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The Mantle

4.6 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 13, 2002
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$10.69 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 13, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: The End Records
  • ASIN: B00006FSST
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,264 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Lord Chimp on February 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Any Opeth comparison is senseless and unfair. To me, Agalloch is strange marriage of Norwegian metal's halcyon elegy, seas of atmosphere, folk music, screeching metal, and more. So smoothly integrated are these styles that the designation of "metal" becomes hardly satisfying, or at least Agalloch hammers the mold to suit themselves. Their "metal" -- a term presumably assigned because of some harsh vocals and double-bass drumming -- is soft and haunting and gorgeous. The glassy distortion on the guitars is the dull gleam of sunlight beyond gray clouds rather than machine gun battery. Acoustic guitars dominate, punctuated with layers of electric guitars (rather than simple synth chords). Most importantly, Agalloch here develops seductive atmospheres and achieves them beautifully thanks to a lush but subdued production job. (Production is the only knock that can be sustained by their excellent debut, _Pale Folklore_.) Haughm's voice is one of the eeriest I've ever heard, the vocals split between harrowing rasps and gritty, forlorn whispers. Although his voice was difficult to adjust to (it's very...different), I love it now.
Instrumentation that seemed unchanging and simple proves to be very diverse on repeated listens. It helps to actually look at song credits and see what instruments are involved because they are very subtly integrated: from the symphonic percussion on "...And the Great Cold Death of the Earth" to the bristly mandolin of "A Desolation Song" to the beautiful, understated trombone theme in "The Hawthorne Passage" to the realms of texture within each song. Special note for "A Desolation Song", which uses the accordion (ggyah!) beautifully. Who would have thought...
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6 Comments 66 of 69 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
AGALLOCH - The Mantle
If you thought `Pale Folklore' was a journey into the depths of Black-Metal influenced Ambient Prog Music, I can assure you that was only their warm-up hike. The Portland (OR.) based Agalloch return back for another epic journey through the wilderness with their powerful sophomore release `The Mantle'.

This album is a clear progression for the band... they have done away with much of the awkward sounding black-metal parts (though still kept the much of the genres influence) and furthered their focus on the ambience of the music... Tracks like the 14 minute `In the Shadow of our Pale Companion' is song that is rivaled in modern progressive rock only by few bands (such as `Porcupine Tree') This song is absolutely stunning... creative, lush, somber atmospheres. Where as songs like `I Am the Wooden Door' go back to some of their more metal influences starting with a powerful double-bass intro... but still adding some beautiful acoustics mid-way through. There is not one bad track on the album and the disk is probably best listened to from start to finish to best appreciate this aural experience.

Overall, everything is stepped on this release... Better flow, more cohesive writing... Better production and sound... The vocal work has greatly improved. (Like I said above this album sounds less `awkward' during their heavier parts then their previous album.) I mean `Pale Folklore' was fantastic, but `The Mantle', well it is just freaking amazing!!! Near perfection, in fact why are you still reading this? Go buy this CD! If you like atmospheric post-rock like Pelican, Red Sparowes even GYBE, and have any interest in Prog-Metal (Or things of a heavier progressive influence) such as Opeth, or newer Enslaved.
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1 Comment 39 of 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Agalloch's 2002 album, "The Mantle," is about 100% more mellow than their first full length release, "Pale Folklore." The results are absolutely stunning and no-less-than astonishing. In fact, I don't know if I'm even capable of putting this album's greatness and prettiness into words. Some fans compare listening to this album to entering a snowy forest, but I'd say it's more like lying on top of a cloud. Some of these songs show flashes of doom/gloom metal, with heavy electric guitar riffs and scratchy, raspy vocals, but when this album is melodic (which is most of the time), it's downright gorgeous!

Deeply influenced by Opeth's and Katatonia's progressive rock elements, this disc is so full of sonically stunning soundscapes, it's hard for the listener to chose favorites. The album opener, "A Celebration For The Death Of Man," is a very peaceful (if repetitive) instrumental with acoustic strums and quite a bit of ambient guitar feedback. "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion," which is a fifteen minute long epic, is heavily textured, and has multiple layers and dimensions to it. It features more acoustic strums with (what sounds like) a sitar, a very pretty string arrangement, and (what could be) a piano, and it also offsets some angry, black metal-esque snarls with dreary, spoken word vocals. Next, "Odal" augments dreamy guitar plucking with a very cool piano and somewhat creepy wind wooshes.

"I Am The Wooden Doors" is the first song to offer a glimpse of real heaviness. It's bolstered by fast, propulsive electric guitars and driving drums, but the heaviness is broken up by a beautiful acoustic breakdown.

"The Lodge," which is the record's third instrumental, begins with what could be the resonating sound of two drumsticks being clapped together.
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Topic From this Discussion
Dang no one has replied to this lol.

Yeah The Mantle is THE folk metal album. They do create some of the best atmosphere in metallic music. I mean from the past decade metal bands have been becoming more atmospheric and I think Agalloch creates the best atmosphere for folk metal.

Though I... Read More
Jan 28, 2013 by wippernaut |  See all 3 posts
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