Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ragana : "Wash away"

It's not until the clean vocals in the openers final moments that this sounds like the band I once knew.I had begun clicking around the inner webs to make sure I downloaded the right album.  The first few bars of the song start off melodic and then build in intensity until it's quickly closer to black metal for the first verse. Then they coast into a more hypnotic riff with the vocals screaming over it. They led off the title track with sung vocals are closer to returning to the sound of their earlier work but it also carries more  an indie rock feeling to them than the more folk vibe they seemed to have had going for them. The song slowly winds up into an impressive display of songwriting that is both delicate and dynamic. At times I can hear some of Kylesa more atmospheric wanderings in their sound, though that might be more of my ear then their actual influence. "Nameless Constellation"slowly winds out of a reluctant clean guitar tone. It pounds into a scream and retracts back into a more subtle pattern. It flows back and forth from the slow to soft dynamic very smoothly despite the jarring nature.

 While the black metal label might have been more easily associated with them on their previous album , here not so much , though that is not a bad thing as there is audible growth in the songwriting department.Sometimes her more wretched vocals are worthy of black metal , but their playing sounds better at the almost doomy pulse of songs like "Alive" . Although being an album of contradictions this is also the song that accelerates into something closest to black metal. They pull some very emotionally raw and organic tones out of their guitars in almost a grunge like manner , though this is mixed with almost early post hardcore. On "Tired" the band  lingers around a melancholy throb of guitar that her vocals cry out from behind. They allow the song to drift on a very contemplative minimalist riff before swelling into something more metallic.

They close out the album with more folk infused darkness of "the Field ". This song drones on until the throat shredding vocals come in add some intensity. This album is different from what I expected from them but in the end I was happily surprised as it surpassed my expectations and became something with much more depth than being just a metal band. We could get in an endless debate about what is metal and whats not , i'll just say if Agalloch are metal than these guys are as well. Though Agalloch might indulge in more blatant metal moments.I'll round this album up to a 10 as the some I listen the more I like it.


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