AgallochA recent comment by Kye reminded me that we really ought to write about Pacific Northwest atmospheric doomsters Agalloch. Beautifuly doomy might be one way to describe the sound of this mostly instrumental, rarely touring foursome; the best way to describe this music could be to say that this is metal that absolutely sounds like it was written by dudes who live somewhere where it rains, all the time. Think a less Death-y, darker Daylight Dies. Their 2006 release Ashes Against the Grain (The End) is a great record to blaze to on a rainy day, what with such precipitation-inspired tracks as “Fire Above, Ice Below,” “Falling Snow,” and “Not Unlike the Waves.”

Agalloch has a new record called The White EP due on Vendlus Records on that most metal of days, Feb 29, so metal it only happens once every four years. “Sowilo Rune,” a preview track recently made available on their MySpace page, interweaves acoustic guitars with pianos, whispers, samples, and the occasional airy electric lead. It’s a whole lot less heavy than their previous output, but the band assures fans they aren’t permanently altering their sound: “As with all of our EPs and limited releases, this is not necessarily a sign of things to come. We envision small releases as opportunities to experiment and try new things without the weighty demands of a full-length release. So, expect a different sound, but also expect something that sits nicely with the rest of our work.” And while the new material is certainly different, it’s absolutely in character with the rest of their work.

Pre-order The White EP at www.vendlus.com/store. This release is limited to 2000 copies.

Be sure to check out Agalloch on MySpace, where you can also hear some of their older, heavier material. Think of the new, mostly acoustic EP as music for a snowy day, perhaps.


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