Agalloch
The White


3.5
great

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
May 17th, 2008 | 177 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


The White EP is the second and final installment in a pair of connected EP’s, the first being Agalloch's 2004’s The Grey EP. As the band puts it, this EP is “the stylistic counterpart to The Grey”. It’s interesting how, above all else, the band connects two EP’s, not full length albums. However, The White EP shows how you can write a dark folk/ambient album which is simply mesmerizing. The whole album is absolutely drenched in atmosphere, because that is the main focus of a nearly entirely instrumental album, and for you to do an album like this right the first point which must be put across is an atmospheric tone which will carry throughout the album.

Like they have done so many times before, Agalloch simply nail the atmosphere portion of this album. You have completely contrasting tracks like “Birch Black” and “Birch White”, as well as standalone epics like “Pantheist” which incorporate a trick or two to completely catch the listener off guard. Take the middle of “Pantheist”, for example. At about the 3:50 mark, you have acoustic guitars picking slowly away at a smooth atmospheric riff, but all of the sudden an extremely low guitar sweep just slaps you in the face and rips the song almost into another world. Just like that, you are taken from what can be described as loneliness and peace to pain and darkness. The instruments don’t take you by themselves, either. The vocals on this album come in three tones, whispered, spoken, or chanting. In “Birch White” you have a half spoken/half sung vocal aura which meet you as the first actual vocals in the entire album. It really adds a lot of variety to the album, and I don’t think that The White EP would stand the same without these small vocal touches.

Everything is captured in this rather long, 36 minute EP. You have the slower, more melancholic tracks like “Pantheist”, the mid-paced and rather angry tracks like “Birch Black”, and the hopefulness of songs like “Birch White” or “Sowilo Rune”. The album feels extremely complete, it has a defined and clear beginning, and a fitting, noteworthy end. From the eerie opening clips of children chanting “We carry death, out of the village” onward, you know this is an Agalloch release, and you know that the amount of despair and darkness will only get more prevalent as the album lingers onward. Every single instrument here just breathes this emotion, the acoustic guitar, the piano, the electric guitar, synths, harp, horns, and bass all capture the exact feeling which Agalloch was going for with this release.

I find The White EP quite a misleading name. When you think of white, you think of hope and happiness; however this album portrays close to nothing of the sort. This is an album for sadness and depression, this is an album for loneliness and hate, and there is no way a listener can come out of this album without any one of those feelings. Agalloch is a band which buries itself in your mind; it is a music which evokes thought and reflection. This album is certainly an Agalloch album, there is no doubting that, but there is something else here, something I have yet to identify. It is there, looming in all the songs, the part which makes this more than just another Agalloch release. Maybe if you take a listen to The White EP, you will know exactly what I mean.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2008


16434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album, far from classic but far from terrible. A very, very solid release.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Eliminator
March 22nd 2008


2067 Comments


its pretty close to terrible

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2008


16434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why don't you like it?

Yazz_Flute
March 22nd 2008


18810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review there, but after reading it I felt like you would have given it a higher rating.

I really wish I preordered this before all the copies were sold out I want this.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2008


16434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

but after reading it I felt like you would have given it a higher rating.


I know what you mean, but I think a 3.5 suits this perfectly. 3.5 means great, and thats exactly what this is. Check out ebay if you want to buy this, there were a couple copies floating around there.

Eliminator
March 22nd 2008


2067 Comments


Why don't you like it?
because i have a raging boner

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2008


16434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow... nice reasoning

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2008


16089 Comments


I dunno man I like this more than any of their full lengths I've heard, except maybe the Mantle.

Wizard
March 22nd 2008


19508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Because Eliminator has no reasoning behind his opinion. He's proven himself to be a retard around here.

Excellent review Crysis. I've only heard the one song from this album (myspace page) and I thought it was on par with their other releases. You've convinced me to buy this up the next time I see it.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2008


16089 Comments


I'm loling a lot right now.This Message Edited On 03.22.08

Eliminator
March 22nd 2008


2067 Comments


well i had a raging boner five times while listening to this, so i think my opinion is justified.

Wizard
March 22nd 2008


19508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Raging 'clue', eh!

Hawks
March 22nd 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have and love all of Agalloch's full length albums. I should probably check this out.

BallsToTheWall
March 22nd 2008


44620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^^^ lol, good episode. I can't seem to find anything from this band from my downloading site nor in any stores despite constantly shifting between towns. Fuck but great review. Eventually i'll take this band out.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Hawks
March 22nd 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just download them and then buy them later. They are too good to wait to buy.

Yazz_Flute
March 22nd 2008


18810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They're on itunes, that's where I had to get them =p

Hawks
March 22nd 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah. Pale Folklore is probably the best.

BallsToTheWall
March 23rd 2008


44620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't bought an album in more then a month and that's going to continue for awhile due to a lack of funds, and having to save some for coming weeks. U Torrent is pretty reliable but doesn't have this band. Meh, hopefully i'll find somebody with this in college.

Hawks
March 23rd 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need to try and find this somewhere. All their other albums are great this shouldnt be any different.

hermitspancho
March 23rd 2008


278 Comments


Birch black feels like Ennio Morricone writing a folk metal track,great tune.



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