Faustian Echoes

Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere Review

Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere Review

Marrow of the Spirit‘s “Black Lake Niðstång” marked the beginning of my journey through American band Agalloch‘s sizeable discography. The album delicately, but rather doggedly introduced me to the band’s neat fusion of avant-garde black-ish metal, neo-folk and post-rock, drawing influence and inspiration from the atmosphere of Ulver and the ambient nature of October Falls. It’s John Haughm’s talent for merging this kaleidoscope of textures that gives Agalloch a level of inspiring complexity while still giving the songs an air of accessibility and easy listening.” Madam X tries to wrap her arms around infinity and the cult of great expectations that comes with every Agalloch release. Expect dislocated shoulders.

Crest of Darkness – In the Presence of Death Review

Crest of Darkness – In the Presence of Death Review

“Anton Szandor LaVey could have been writing about In the Presence of Death when he wrote this line “Each verse is an inferno. Each word is a tongue of fire. The flames of Hell burn fierce” – he wasn’t writing about this album of course, but after spending the week with Crest of Darkness, that’s a damn(ed) fitting description ov their Norwegian melodic black metal style that bears strong music, lyric and vocal similarities to the likes of Naglfar, some vocal similarities to Illnath (Narrenschiff days), has some of the same cvlt blackness of 1349 (pre their directional change) and dare I even say it… a hint or two of Cradle of Filth lurking around.” According to Madam X, you can’t judge this black metal beast by the cheesy album cover. I hear what she’s saying…but DAMN! Is that cheesy or what??