I said, this is a 8.5-9 at the moment. If half point ratings were possible, it would without a doubt be an 8.5 album for me. And I expected a 9.5 album, so in that sense my expectations weren't met. Btw, my 9 rating can drop to an 8 in the future.
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13.05.2014 - 00:53
Rating: 7
Erik M.
Written by God Alone on 13.05.2014 at 00:43

For me, the "Our Fortress.." trilogy is one of the best thing Agalloch have ever done. Especially the noisy outro is otherworldly, majestic and terrifying; a perfect closer to an already monumental album.


Totally agreed on the "Our Fortress is Burning" song. The first part is one of the best intro's EVER to be heard in music and the 2nd part is just goosebumps-inducingly beautiful and majestic. The last part is certainly otherworldly and has a scary atmosphere to it, yet I still like it far less than the first two parts of the song. In any case, it's too long. If it were half its duration, it would've been better for sure.
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13.05.2014 - 01:08
Rating: 7
God Alone
Written by Erik M. on 13.05.2014 at 00:53

In any case, it's too long. If it were half its duration, it would've been better for sure.


Hah! I wish it was waaaay longer, like 20+ minutes.
But then again, I'm a sucker for bloated drone/noise marathons so my opinion isn't very reliable.
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13.05.2014 - 01:10
Rating: 7
Erik M.
Written by God Alone on 13.05.2014 at 01:08

Hah! I wish it was waaaay longer, like 20+ minutes.
But then again, I'm a sucker for bloated drone/noise marathons so my opinion isn't very reliable.


Hehe, I'm listening to it now as I type this and it is a pretty damn interesting track due to its creepy and mysterious atmosphere. And in contrary to you, I'm totally not a fan of drone/noise, so that's probably why we have a different opinion.
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13.05.2014 - 03:47
Rating: 8
Opethian
A lot of 9's and 10's. I'll have to find out for myself ..
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13.05.2014 - 04:04
Rating: 7
CobiWan1993
Secundum Filium
I like this album a lot, really great stuff. Best album of the year so far.
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Ordinary men hate solitude. But the Master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe (Lao Tzu).
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13.05.2014 - 05:30
Maco
Classless
Great album, is just as good as Marrow Of The Spirit. It's a pity I didn't enjoy the interludes, it was boring for my ears. Leaving that aside, the first song, Dark Matter Gods and Plateau Of The Ages are my favorites.
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Never trust a junkie.
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13.05.2014 - 05:39
BlueMobius
Account deleted
Got my copy in the mail earlier today and have given it a spin, in addition to the listens I've already given to the online stream, in the car as I was out on a drive tonight. Gotta say that I'm really impressed with the album. It's just a solid album with good songwriting. It may not be another envelope-pushing album from Agalloch, but it is them showing that they are masters at what they do, crafting dynamic and engulfing music.
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13.05.2014 - 11:36
Rating: 7
God Alone
That Insomnium fanboy again...
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13.05.2014 - 12:11
Rating: 9
Dark Forever
Ruído Sonoro
Written by God Alone on 13.05.2014 at 11:36

That Insomnium fanboy again...


It's getting ridiculous.
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Taste the DARK...
... and you'll live FOREVER!
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13.05.2014 - 12:21
Rating: 8
Angel N.
Evil Butterfly
Written by Mr. Doctor on 29.04.2014 at 08:36
But I really like this one. I'm thankful my cd copy has the second one on front.


Yeah I love this one too, I always loved to have a t-shirt with this on it.
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The Fangirl.
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13.05.2014 - 14:39
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Written by God Alone on 13.05.2014 at 11:36

That Insomnium fanboy again...

He's not even discreet about his vote abuse.
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get that bag
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13.05.2014 - 17:14
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Insomnium fanboy dealt with. Votes nuked, perms revoked.

Go Agalloch. Have a nice day.
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I have no memory of this place.
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13.05.2014 - 17:52
Coolingsrock
Damn, now that's justice....nice review
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13.05.2014 - 21:57
Rating: 7
Hex_Omega
Gem Seeker
Hm this is probably their worst album
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14.05.2014 - 01:28
Rating: 7
Erik M.
Written by Troy Killjoy on 13.05.2014 at 17:14

Insomnium fanboy dealt with. Votes nuked, perms revoked.

Go Agalloch. Have a nice day.




