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Stream Agalloch The Serpent & The Sphere

Most of what I’ve got to say about Agalloch’s forthcoming The Serpent & The Sphere I said in our Premature Evaluation of the album. It’s not an easy album to condense into a paragraph — it’s a massive, ambitious, singular work from a band whose career consists of nothing less. It’s also the follow-up to… More »

By: Michael Nelson / May 5, 2014 - 10:43 am

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – April 2014

In last month’s Black Market, we spent a lot of space celebrating the triumphant returns of numerous kings: Agalloch, Triptykon, Thou, Eyehategod … even the mighty Metallica came back to us with their strongest material in decades. We witnessed a similar wave in April, but this time, the old gods were not so beneficent: Three… More »

By: Michael Nelson / April 30, 2014 - 12:01 pm

Premature Evaluation: Agalloch The Serpent & The Sphere

The fifth full-length album from Portland, OR-based black-ish metal band Agalloch, The Serpent & The Sphere, opens with a 10-and-a-half-minute track called “Birth And Death Of The Pillars Of Creation,” and it is a mindfuck. The song spends some three and a half minutes laboriously building from near-total silence, and upon finally hitting its groove,… More »

By: Michael Nelson / April 7, 2014 - 11:11 am

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – March 2014

I spent the second week of March at SXSW, and I spent a pretty good percentage of my SXSW at metal shows. In truth, most of the people I talked to at the festival seemed to agree that this year’s metal lineups were pretty lackluster, but even so, every day the genre offered numerous act… More »

By: Michael Nelson / March 31, 2014 - 3:47 pm

Agalloch – “Celestial Effigy”

In the December 2013 installment of our metal column, the Black Market, I spent several paragraphs gleefully anticipating the forthcoming fifth longplayer from the great Pacific Northwest dark metal band Agalloch. I’m not alone here — Agalloch’s then-untitled LP5 came in at No. 7 on our list of the 100 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2014. More »

By: Michael Nelson / March 18, 2014 - 11:40 am

Andy Winter – “Uncountably Infinite” Video (NSFW) (Stereogum Premiere)

Norwegian keyboardist Andy Winter is perhaps as notable for his collaborators as his musical portfolio. He’s the man behind the neo-classical metal act Winds — which features among its cohort drummer Jan Axel von Blomberg, aka Hellhammer, the longest-standing member of black-metal pioneers Mayhem. (Hellhammer played alongside Euronymous, Attila, and Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes o… More »

By: Michael Nelson / February 4, 2014 - 11:38 am

The 100 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2014

We’re almost (almost!) done reflecting on the year that was, so it’s time to start taking a closer look at the year that will be. For the past several years, we’ve ranked our most anticipated albums. Today the feature returns, bigger than ever, with a whopping 100 records we’re looking forward to hearing, enjoying, debating,… More »

By: Chris DeVille / December 23, 2013 - 11:23 am

Agalloch – “Faustian Echoes”

Pacific Northwest dark metal legends Agalloch follow up their magnificent 2010 LP, Marrow Of The Spirit, with an EP, Faustian Echoes, which will feature one song, in two parts, and is (according to the band) “based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s epic masterpiece ‘Faust.'” The song is epic even by Agalloch standards; at 21:34 it’… More »

By: Michael Nelson / June 26, 2012 - 12:33 pm

32 Must See Bands @ SXSW 2011

Come March every year, the same questions are asked, retreaded thought pieces get pitched: What does it mean to have a music industry festival in the decrepit climate of 2011? Does anyone actually get discovered at SXSW? What’s the point of signing to a label? What happened to that taco truck on Red River near… More »

By: Stereogum / March 16, 2011 - 9:10 am

Haunting The Chapel’s Top 50 Albums Of 2010

Clichés be damned — this really was a good year for metal. I had a harder time organizing a Top 10 in 2010 than ever before. Ditto the Top 20. It was such a good year that I went overboard and shifted my usual Top 30 to a Top 50. (Sure, the different between No. More »

By: brandon / December 21, 2010 - 11:58 am

Hear Agalloch’s “The Watcher’s Monolith,” Read Our Q&A With John Haughm

This has been a long time coming. Four years ago I gave Agalloch’s Ashes Against the Grain an 8.0 on Pitchfork, though it deserved a higher score. The Portland band’s fourth album Marrow Of The Spirit is even stronger — a dark, sprawling, endlessly epic, flat-out gorgeous contender for metal album of the year. To… More »

By: brandon / October 29, 2010 - 11:30 am

Haunting The Chapel No. 5

In March, longstanding crusty, female-fronted San Francisco black metal quintet Ludicra are releasing The Tenant, the excellent followup to 2007’s Fex Urbis Lex Orbus. I was a fan of the last one, but The Tenant is their most complete, captivating album to date. I give more detailed thoughts on the collection in the following interview… More »

By: brandon / January 22, 2010 - 11:52 am

Haunting The Chapel: The 30 Best Metal Albums Of 2009 (Plus Dozens Of Guest Lists)

Every year I’m tempted to — and sometimes do — say “this has been a great year for metal.” It’s a toss-away idea: If you consume the genre obsessively, every year seems sort of great, the chaff turning fuzzy and falling into the background, the favorites cementing themselves in your brain and eardrums. Or maybe… More »

By: brandon / December 19, 2009 - 6:41 pm