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Agalloch - The Mantle



9.2 | 1742 votes |
Release date: 13 August 2002
Style: Neofolk , Atmospheric black metal

Owners:

1798 have it
177 want it
3 trade it


01. A Celebration For The Death Of Man...
02. In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion
03. Odal
04. I Am The Wooden Doors
05. The Lodge
06. You Were But A Ghost In My Arms
07. The Hawthorne Passage
08. ...And The Great Cold Death Of The Earth
09. A Desolation Song

Top 20 albums of 2002: 1
Top 200 albums of all time: 9
Featured in "Getting Into: Agalloch"

Line-up
John Haughm - vocals, guitars, drums, percussion, ebow, woodchimes, samples
Donald L. Anderson - guitars, piano
Jason William Walton - bass, noisescape

Additional musicians:
Danielle Norton - trombone
Ty Brubaker - double bass, accordion
Ronn Chick - synths, mandolin, bells, programming
Aaron Sholes - samples
Neta Smolack - samples

Staff review by
Dream Taster
Rating:
9.5
In the true musical lineage of Opeth and Katatonia, Agalloch is one of these mystic and melancholic bands, excelling at playing a smart blend of Doom Metal and few elements from Melodic Death Metal, such as the voice a la Dark Tranquillity. Established as one of the best combos in their style and one of America's most interesting bands, Agalloch was founded in Portland, Oregon in late 1995. After a couple of demos, they scored a deal with The End Records in 1998 and their debut album Pale Folklore was released in 1999. In 2001, a limited MCD entitled Of Stone, Wind and Pillor was released and they then worked on today's chapter, their second full-length album, The Mantle. Agalloch is composed by John Haughm , Don Anderson and Jason William Walton .

Read more ››
published 03.06.2004 | Comments (20)

Guest review by
telephonebear
Rating:
10
Agalloch are a band that I have only recently started listening to, but they are the first band in a long time that I have fallen in love with instantly. Most of my favourites have grown on me overtime but there was something about The Mantle that captured me immediately.

I tend to listen to cleaner vocal songs, although there are death metal bands I like, but I thought I would be put off by Haughm's raspy blackened vocals. Instead I found them really beautiful the way they weave in and out of the music. That was the thing that struck me most about Agalloch: the beauty of it. The general formula seems to be power chords on electric guitar with gentle twangy acoustic melodies over the top. This works really nicely and the juxtaposition of the heavy and the soft is mirrored when Haugm's vocals become more tuneful. The first time this occurs is in "In The Shadow of Our Pale Companion"-the magnum opus of the album and Agalloch's best along with "Not Unlike the Waves" four years later. The rasps and whispers build up to an epic sounding tuneful cry which gives me shivers every time. The vocals then vary between these two styles, as well as monotone almost talking and whispers through the rest of the album, in a very fluid way. There is no clean verse to harsh verse pattern; it all blends into each other.

Read more ››
published 30.01.2014 | Comments (23)

31.08.2022
It is only now that I realize how ironic it is that one of the most wintery albums out there was released in the summer. The August from 20 years ago gave us this masterpiece, and this is one of those kind of albums where it's very uncontroversial to call it as such. "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion" only gets competition from "East Hastings" as my favorite song of all time, and I've mentioned time and time again how discovering this album about ten years ago was a paradigm shift for me and my music taste. It's interesting see how I still connect to The Mantle after all these years, even though sometimes I feel it's either too pompous or meandering for its own good, there are very few albums with such a great interplay between electric and acoustic guitars, and that so effectively merge atmospheric black metal into post-rock structures. And all of it feels magical years later.

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Comments page 2 / 5

Comments: 142   Visited by: 3169 users
19.07.2012 - 19:13
Rating: 9
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Written by Windir on 19.07.2012 at 19:05

Yep, this album is ridiculously overrated! I bought it after reading so many good reviews about it... SOLD!


Why would you think it is overrated? Wouldn't it be that you just "don't like it" like the guy you quoted?
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19.07.2012 - 19:22
Rating: 3
Windir

Written by Unhealer on 19.07.2012 at 19:13

Written by Windir on 19.07.2012 at 19:05

Yep, this album is ridiculously overrated! I bought it after reading so many good reviews about it... SOLD!


Why would you think it is overrated? Wouldn't it be that you just "don't like it" like the guy you quoted?

It's overrated because too many people like it being black metal/neo folk (as described in this site). Firstly, it's not black metal at all, if you say it's a post rock masterpiece I would maybe agree with that but it doesn't matter, if you quoted my post is because you certainly like the mantle, I don't. So, it's a pointless discussion.
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19.07.2012 - 19:40
Rating: 9
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Written by Windir on 19.07.2012 at 19:22

if you quoted my post is because you certainly like the mantle, I don't. So, it's a pointless discussion.


