Brooding and dark. Cold and black. Faustian Echoes, Agalloch’s latest EP, is one 21 minute and 34 second long song. This is Agalloch’s longest song to date, and is definitely one of their most atmospheric. Agalloch is one of the leaders in today’s atmospheric black metal movement, and Faustian Echoes justifies it.
I was surprised Billy Anderson produced this. Anderson has stuck mostly to sludge, doom, and stoner metal bands, but he proves his expertise to reach even the edges of black metal. The EP isn’t over-produced but it isn’t under-produced either. It sits just right, so you can hear everything perfectly. In fact, I believe that Faustian Echoes was recorded live. Very impressive.
The guitar parts are completely amorphous, which makes this release so beautiful. They’ll switch from sinister, evil riffs to ambient, calm, and melodic leads. John Haughm’s vocals are incredibly sharp and stabbing, filled with haunting chills. There really isn’t much to say about the drums. Drum structure is like any typical black metal release. Blast beats, then slow ride and snare, then blast beats, then slow ride and snare, and the occasional drum fill. However, they still pull their weight and provide vigor and pestilence to the record.
Faustian Echoes isn’t my favorite release from Agalloch, but it’s definitely one of their most interesting. It’ll put you in a trance that you won’t want to break free from. It’s on their bandcamp for only six dollars. Whether or not six dollars is worth it, it’s definitely worth listening to on repeat for hours. 7.9/10