Agalloch
The Serpent and the Sphere


2.5
average

Review

by TheMonster USER (5 Reviews)
May 5th, 2014 | 380 replies


Release Date: 05/13/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Repetition kills

Hints of greatness surrounded by stretches of overly repetitious riffage. Hints of greatness surrounded by stretches of overly repetitious riffage. Hints of greatness surrounded by stretches of overly repetitious riffage. The Serpent and the Sphere endeavours to create atmosphere through its glacial pacing, and while in theory such a concept might work, its execution has resulted in a sorely disappointing release. There is a fine line between hypnotic and boring, and unfortunately Agalloch step over it many times throughout The Serpent and The Sphere's 59-minute runtime. There is a fine line between hypnotic and boring, and unfortunately Agalloch step over it many times throughout The Serpent and The Sphere's 59-minute runtime. There is a fine line between hypnotic and boring, and unfortunately Agalloch step over it many times throughout The Serpent and The Sphere's 59-minute runtime. There is a fine line between hypnotic and boring, and unfortunately Agalloch step over it many times throughout The Serpent and The Sphere's 59-minute runtime. Overly repetitious stretches simply obscure what might otherwise be engaging songs and cause the listener to lose focus; such focus is regained only when something new enters the fore. Overly repetitious stretches simply obscure what might otherwise be engaging songs and cause the listener to lose focus; such focus is regained only when something new enters the fore.

The performances have merit. Aesop Dekker's drumming is tighter here than I've ever heard it. His improvement since Marrow of the Spirit and his work with Ludicra is obvious. His improvement since Marrow of the Spirit and his work with Ludicra is obvious. His improvement since Marrow of the Spirit and his work with Ludicra is obvious. The guitar tones are superb, and there are some excellent riffs. The vocals, too, are good- what a shame the production pushes them so far back. The vocals, too, are good- what a shame the production pushes them so far back. The vocals, too, are good- what a shame the production pushes them so far back. The vocals, too, are good- what a shame the production pushes them so far back. Indeed, much of the instrumental proficiency on display is wasted, on unsatisfying songwriting and, as aforementioned, a rather subpar mix. Indeed, much of the instrumental proficiency on display is wasted, on unsatisfying songwriting and, as aforementioned, a rather subpar mix

Overall, The Serpent and The Sphere has moments of excellence, but the package is spoiled by a bloated running time and a poor production job. Atmosphere does not have to necessarily stem from repetition. Atmosphere does not have to necessarily stem from repetition. Atmosphere does not have to necessarily stem from repetition. Indeed, if the repetition is overly so, or the sections repeated are unworthy of such focus, then it does just the opposite. Indeed, if the repetition is overly so, or the sections repeated are unworthy of such focus, then it does just the opposite. Repetition kills.


user ratings (309)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
johnnydeking29
May 5th 2014


9145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The amount of times you repeat the title is unbearable...

Digging: A Lot Like Birds - No Place

Lambda
May 5th 2014


2431 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Good, you realized the point of the review!

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2014


10392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well then.

johnnydeking29
May 5th 2014


9145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Repetition kills"

Oh hahaha, I should have seen that

emester
May 5th 2014


3569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Repetition kills"

WE GET IT

Digging: Krieg - Transient

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2014


10392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Lol we get the point. Unfortunately it's a bad idea for a review.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2014


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Shit review. This has been streaming for only 12 hours as well.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Odal
May 5th 2014


350 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

This review sucks and so does the album

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2014


10392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@Crysis I was just thinking that too. I kinda wanna hear their other stuff besides The Mantle to form
a proper opinion of this before listening.

InFlamesWeThrash666
May 5th 2014


1247 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Bad review..

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars

fromtheinside
May 5th 2014


18363 Comments


absolutely terrible review. kyle get on this before noctus riffs on this

Digging: Gehenna - Seen Through the Veils of Darkness

Emyay
May 5th 2014


5962 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yikes

TheMonster
May 5th 2014


31 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks for the feedback guys. The intention of this review was to mirror the effect of listening to the record. If you think it sucks, that means I succeeded.

ti0n
May 5th 2014


1422 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

worst excuse i ever read

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

Odal
May 5th 2014


350 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

No, it means your review was lazy and hamfisted. The repetition on the album is bad, but nowhere near the point of it being the sole purpose of a review. There are plenty of other reasons why this album isn't that great.

TheMonster
May 5th 2014


31 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

There is a difference between an excuse and an explanation.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2014


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I have this dibbed so I am 100% going to review it, its just we never got a promo so I will hear the album for the first time when I get home from work. I would expect others to get their reviews up first but mine will come soon.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2014


21277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i refuse to believe this sucks. band hasnt released a bad album yet

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

TheMonster
May 5th 2014


31 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"No, it means your review was lazy and hamfisted."

Just like the album ;)

"The repetition on the album is bad, but nowhere near the point of it being the sole purpose of a review. There are plenty of other reasons why this album isn't that great."

That's the thing about reviews- they're opinion. You have yours, I have mine. In my opinion, the repetition was so egregious that it did warrant a review dedicated majorly to it. You do not. For the record, though, I also mention production concerns in my review (repeated a ton of times), but you obviously did not see that, likely because it WAS so repetitious. Thus, my point about the record, and repetition in general, is proven. Thank you.

Odal
May 5th 2014


350 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

They have now. I can't help but start to think that Agalloch's best days are behind them. Barring some fairly-huge departure, I feel like they've said all that they need to say in black metal/folk/post-rock/drone





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