That was my point. You can like it or not and that is fine, but by saying it is overrated I guess you mean that the people that actually like it, like for the "wrong reason" or something. And I don't see that has anything to do with the genres.
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19.07.2012 - 22:57
Rating: 10
JÄY
Metal slave
Written by Windir on 19.07.2012 at 19:22

if you say it's a post rock masterpiece I would agree


well, there you have it... you think its a masterpiece....change your rating
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20.07.2012 - 16:42
Rating: 3
Windir

Written by JÄY on 19.07.2012 at 22:57

Written by Windir on 19.07.2012 at 19:22

if you say it's a post rock masterpiece I would agree


well, there you have it... you think its a masterpiece....change your rating


there are a lot of masterpieces I don't like in many genres (as everybody).
do you like the music of japanese theater (nô) it's folklore masterpiece(s) for many people there... I don't care and my rating can be 1 or 4 it doesn't matter
do you like ricky martin? his music is pure awesomeness for many people (pop style or whatever) my rating: -3 or 0 and again it doesn't matter
do you like nirvana? for many people it's a masterpiece (grunge or whatever it is) my rating: 0
so what's the point? if you say some (or all the) music I like is pure shit it's just an opinion as EVERY SINGLE POST in this site and I don't care. The problem here is that too many people get annoyed when I say The Mantle Is overrated, so what? I guess if I say Opeth is boring and overrated I'm going to be banned and cursed! ha ha
and I can hear some: "so, if you don't like the album why bothering rating it?" How can you say you don't like something if you don't know it?
Anyway, my rating is about MY musical satisfaction, not about the opinion of the masses.
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20.07.2012 - 16:57
Rating: 9
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
Written by Windir on 19.07.2012 at 19:22
It's overrated because too many people like it being black metal/neo folk (as described in this site). Firstly, it's not black metal at all, if you say it's a post rock masterpiece I would maybe agree with that but it doesn't matter.


I personally have no idea why this is labeled as BM at all, so I might jump into it and ask around. It's definitely metal though.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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28.07.2012 - 14:05
Rating: 10
M C Vice
ex-polydactyl
#9 in the top 200? This thing is flying up in the ratings.
----
"Another day, another Doug."
"I'll fight you on one condition. That you lower your nipples."
" 'Tis a lie! Thy backside is whole and ungobbled, thou ungrateful whelp!"
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07.09.2012 - 01:18
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Written by aeternal on 07.09.2012 at 00:39

Didn't like it, too atmospheric and slow, boring album. if you are Marrow Of The Spirit type of guy, don't try this one.


and vice verse
----
My rest seems now calm and deep
Finally I got my dead man sleep


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07.09.2012 - 05:39
Rating: 9
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Written by aeternal on 07.09.2012 at 00:39

Didn't like it, too atmospheric and slow, boring album. if you are Marrow Of The Spirit type of guy, don't try this one.


And weirdos like me that truly enjoy only these two?
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07.09.2012 - 13:14
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Written by Unhealer on 07.09.2012 at 05:39

And weirdos like me that truly enjoy only these two?


lets put you in cage and show you around the world as a curiosity
----
My rest seems now calm and deep
Finally I got my dead man sleep


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01.10.2012 - 21:31
Rating: 10
Angry Chair

At first didn't like this that much but now I think its great, for anyone who isn't keen on it keep listening you may eventually grow to love it like me.

Really gooooooooooooooood, relaxing, beautiful, picturesque (don't know whether I spelt that right).

----
"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
- Denis Diderot
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02.10.2012 - 04:53
BlueMobius
Account deleted
There is a great article in the latest Decibel magazine (the one with Pig Destroyer on the cover) about the making of The Mantle.
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20.10.2012 - 15:31
LordHypnos
Account deleted
This album made me an Agalloch fan. The quality of this album totally blew me up, and I didn't find any flaws!
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07.11.2012 - 06:53
Rating: 10
meadow

Flawless!! this album is up to par with Symbolic and Blackwater Park.
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27.11.2012 - 22:01
Illog1cal
Account deleted
Written by meadow on 07.11.2012 at 06:53

Flawless!! this album is up to par with Symbolic and Blackwater Park.


Symbolic is a strange comparison to this album.
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07.12.2012 - 00:28
Rating: 9
Erik M.

Written by aeternal on 07.09.2012 at 00:39

Didn't like it, too atmospheric and slow, boring album. if you are Marrow Of The Spirit type of guy, don't try this one.


Huh? Marrow of the Spirit is more atmospheric and slower than this album. I think you're confused.
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07.12.2012 - 20:05
Rating: 9
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Written by Erik M. on 07.12.2012 at 00:28


Huh? Marrow of the Spirit is more atmospheric and slower than this album. I think you're confused.


