Agalloch Live Show Review

Like all good metal bands, the members of Agalloch know how to create atmosphere. Generally, when Band (A) comes Venue (B), A obviously plays in B. But when Agalloch came to The Crocodile in support of their new EP Faustian Echoes, Agalloch turned The Crocodile into an Agalloch environment. Their setup took quite a bit of time as woodsy elements like tree stumps, incense, various animal bones, etc. were brought out onto the stage; but in the end, Agalloch’s live show ended up being as critically acclaimed as the rest of their material.

 

July 12th, 2012 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile

‘Philosophy have I digested,
The whole of Law and Medicine,
From each of its secrets I have wrested,
Theology, alas, thrown in.
Poor fool, with all this sweated lore,
I stand no wiser than I was before.’
Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

BUY: FAUST

Agalloch have just released the longest song they have ever recorded — the 21-minute “Faustian Echoes” based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s literary masterpiece Faust — and on this tour, they’ve promised to do something equally special. In each city, Agalloch have hand-selected local acts to help open their show — and in the times when no fitting band was found, the band decided to play an even longer set. In Seattle, Eight Bells and Taurus opened; Eight Bells with their ambient and black metal-driven sounds, and Taurus with a frightful drone-sludge ambiance about them. But the show was all about Agalloch the whole time.

There are few bands that have received as much consistently critical acclaim as Agalloch does. The band’s last full-length, Marrow of the Spirit, landed all over top albums of 2010 lists. With a solid two-hour chunk set aside for Agalloch’s interesting take on folk and black metal, the band played an exhaustive set list from all over their catalog. As a general rule of thumb, metal bands are tight live, and Agalloch is no different. But the gentlemen were consummate professionals as they played right through constant monitor issues without skipping a beat — a tough bout considering there are a lot of beats in every one of their eight-minute songs.

 

“The ‘lyrics’ are taken directly from an English translation of Goethe’s Faust. We used select phrases and film samples to create the narrative which, together, outlines the backbone of the original story.”
– John Haughm, Pitchfork interview

 

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Peter Woodburn

When people say they like all kinds of music, they usually add the caveat “except heavy metal”. Peter Woodburn doesn’t. In fact, he is almost always asking for more heavy metal. His love for music stems from seeing the Grateful Dead at the tender age of 11 years, and it hasn’t faded since. He loves everything from 15-minute-long bluegrass jams to thirty-second grindcore blasts, as well as everything in between. Give him a monster riff, though, and he will be forever happy.