Well this is some horrible news. Portland, OR-based Agalloch are one of the best metal bands of the 21st century, but I guess as of today, we gotta put that in the past tense. They just posted the following announcement on their Facebook:
Following 20 years, 5 full length albums, many tours around the world, and numerous other recordings, John Haughm and the rest of the band (Don Anderson, Jason Walton, and Aesop Dekker) have parted ways. What the future holds for the separate parties remains undetermined. We collectively thank all of our fans across the world. There are also way too many other people to thank who made this band possible. You know who you are.
If you’re not already familiar with Agalloch, you’ve got an incredibly rich trove of genuinely magical music ahead of you. Their last was 2014’s The Serpent & The Sphere, and I wrote a review of that album that almost captures my fanatical love for that band. But every single record in their catalog is a winner, and I can’t even pick a favorite. Maybe 2010’s Marrow Of The Spirit? Maybe 2002’s The Mantle? I also have a real soft spot for 2006’s Ashes Against The Grain. Ugh, I dunno.
What I do know is, it’s a shittier world without Agalloch, and especially without the promise of a new Agalloch album. Anyway, I kinda feel like I should make an Agalloch playlist or something, but that’s gonna take me a minute. So for now, let’s just listen to “Limbs” to really throw into sharp relief just how much it sucks that these dudes aren’t doing the thing anymore. There will never be another like them, and they will be missed.
UPDATE: Agalloch frontman John Haughm has explained some details of the band’s split, via Facebook:
After being inundated by a barrage of responses, I feel that I should clarify some things. I take full responsibility for the decision to part ways with the other guys. It was difficult, well thought-out, and something that had been culminating over the past couple of years. I simply could not continue any further with the band as it was. I had to make a change as my motivation and inspiration had started to completely deteriorate. Whether this is the permanent end of Agalloch altogether or a possible fresh start, I don’t know. I probably won’t know for awhile. The band has simply been reduced back to its founding, visionary member for the first time in 20 years. Beyond that, the future is unknown.
– J. Haughm