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A Review of the Mini Album "the White" by Agalloch

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Introduction to The White and Its Musical Style

Portland Oregon’s most varied sub-genre metal band Agalloch released a seven song mini album called The White on February 29, 2008. The album is being described as neofolk and dark ambient music. Well, there is some truth to that assessment because there is an atmospheric influence in the album with some ambient stuff in the mix.


This is Different Than What Agalloch Had Done Before

“The Isle of Summer” is the song that starts this mini album off and it begins with a bunch of kids saying the sentence “we carry death out of the village.” Then, the progressive guitar sound dominates this song. Some of you might notice that there is a 1980s Fates Warning influence in here though the sound is crisper. It isn’t simple to say that "The Isle of Summer" is a full lyrical song in the common sense because it only has that one line of narration so it might as well be another instrumental song.

Why This is A Unique Mini Album

What makes this mini album unique in one sense is that it is somewhat dominated by instrumental songs and there are no cover songs of other artists done on this mini album. Another aspect to this release that may be not noticed by some is that for the performance, there are only two members playing the instruments. They are John Haughm and Don Anderson. Usually it is very challenging to have only two band members handle the bulk of the instrumentation and musical work in an album. A few of the songs in this album also have dialogue and lines from the film “The Wicker Man” which came out in the 1970s. In other words, The White is a mini album or an extended play album which is not like any other mini album that some of us may have heard. Listening to this seven song set is very refreshing like biting into a fresh strawberry and really enjoying its taste and flavor. The White really doesn’t feel like a death metal or a heavy metal album like you may be used to hearing but it sounds like progressive rock combined with new age folk and that would be the way that I would describe this mini album.

"Birch White"

Final Thoughts

“Birch Black” has a very noticeable Opeth influenced acoustic guitar pattern to it without having the enormously long length to it. “Pantheist” is one of those songs that has this The 3rd and the Mortal feel to it while also providing some very nice acoustic guitar play. Then there is a chant in this song done by John. This seven song mini album by Agalloch is one of the most flawless albums of its kind due to its musicianship structure and excellence and the crisp production.

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"Sowilo Rune"

Favorite Song in This Seven Song Mini Album

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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