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

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gerard - Meridian – One of Japan's longest lived symphonic bands, Gerard has produced a long string of albums beginning with their eponymous debut in 1984, featuring an expanded six-piece lineup, which by the second...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues