Exposé Online banner

Agalloch — The Mantle
(The End TE 028, 2002, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-12-01

The Mantle Cover art

Black metal often joins the wallop of heavy, dense rock and roll with occult overtones that stretch back to 70s Black Sabbath. Because of this very tenet the genre is often maligned and doesn’t get any attention when a band tries to do something different but still make it palatable to their conscience. Agalloch is mostly a three-piece project from the Pacific Northwest who come out of the gate a bit restrained but exacting powerful themes and high drama. How they’ve managed to incorporate technical ability, aggressive tendency, and varied arrangements is what makes this CD of nine songs a step up from prog metal peers. If you can handle the bite of lead vocalist John Haughm you’ll detect a subtle undercurrent of sophistication in for pieces that utilize acoustic as much as electric guitars, accordion and even trombone on two tracks. The two major works on the album are “In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion” and “The Hawthorne Passage.” Both songs are tours de force that captures the essence of the best Queensrÿche and Fates Warning that it is well crafted and compelling. Haughm’s lead vocal varies in the mix; sometimes he’s spouting venomous lyrics like Ozzy or Ronnie James Dio on a good day; or he can make a melodic delivery at a lower register. Overall the group has created a project that should easily propel them into the creditable progressive metal ranks.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Agalloch

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mark Jenkins - This Island Earth – On the heels of his double CD Live in the USA, Mark Jenkins has released his 14th album This Island Earth. It presents three styles of electronic music: 1) a purely digital laptop-based composition...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues