Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain

With: John Haughm [Guitars, Vocals, Songwriter]
Conducted by: Demonic Tutor (e-mail)
Published: 12.09.2006

Band profile:

Album info: Ashes Against The Grain

01. Limbs
02. Falling Snow
03. This White Mountain On Which You Will Die
04. Fire Above, Ice Below
05. Not Unlike The Waves
06. Our Fortress Is Burning... I
07. Our Fortress Is Burning... II - Bloodbirds
08. Our Fortress Is Burning... III - The Grain
09. Scars Of The Shattered Sky (Our Fortress Has Burned To The Ground) [Double LP Vinyl 1000 Copies Limited Edition bonus]
01. Limbs

One of my favorites on the album. It is a nice opening track that reminds me of the trip to Port Angeles, WA where I wrote it.

02. Falling Snow

This one evolved quite a bit and ended up being a lot different than on the demo. We almost scrapped this song entirely but the album would've been 10 minutes shorter without it. I thought it had potential so we re-worked it.

03. This White Mountain On Which You Will Die

One time I drove to the Timberline Lodge, which sits half-way to the summit of Mt Hood. It was night but I could see the faint outline of the enormous snowy peak looking down at me. It had this quiet, majestic, and slightly foreboding presence to it. I wanted to capture the feeling it exuded that night somehow with music so I described it to Chris and we worked together on this short ambient piece. It took a couple attempts but I think we finally found the right feeling and the piece became this segue-way between "Falling Snow" and "Fire Above, Ice Below".

04. Fire Above, Ice Below

I actually like the demo version of this song more. The middle section is one of my favorite moments on the album but, other than that, I feel that something got lost in the transition from the demo recording to the album recording. Needless to say, this is probably my least favorite song on the album.

05. Not Unlike The Waves

Another song that evolved a lot. I think this is the perfect representation of Agalloch in 2006.

06. Our Fortress Is Burning... I

Another ok song. Not one of my favorites but it is more of an intro anyway…

07. Our Fortress Is Burning... II - Bloodbirds

I think this is the best example of post rock meeting black metal. I like the build, the ebb and flow, and the climax.

08. Our Fortress Is Burning... III - The Grain

This was the first piece of the trilogy to be written. Chris approached me with this drone thing he was working on and I absolutely loved it. It had to be on the album somehow. So I used it as inspiration to build the rest of the trilogy. Most people seem to think we put it on the album as filler but it is actually quite the opposite. Without "The Grain", the entire "Fortress" trilogy wouldn't exist. I also sent "The Grain" to Tolonen to inspire him while drawing the charred, falling bird that adorns the slipcase.


Posted on 12.09.2006 by
Demonic Tutor
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"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

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Comments: 10  
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pante2llica - 12.09.2006 at 07:14  
You rock , John!
Lucas - 12.09.2006 at 18:23  
At least he is honest about what he thinks about the songs, and doesn't say:

#01-Oh masterpiece!
#02-even better
#03-OMFG even better!!! etc...
Highlander - 14.09.2006 at 02:09  
It's an amazing album, all I can say!
Aske - 14.09.2006 at 09:38  
No mistakes here John;)
WarMaster - 15.09.2006 at 04:31  
Best album of this year! Keep it up John!
dancingdecember - 15.09.2006 at 17:09  
agalloch is one of the best and one of the few.good and honest SBS
NexusHunter - 20.09.2006 at 02:45  
You know dud... this album is more than great... the melodies are so well conbined, psychotic and strong at the same time. I think that you have given your best self... I have been facinated from the first hearing... Very good job... Bravo...
Asitis - 29.12.2006 at 17:12  
Agalloch is a friggin great band
Arcticus - 09.09.2010 at 18:38  
Never have I encountered a band that is a "grower" so much as Agalloch. When I first heard them not long after this album was released, when I was mid-prog obsession, I kind of thought "eh, pretty basic, interesting but I don't see why it gets raved about so much" all 3 of their albums are among my favourites - the soundscapes they evoke are incredible, the dynamic interplay...I really appreciate and love these guys' music more and more every time I listen to them. Absolutely can't wait for their new album! Awesome to find these SBS's too. Good on the guys for taking the time.
MetalBlashyrk456 - 31.07.2011 at 14:51  
Go on John, you're my favorite vocalist.

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