Mid-week Metal – Agalloch at Branx – 7/11/12Posted by Aaron Sharpsteen
It is hard not to use hyperbole when it comes to bands like Agalloch. One of America’s most important and accomplished black metal bands, a trademark used to be the relative rarity of live performances. Luckily, in the past couple years, they have taken to regular appearances and tours, and Wednesday, July 11th marks the kick-off of yet another monstrous tour around the United States and Canada. They are bringing another upcoming Portland metal act, Taurus, with them, and also playing shows with several notable bands along the way, including Musx Ox and Pallbearer. Fans of the band will also be able to purchase its newest release, a 21 minute long behemoth called Faustian Echoes, available in both CD and LP format. The release finds Agalloch continuing the punishing form they displayed on their last full-length, Marrow of the Spirit, seamlessly blending technical black metal, folk, and ambient styles together to create musical experiences that immerse the listener in sonic landscapes and encourage rumination upon several emotions. For those across the country experiencing record setting heat-waves, Agalloch will surely bring metal chills to their souls. Local fans shouldn’t miss the opportunity to deliver a deserved send-off to one of Portland’s finest.
Joining Agalloch on tour is local two piece Taurus, composed of Stevie Floyd (Dark Castle) and Ashley Spungin (ex Purple Rhinestone Eagle). One would like to hope that the metal world is in a place where the talking point after their set will be the challenging mixture of dark psychedelia/drone as well as Floyd’s penchant for finding disturbingly dissonant chords, and not the fact that this music happens to be produced by two women. Of course, it doesn’t matter whether or not Floyd and Spungin consider themselves ambassadors for women in a male dominated field or whether they only want to melt souls, because their music always achieves the latter. They release their first full length, Life, on July 5th.
Rising from the grave of former Portland band SubArachnoid Space comes the much better named Eight Bells, who have been making lots of moves lately. In the past 3 months they have opened for the likes of Alcest, Yob, and now Agalloch. Their music is comprised of long, dark, progressive passages, and will absolutely set an appropriate tone for the rest of the night’s proceedings. Show goers are heavily advised to come on time.