Now take care of this vote abuser, who's trying to disguise his vote abuse by not handing out 1's yet still handing out a ridiculous amount of 10's.
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14.05.2014 - 01:30
Rating: 7
Erik M.
Written by Hex_Omega on 13.05.2014 at 21:57

Hm this is probably their worst album


Possibly so... I know I've said I still prefer this one to MotS, but at least that one has an awesome creepy, cold atmosphere going on. This one lacks in atmosphere, and it lacks clean vocals, which are my main two issues with it.

I just downgraded it to an 8. I simply don't feel like it's worthy of a 9, because it honestly disappointed me quite a bit.
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14.05.2014 - 01:32
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Erik M. on 14.05.2014 at 01:28



Now take care of this vote abuser, who's trying to disguise his vote abuse by not handing out 1's yet still handing out a ridiculous amount of 10's.

Doesn't look nuke-worthy to me. Troy may disagree though.
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14.05.2014 - 01:36
Rating: 7
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 14.05.2014 at 01:32

Doesn't look nuke-worthy to me. Troy may disagree though.


Why not? Simply because he's not handing out 1's? He still handed out a shitload of 10's and quite a few very low scores as well (anything below a 5 is "very low" in my opinion). I mean, check out his low ratings and you'll see ALL of them are given to 2014 albums, which is definitely suspicious and to me it seems like vote abuse for sure.
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14.05.2014 - 01:37
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Guest on 14.05.2014 at 01:32
Doesn't look nuke-worthy to me. Troy may disagree though.

Nah, you're right. Nowhere near bad enough to nuke. If we're going to request user votes to be deleted in an album thread, at least make it worthwhile/relevant.
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I have no memory of this place.
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14.05.2014 - 01:38
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Erik M. on 14.05.2014 at 01:36


Why not? Simply because he's not handing out 1's? He still handed out a shitload of 10's and quite a few very low scores as well (anything below a 5 is "very low" in my opinion). I mean, check out his low ratings and you'll see most of them are given to 2014 albums, which is definitely suspicious and to me it seems like vote abuse for sure.

Seems suspicious but I've seen worse, and on the whole his votes are balanced on other years.
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14.05.2014 - 01:39
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.05.2014 at 01:37

Nah, you're right. Nowhere near bad enough to nuke. If we're going to request user votes to be deleted in an album thread, at least make it worthwhile/relevant.

Well it's your call at the end of the day, but I think nuking stuff like that would open the door for nuking a considerable amount of other spurious-but-not-clearly-abuse votes, which might be a bit overzealous.
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14.05.2014 - 01:39
Rating: 7
Erik M.
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.05.2014 at 01:37

Nah, you're right. Nowhere near bad enough to nuke. If we're going to request user votes to be deleted in an album thread, at least make it worthwhile/relevant.


So the fact that literally ALL of his low ratings (4 and lower) are handed out in 2014 and not any other year, doesn't seem like vote abuse?
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14.05.2014 - 01:42
Rating: 7
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 14.05.2014 at 01:38

Seems suspicious but I've seen worse, and on the whole his votes are balanced on other years.


Every other year than 2014 his votes are balanced. The fact still remains that he handed out all the low votes in 2014 and not even in ONE other year. To me that's obvious vote abuse. If he had given 3's and 4's every single year, you would've been right, but now you aren't.
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14.05.2014 - 01:43
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Erik M. on 14.05.2014 at 01:42

To me that's obvious vote abuse.

Well thank God you aren't a mod then
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14.05.2014 - 01:47
Rating: 7
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 14.05.2014 at 01:43

Well thank God you aren't a mod then


If those 3's and 4's were 1's you'd agree that it's vote abuse. You're falling for his trick in disguising himself as a vote abuser. It is vote abuse (fact), just not extreme enough for you to consider it as such, apparently.
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14.05.2014 - 01:48
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Erik M. on 14.05.2014 at 01:47

It is vote abuse (fact)

Prove it then. Prove that it's vote abuse and not a case of the user just happening to not like those albums.
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14.05.2014 - 01:50
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Erik for fuck sake get a life.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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14.05.2014 - 01:50
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 14.05.2014 at 01:50

Erik for fuck sake get a life.

I have a feeling Erik sees votes in his sleep, instead of sheep.
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14.05.2014 - 01:54
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
What Joe said. Case closed. Let's talk about the actual album now please. If you have any questions or issues about how we decide which votes to delete, feel free to send me a PM.

EDIT: Erik, I will continue to delete all of your subsequent off-topic vote abuse comments. Give it a rest. Take it to private messages if necessary.
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I have no memory of this place.
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