Seeing as Agalloch has long been a staple name in winter-drenched black metal, it came as a bit of a surprise that they chose to give their new album, The Serpent & The Sphere, a May release. Nonetheless, a release by one of the pioneers of atmospheric metal is always anticipated. Now, Agalloch have decided to give us a taste of what we can expect from the upcoming album, with a stream of ‘Celestial Effigy’.
To say the least, judging by this track, the new album is going to be a further exploration of the trademark Agalloch sound, continuing the already well established balance between melodic leads and ominous vocals. Opening with an almost playful acoustic guitar, the track quickly and persistently checks off inherent Agalloch melodies, including whispered vocals and robust drums. No surprises are revealed just yet, although the middle part is certainly interesting: if the album continues the sound displayed here, we are in for another evolution of their unique sound-scape.