Ashes Against the Grain

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Eduardo Rivadavia
Thanks to a pair of brilliantly executed albums in 1999's Pale Folklore and 2002's The Mantle (plus 2001's none too shabby Of Stone, Wind and Pillor EP), Portland, Oregon's Agalloch became, quite possibly, the greatest American black metal band ever, or at the very least, the first American black metal band that really mattered! Such claims should not to be thrown about lightly, its true; but why measure words when faced with the worshipful fervor with which extreme metal fans embraced the enigmatic quartet's inspired creations, featuring corrosive black metal spliced with delicate folk music into arrangements improbably fluid, majestic, and avant-garde? Oh, and the ...
See more details below
CD
$11.13
BN.com price
(Save 7%)$11.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (5) from $7.63   
  • New (4) from $7.63   
  • Used (1) from $8.99   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Eduardo Rivadavia
Thanks to a pair of brilliantly executed albums in 1999's Pale Folklore and 2002's The Mantle (plus 2001's none too shabby Of Stone, Wind and Pillor EP), Portland, Oregon's Agalloch became, quite possibly, the greatest American black metal band ever, or at the very least, the first American black metal band that really mattered! Such claims should not to be thrown about lightly, its true; but why measure words when faced with the worshipful fervor with which extreme metal fans embraced the enigmatic quartet's inspired creations, featuring corrosive black metal spliced with delicate folk music into arrangements improbably fluid, majestic, and avant-garde? Oh, and the torturously long waits in between their releases didn't hurt matters either, only fueling the notoriously withdrawn band's budding cult legend, while their supporters dug in their heels for what wound up becoming an anxious, four-year vigil leading up to the arrival of Agalloch's third magnum opus, 2006's Ashes Against the Grain. Interestingly, as was the case with each previous effort, this offering displays marked evolution beyond its direct predecessor, so that, where The Mantle had incorporated ever-increasing doses of gothic and doom metal into Pale Folklore's original black metal-folk template, Ashes Against the Grain contains even fewer lingering vestiges (no more female vocals, for instance) of those acoustic guitar-dominated, Scandinavian backwoods elements. Rather, ever-shifting yet still cohesive ten-minute monoliths like "Limbs," "Fire Above, Ice Below," and "Not Unlike the Waves," generally make mere interludes out of their stark, echoing acoustic piano and guitar passages (though strikingly imaginative ones, at that); while vocalist John Haughm makes almost as frequent use of mellow, melodious tones as he does his signature black metal-style rasp. Actually, the latter vocal attack's continued prominence is especially pertinent in the event that a song like "Falling Snow" -- almost entirely definable as driving, gothic death metal -- should provoke any pointless semantic discussions regarding Agalloch's ultimate allegiance to black or death metal -- those often bickering, but inextricably cross-pollinating pillars of musical extremity. Not only for the obviously unnecessary nature of such Byzantine nitpicking, but because Agalloch's unique talents for evoking a constant sense of mysterious, atmospheric, ambiance supersedes most simplistic musical pigeonholing as black, death, or any kind of metal. A visible thread linking their entire body of work so far, this sense of mystery is epitomized by Ashes Against the Grain's three-part closing suite, which culminates in the cathartic climax of "Bloodbirds," and sets the stage for yet another stretch of painful expectation for that next, as yet unwritten chapter in their fascinating evolution.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/15/2006
  • Label: The End Records
  • UPC: 654436007029
  • Catalog Number: 70
  • Sales rank: 22,265

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Agalloch Primary Artist
Ronn Chick Piano, E-bow
Technical Credits
Ronn Chick Producer, Engineer, Mastering
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Really Good

    It is always nice to see a band make little developements in their music without completely changing their style (or, at least, not changing to a style one doesn't enjoy very much). In comparison to The Mantle, Ashes Against the Grain could probably be described as more polished, and even a little heavier at times (such as "Not Unlike the Waves"). The drumming on this album seems to have lost the lagging, almost subliminal off-tempo feel that seemed to infect the tracks of The Mantle. There aren't as many instances of non-traditional instruments, i.e. no Timpanis, digeridoo, accordians, or other fun instruments (which I think is too bad). There is more sound experiment outside of instrument use, such as the 7-minute fuzz session "Our Fortress is Burning Pt. 3: The Grain." These changes can be considered good or bad in anyone's opinion, but I think the feel and quality of the music manages to stay the same as on The Mantle. Other things that don't change-- Agalloch keeps a good balance of folk-like vocals mixed with the raspy tearing of the metal voices, and has ample supply of both mellow accoustic riffs and distortion laden guitar shredding.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews