Review Summary: A solid EP showcasing a different side of Agalloch.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
If you're a fan of metal, you've probably discovered the genre bending band Agalloch. This four man atmospheric metal group from Portland, Oregon has made a strong statement in each genre they've covered, whether it be black metal, folk, or even post-rock. The main aspect that sets Agalloch apart from other similar bands is the way they convey their message. They put forth a very dark and bleak atmosphere without clinging to genre cliches. The follow up EP to The Mantle, Tomorrow Will Never Come, further exemplifies this statement.
The EP opens with The Death of man (Version III), essentially a "new" version of A Celebration For The Death Of Man off of The Mantle
. I say "new" because in reality it's the same song but with different production and minor changes in the composition. It starts out as completely instrumental track with nothing but acoustic guitars and a drum that accentuates the rhythm. It builds upon a basic sound and melody until around half way through, the Agalloch trademark of distorted guitars come in as a thick backing to the main melody. This is the high point of the song like most of Agalloch's material. The melding of the acoustic and distorted sound is very well done, and quite trance inducing. The downfall of all of this though is that the song never truly delivers a climax after the buildup. Overall it's a worthy change from the original A Celebration For The Death Of Man, but is far from a must
On the second half of the EP, we have a song with a much better payoff. The title track of the EP Tomorrow Will Never Come
is arguably one of the best songs Agalloch has produced. On a personal level, it pulled me in
more than most music ever will. Similar to the first track, it's based around a basic clean guitar melody. This time around though, the music is much more melancholic. It may start out on a bright note with upbeat almost folk-like
guitars, but around a minute into the song it takes a sudden turn. The focus shifts to a sound clip picked out by Agalloch guitarist Don Anderson about the mentally ill. The clip deals with a schizophrenic man talking to his
father about what seems to be dealing with his life and their relationship. As the intensity of the clips grows, so does the music. The details may be blurry, but the effect the clip adds to the song is very strong no matter how you look at it. It sets the tone for a very unsettling four and a half minutes, and closes the EP in the strongest way possible.
Tomorrow Will Never Come
may be quite unaccessible to most, and uninteresting to many, but it's an EP I would suggest to anyone looking for something new. Even if the first track is lackluster, the second track has enough strength to pull it's own weight and is worth the price entirely.