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Marrow of the Spirit

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Editors’ Notes

Well, that’s it — we’re exhausted, physically and emotionally. And you will be too from the very second you let this album sink in. Spreading six multi-movement songs across 65 debilitating minutes, Marrow of the Spirit treats forest-dwelling black metal like a transcendent purification process — a way of facing your greatest fears head on, no matter what form they take. In some cases, that can mean a passage as serene and profoundly sad as the icy acoustic intro of “The Watcher’s Monolith” or the bubbling brook, chirping birds, and lonesome cello of “They Escaped the Weight of Darkness.” For the most part, though, Agalloch is unwilling to let listeners fully understand their surroundings. They’d rather maintain a masterful level of tension throughout, from the pure anguish of “Black Lake Nidstang” — a dizzying epic that deserves its own EP — to the hypnotic heathenism of “Into the Painted Grey.” Like Agalloch’s admitted influences (Katatonia, Swans, Godspeed You Black Emperor), this is as cathartic as music gets without having to pay someone by the hour.

Customer Reviews


Decibel Magazine is rumored to have already made this their album of the year!! I think it's an awesome album. Along with Nachtmystium, Agalloch is shaping American Black Metal into an innovative and pioneering area of metal. Considering the album was released in winter, the music matches the cold beauty of winter landscapes everywhere.

A darker story

The review that was disappointed with the vintage equipment is, on the surface, a logical commentary. However, it is naive, considering the band used that equipment for the soul purpose of doing just what the reviewer is complaining about. The band did not want another End Records album. They are on Profound Lore now. This was, in my view, the point. They added Aesop on drums and it was a fantastic move. Without being able to ask them personally, I would assume that the dynamic in the band changed as a result of a new personality. The more I listen to this recording, the more I get it. It is brilliant. They are speaking from deep within life. It is a strange place; a disconnected place. In this place, there is not logic, but emotion. This is the human language of life. This album is a growth beyond "good music" to a place few people get to. Using musical instruments to represent such unknowns, and to do it where a clarity can be found in any way, is brilliant. Way to go Agalloch!


Still a great album by virtue of it's performers, but I feel like something was lost by using the vintage equipment. It certainly does give it that 90s black metal feel, but I think this album falls short in comparison to The Mantle and Ashes. It doesn't quite have the power and flow those albums do. Still, I recommend buying it and giving it a shot. I mean, it's Agalloch. Clearly worth your time, money and soul.


Formed: 1995 in Portland, OR

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The origins of Agalloch date back to 1995 and the disintegration of the band Aeolachrymae. As that group died, three phoenixes emerged from the ashes, Sussurrus Inanis, Nothing, and Agalloch. Mixing black metal with atmospheric textures, gothic doom, and neo-folk and post-rock touches, the Portland, OR-based group quickly developed a rabid cult following. Their first demo, From Which of This Oak, was recorded in 1996; in 1998, they recorded another demo and shopped it around to labels. Their efforts...
Full Bio
Marrow of the Spirit, Agalloch
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Nov 23, 2010

Customer Ratings