An Agalloch release is a work of art to be considered an event, and deserves all the listening time one can spare. I just received my copy of the album, but have listened online and been blown away by the wondrous world contained in "Marrow of the Spirit." This may be the album that drives me to purchase a record player once it comes out on LP. The November release date is, of course, perfect timing for the band. Hopefully, you'll listen to this in the proper autumnal wooded setting, but regardless, the music will transport you there if you close your eyes.
"They Escaped the Weight of Darknes" and "To Drown" respectively initiate and conclude the album, and convey stark, heavy emotions that defy description (by me, at least). "Into the Painted Grey" begins contemplatively, but is an intense tune that will make one recall fellow Northwesterners Wolves in the Throne Room. "The Watcher's Monolith" combines many different elements and speeds to form the musical equivalent of a Thanksgiving dinner plate (with a collection of great tastes). "Black Lake Nidstang" is a monolithic doomy affair flowing like molasses (in a good way) but finishing with a flourish and an explicit curse against those who degrade the earth. "Ghosts of the Midwinter Fires" is mellow, with alternately screeching and jaunty guitar work, and (as always) cathartic vocals from John Haughm.
Hearty thanks to Haughm, Don Anderson, Jason William Walton, and Aesop Dekker for crafting this majestic album. It's my favorite record of 2010 and will provide great listening through the winter and on into eternity. This, like the rest of their discography, deserves room in mankind's ultimate time capsule.