Each new album Agalloch releases seems to sound completely different than anyone was expecting. So it makes sense that with Marrow of the Spirit they’ve decided to do a lot of things they’ve never done before.
First off, this is definitely their heaviest album to date. Into the Painted Grey starts off with guns blazing, blast beats and tremolo riffs a plenty. It’s black metal Agalloch style, and they do it beautifully. Secondly, they’ve actually taken a step back from their work so far and actually incorporated some familiar sounds from their earlier albums. The acoustic strumming from The Mantle is all over The Watcher’s Monolith, and we have some Pale Folklore-ish electric guitar picking on Ghosts of the Midwinter Fires. For a band that has constantly changed their sound from album to album, I think that’s pretty cool.
I don’t know if this is better than The Mantle or Ashes, but it certainly comes close. The fact that they’re still putting out the best metal music out there and have been doing so for more than ten years is just awesome, and from this it doesn’t look like they plan on stopping. See you in London boys.