AGALLOCH – Ashes Against the Grain

It’s been a long four-year wait since AGALLOCH‘s last masterpiece, The Mantle. Thankfully, the new album, Ashes Against the Grain, proves to be worth the wait. Once again, the band prove that they continue to become better and better with each successive release. Perhaps no one else bridges the worlds of dark neo-folk, gothic rock and metal, doom, progressive rock, and black metal than these guys. Starting with the epic opener, “Limbs,” AGALLOCH immediately establish their enveloping, dark and compelling atmospheres. It’s not too far fetched to picture being in the middle of a deep, snow-covered forest in the dead of night. Fans will be quick to notice that there’s more of a balance between, and a strong blend of, their acoustic (The Mantle) and electric sides (Pale Folklore). Don Anderson‘s lead guitars not only do a great job of leading the songs but are written with such great phrasing and catchiness in mind. What becomes apparent as Ashes Against the Grain progresses is that the great songs, the cohesiveness of the album, and the effortless flow never waivers. There’s an undeniable feeling that there is something special going on here. Ashes Against the Grain is truly an underground classic and one of the best albums released in 2006. Do yourself a huge favor and go out and get this one. (The End Records)

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