This is the first official recording from famed folk metal band Agalloch, and it's as good as a demo can be. It's always cool to me when bands show immense skill and abilities on their initial projects, but also show a large amount of promise, too. That is definitely what happens here, to the nth degree. From my own standpoint, I'd consider it even better than their great debut LP, Pale Folklore. The best moments on this demo are just as good and sometimes better than the best ones on Pale Folklore, and that's apparent even through phenomenal opener "The Wilderness". The fact of the matter is that this is concise, wonderfully written folk-influenced, melodic, and introspective black metal that is brimming not only with emotion but with nuances that show the band was a special group of guys full of ideas even back nearly two decades ago.