I knew the second the chaos of “Black Messiah” burst from my speakers Antichrist wasn’t an album I was going to come back to. This was a clear case of sequencing killing an album for me. Never mind that the 2007 album from Akercocke was (outside of the opening track) for the most part similar to the progressive death metal I loved on Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone. I had just discovered that there are some bands I didn’t need to follow throughout their career.
And that’s totally okay. Continue reading “Akercocke: Antichrist (2007)”
Oh, fancy lads of Akercocke. You do the dress up thing, you sing of Satan and blasphemy, and you play a beguiling progressive death metal that would make many upstarts weep with jealousy. I am not always taken with you, particularly when you go lower than “large pig swallowing another pig” in your vocal range, but damn if the music on Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone isn’t some of the best death metal in the last 15 years. Continue reading “Akercocke: Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone (2005)”
Looking back now, even if the band knew The Serpent and the Sphere was going to be the final Agalloch album I don’t think they could have crafted a more full expression of what the band encompassed as a sonic entity. Rich and cold, bursting with full and lushly sculpted songs, it returns the band to its roots even as it points to how far the band pushed the limits of what you could do with a clear vision and unique perspective on how Black, neofolk, and post/progressive metal can blend while maintaining a singular identity. Continue reading “Agalloch: The Serpent and the Sphere (2014)”
John Haughm may consider this his least favorite Agalloch album, but Ashes Against the Grain is the album where I fell in love with the band. Sonically more expansive, with an icy sheen that removes most of what could be recognized as black metal in favor of something more post/neofolk/progressive…call if whatever you want, but the album drips with a somber beauty that captures the essence of what Agalloch brought to the genre. Continue reading “Agalloch: Ashes Against the Grain (2006)”
The first thing I remember thinking was, “This is black metal? It’s so slow!” I was still dipping a tentative toe into whatever “extreme” metal was, and after some hesitant purchases into the genre, starting with Cradle of Filth’s Dusk and Her Embrace and Emperor’s Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk I approached Agalloch expecting something similar. What I got in Pale Folklore was something completely different: metal that reaches into both post-rock and black metal to pull together a tapestry of ideas incorporating folk, doom, and everything in between. Continue reading “Agalloch: Pale Folklore (1999)”
It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon. Maybe you have questions. I know I do. I’m still thinking of how I want these “reviews” for lack of a better word to be, and what if anything might be of interest for apostle’s besides the daily review. So I thought I’d put together a quick Q&A to serve as a bit of an FAQ. These are questions I came up with sitting around organizing the albums for the next week of reviews, but if any of you have questions feel free to let me know and I’ll answer them in a future edition of this thing. Continue reading ““Why No Classical?” and Other Made Up Questions Serving As An FAQ”
I had the great benefit and privilege to be surrounded by a lot of diverse music growing up. In high school my two closest friends were a pair of brothers who grew up playing classical piano and jazz guitar. But their hearts were always also in rock and roll, and it was there I developed the bug for guitar after listening to everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Yngwie J. Malmsteen to Jim Hall, Andre Segovia, and Adrian Legg, whose High Strung Tall Tales provides possibly the best overall document to introduce someone to one of the greatest guitar players I’ve ever heard. Continue reading “Adrian Legg: High Strung Tall Tales (1994)”