Gallowbraid
Ashen Eidolon


3.5
great

Review

by DarkNoctus CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
December 11th, 2010 | 42 replies | 11,076 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A surprisingly fresh EP, despite essentially being an Agalloch clone.

Before we start, we'll get one thing out of the way; Gallowbraid is essentially an Agalloch clone. It's pretty cut and clean, they use the same kind of aesthetic and feel in their music as well as instrumentation. The lyrics are about nature, the atmosphere is nature-influenced thanks to the use of piano and acoustic guitar, the melodies reek of a hybrid of pagan/viking metal and the Agalloch style, the vocals are a combination of atmospheric clean vocals and a high raspy scream... It's the kind of thing we've heard from the most established of bands to the most underground of bedroom projects.

But despite this, this is quite a fresh and enjoyable EP from Gallowbraid. Their addition to the Der Wanderer ├╝ber Dem Nebelmeer compilation CD was one of my favorite moments of the record, but the thing that held it back for me was the fact that it was a bit too generic. But Ashen Eidolon really does see the project get somewhat of a voice of its own with a bit more of a distinctive sound. Yes, it's essentially just like every other band in the genre as previously mentioned, but there seems to be a quality of it that wasn't there in the compilation. This EP is a band finding its own voice, if perhaps a bit of a stagnant one.

In saying that, Ashen Eidolon couldn't have come at a better time. Being released very closely to the new Agalloch album, some were very disappointed in the new Agalloch album. This EP will serve as somewhat of a substitute for those who were disappointed, because there aren't many bands that really pull off the whole Agalloch-clone thing as well as Gallowbraid have done in this EP. Though it's a smaller offering than the new Agalloch, being an EP and all, it does clock in at a very respectable 31 minutes - the title track nearing 15 minutes in length. What's better than the length is the fact that it's very well used. The songs on the EP flow very well with some really memorable melodies throughout its length.

This EP essentially has 2 full songs, and 2 small folk interludes/outros. The small folk songs do their job and have a beauty of their own, but the quality of the two full songs completely overshadows the small folk songs. Gallowbraid really did a good job of captivating the Agalloch spirit in this EP. The different touches here give it a new type of spice, however - such as the piano being used in the lead in places, the great female vocals, and the very swing-like drum beats that are scattered throughout the tracks. The highlight of this EP, the title track, marries all the aspects that make this genre so appealing in the first place. The track flows between each section admirably, not feeling even near its length. The second full song, Oak and Aspen, essentially does the same thing, and where it's not quite as good as the title track, it's certainly close and displays the same flavour as the first. The way Gallowbraid essentially takes the Agalloch formula and still gets it to sound distinctive is pretty impressive. The melodies here are much more pagan/viking orientated and are generally more upbeat than Agalloch, too - so if that sounds good to you, you really can't afford to pass this up. It's very well put together, very well composed and very well performed. My one issue is the re-using of the same sections over and over, particularly in the title track - which don't feel like re-visits to the previous parts of the song, and instead just feel like a copy and paste job to make the song longer. But at least the sections they copied are good ones.

The quality of this EP really took me by surprise considering that Gallowbraid just struck me as another band with no real distinct personality in terms of songwriting. This EP shows that they really have something to offer. Chances are if you like Agalloch, you'll really enjoy this - especially if you weren't so keen on Marrow Of The Spirit and are looking for your Agalloch-fix that Marrow didn't provide (for whatever reason I cannot fathom). Who knows, Ashen Eidolon may just surprise you.



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Because trees don't gots no good metals to listens to....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2010



8778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

criticism? I think I'm getting better

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2010



18225 Comments


Album is pretty meh, a small bit of awesome wrapped in a whole lot of boring.

Hopefully the a full length will be a bit more focused. Pos'd though.

Digging: Syndrone - Salmataxia

rasputin
December 11th 2010



14538 Comments


zzz

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2010



8778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really? I think the only really boring bits of this EP are the folk interludes. Rest is great to me apart from them re-using the same sections over and over a few times.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2010



18225 Comments


Most of the riffs aren't very good. The opening track started out awesome, then died from there. I don't even remember the third song, it was extremely boring.

TheSpirit
December 11th 2010



17624 Comments


everyone has beeen fapping so hard to this lately but i dunno

Digging: Venus Star - Nigredo Expulsion

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2010



8778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fair enough, must admit it wasn't until the second listen until the riffs here became memorable. after that though, pretty much loved what I was hearing.

the acoustic section followed by the metal bit using the same melody about two thirds through the title track is really, really good. probably my favorite moment here.

everyone has beeen fapping so hard to this lately but i dunno


it's not exactly fap worthy, but certainly a worthwhile listen.

Bitchfork
December 11th 2010



7584 Comments


is a tres.

Hawks
December 11th 2010



35289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice review Noctus. This rules and yeah it's an Agalloch clone. Doesn't take anything away from it, at least for me.

Digging: Brutal Truth - Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2010



8778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agreed :]

i enjoy this more than a 3.5 but I don't want people to go into it with the bar set too high, so I think 3.5 is the best score to give really.

Hawks
December 11th 2010



35289 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

It was borderline 3.5 for me, but I went with a 4 just because of how much I love Agalloch and they are an exact clone for the most part.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2010



8778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah I guess so. I do like how their melodies are more viking-like and they're more upbeat, though. gives a nice change.

@user above me: that's okay :]

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2010



16134 Comments


Album is like a three-ish.

Zoo
December 12th 2010



3759 Comments


you could've just put the text

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2010



8778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

because one picture of bubblewrap balls just wasn't enough!!

Knott-
Emeritus
December 12th 2010



10195 Comments


i bet he's behind 7 proxies that's how high-level this operation is

also he definitely drools on himself

Bitchfork
December 12th 2010



7584 Comments


i came in here only to see strikey post in a metal thread

jingledeath
December 12th 2010



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is alright

Bitchfork
December 12th 2010



7584 Comments


tis

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2010



16299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I dunno I liked it but then again I'm the biggest sucker for this gay folky stuff.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt



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