He is correct, think which of the two albums is filled with blastbeats, tremolo riffing and only a few seconds of clean vocals
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07.12.2012 - 20:45
Rating: 9
Erik M.

Written by Unhealer on 07.12.2012 at 20:05

He is correct, think which of the two albums is filled with blastbeats, tremolo riffing and only a few seconds of clean vocals


Well, I haven't listened to "Marrow" in a while, but when I wrote my previous comment I was thinking about Black Lake Nidstang and To Drown, which are two pretty slow and atmospheric songs. But yeah, the others are different at least.
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25.01.2013 - 15:26
Rating: 5
mrgod

Written by Boxcar Willy on 23.03.2012 at 21:15

Written by mrgod on 11.03.2012 at 17:48

I don't like it.

Then you are not human.


yeah, i'm human and i'm sleeping when i listen this album. too slow, too boring...
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28.04.2013 - 17:33
Rating: 10
MandoMikey

To be fair, this album is great for going to sleep to.... i wouldnt at all call it boring tho. its also perfect for long train/bus journeys. I have nothing new to add about this album, ill just weigh in with the masses and say how much i adore it, it restores me to default mindstate if that makes any sense....
----
In a sane world as it should be, and it wont be for a while, we'll do away with capital and pay for things with smiles.
In a sane world as it should be, however slim the chances, we'll do away with capital and pay for things with dances.
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05.05.2013 - 20:44
Rating: 9
Erik M.

The only problem I have is that A Desolation Song is a weak ending track. Sure, it's a good song, but the album would've been better for me if ...And The Great Cold Death Of The Earth was the last track. Although I couldn't say where A Desolation Song would've fit in though, since the song seems a bit out of place... hence why they probably just put it as the last track on the album.
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31.05.2013 - 01:51
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
This album introducd me whit this band, long long time ago here on MS, and it was wery long time ago when I last time was listening this one, so this week I gave a tryd 2-3 days non stop .. awesome, awesome memmories and emotions
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
apos;'
[image]
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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23.08.2013 - 03:34
Rating: 8
Regolith

Caution - this album can grow on you! If you're reading this and you're like me your first impression was that you weren't all that impressed. But I've forced multiple listens and I got to say that I'm glad I did. There are some jems in this album. One big thing about them that I enjoy is that they aren't in a rush and they're not trying to blast your ears off. They let the music evolve, which in itself is an attribute to be admired.
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06.09.2013 - 13:22
Mr.CalmStorm

Written by Reality03 on 22.08.2013 at 13:56

Beautiful...just beautiful!

I agree with you
----
-Let Metal Reign Forever....................
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14.12.2013 - 11:35
Rating: 10
Melkor

Written by mrgod on 25.01.2013 at 15:26

Written by Boxcar Willy on 23.03.2012 at 21:15

Written by mrgod on 11.03.2012 at 17:48

I don't like it.

Then you are not human.


yeah, i'm human and i'm sleeping when i listen this album. too slow, too boring...

then you should sleep..foreeeevvverrrr..
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25.01.2014 - 07:07
Paw.Mnggaran
Account deleted
Written by Melkor on 14.12.2013 at 11:35

then you should sleep..foreeeevvverrrr..

LOL
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27.01.2014 - 19:00
Rating: 9
Erik M.

Written by Guest on 26.01.2014 at 12:49

A desolation song is PERFECT to close off this masterpiece. it's the perfect representation of 'desolation' as we learn it through the journey of the album. it gives me chills every time i listen to it.

btw, i seriously can't think why ashes against the grain is higher than the mantle. imo it's way overrated, ashes against the grain has the weakest ending by far, not the mantle.


Really? I see what you mean though, but I still stand by what I said. I'm also of the opinion that "Ashes" is better than this. One of the reasons is that I'm not a fan of instrumental tracks, so it goes without saying that most instrumental tracks on The Mantle aren't among my favourite songs. AAtG is near-perfect and the only downside is the very last song. While I love long intros, I hate long outros, they bore me to death and make me want to put on another album. The intro of "Our Fortress is Burning" is absolutely brilliantly done, with the built-up and everything, but the outro (Part III) I usually just don't even listen to. Apart from that though, I think AAtG is definitely better than The Mantle overall.
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27.01.2014 - 19:08
Rating: 9
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
^ Madness

That is all.

The marginals are very small though. At their best moments, I almost prefer AAtG but at their least good, the Mantle still wins over AAtG so in other words: The Mantle is far more consistent.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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31.01.2014 - 06:43
no one
Account deleted
No Agalloch album has failed me yet!
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07.02.2014 - 15:00
MehranRe

Masterpiece
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