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Easy Listening Black Metal??? - 75%

ReverseTracheotomy, December 8th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Eisenwald (Digipak)

I'm not overly familiar with Agalloch's discography, but it seems that Pillorian will be a continuation of their music with a more direct black metal style. Obsidian Arc strikes me as folk metal meets black metal and atmospheric doom metal. There's moments of high-speed ferocity and dissonance and others that are more tranquil and acoustic. I will say one of my favorite things about this album and Agalloch's sound as well is the frequent inclusion of acoustic guitars. Its difficult to pull off but a really cool style when bands manage to have an acoustic or clean guitar in unison with distorted guitar and faster sections. The clean singing on The Vestige of Thorns pleasantly surprised me as well. It was a nice touch and wasn't overdone, just blending in really well like most of the album seems to do. The only complaint I think I could raise is that this album flows almost to well. Each song is uniquely its own but perhaps not quite enough.

All in all its a pretty great record. I enjoyed the sound of it a lot. Its relieving to hear some more black metal style albums that don't make your head hurt after half of a listen. I truly enjoy the sound and the style of black metal but there are more than a few records that achieve an awesome wall of sound but can be taxing to listen to. The recording quality is pretty good as well. The production seems to have been more stripped back to have a more classic black metal feel but again its was done correctly. Having a gritter, darker sound without just have disgustingly saturated guitars and a really piercing sound. I'd recommend giving this album a listen, it has a cool sound and style and is mostly written by a guy who pioneered this sort of style.