Agalloch is beginning to get to the point in their careers where they cannot win. It happens with every band as their fan base grows. Regardless of what they do, there will always be people that say that the direction they are going in is wrong. “Marrow of the Spirit” was detested by many for its slight divergence in sound. Fans called the songs too long and said that the album itself lacked a consistent flow.
Thankfully, Agalloch just goes about their business and do what they want to do. Their music is made to please themselves and not every one of their fans. A few months back Agalloch released the Faustian Echoes EP, which consisted of a lone song – the longest single song they have written to date clocking in at over 21 and a half minutes.
As you would expect with a track of this length, the song is all over the place. It has its heavy moments and its melodic moments. It has slow parts and fast parts. What I would add to those descriptions would be that it is brooding and dark. Faustian Echoes ends up being one of their most atmospheric songs to date. Agalloch has positioned themselves already as one of the leaders in today’s atmospheric black metal movement, and with the release of Faustian Echoes, they justify that positioning further.
As far as the change in Agalloch’s sound goes, I have always considered it more of a maturing that a straight change made willingly. To me, their music has never wavered in quality. Stylistically, they offer something different every time out, and that is something that I wish more bands would do.
So, this review is not really meant to make you buy the Faustian Echoes EP, because Agalloch fans already will be buying it. Hell, the EP has already been on the shelves for a while anyway, so most of you have already added it to your collection.
Faustian Echoes Track Listing:
1. Faustian Echoes