Agalloch - Faustian Echoes review
|Release date:||June 2012|
01. Faustian Echoes
Here's a little game I like to play: guess what genre the next Agalloch EP will be? From the blasting lo-fi of From Which This Oak to the strange semi-electronic remixes on The Grey to the acoustic laden, Wicker Man-themed The White, Agalloch has managed a wide spectrum on their music palette, which makes this guessing game downright impossible. One thing's for sure, the EPs are never similar in genre to the preceding album, right?
Oh, how wrong I am. Again Agalloch do something I don't expect and actually carry on a sound from full length to EP. For all of you who loved Marrow Of The Spirit (there are a lot of you and I for one can't understand the obsession) go listen to this right now. You will like it, guaranteed. Hell, listen to Faustian Echoes three times in a row, as an album that would be better than Marrow Of The Spirit.
For those of you still scarred by the mediocrity of their last album, fear not! While the big tagline of Faustian Echoes is that it's the longest song ever written by Agalloch, there's more to it than that. Yes, it's long. Unnecessarily so really, considering they claim it's actually two parts in one (why they didn't simply make separate songs is beyond me). Fortunately Agalloch managed something on Faustian Echoes that Marrow Of The Spirit didn't really have. I'm not sure exactly whether it's feeling, atmosphere, or something else entirely, but the EP is fairly entrancing. The extreme elements from Marrow are still here, yet in moderation. The void is filled by passages reminiscent of The Mantle era atmosphere. The production is worse, in a good way. Marrow felt too clean, and that had never been Agalloch's style. They remedy that a bit here.
However, the whole EP is only a partial remedy to Marrow Of The Spirit. I don't want to sound as if I hate the album, I don't. It isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. It isn't particularly good either. Faustian Echoes is better but many of the problems from Marrow Of The Spirit persist here, and at times it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. If you like Marrow ignore everything I've just said, this part isn't for you. But if you loved their mellower, folkier EPs like The White or their split with Nest then you may be disappointed yet again. Maybe you have to watch Goethe's Faust to truly appreciate Faustian Echoes, like The White and The Wicker Man, but I don't think so.
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