“A galloping acoustic guitar-and-drums introduction? A strutting mid-tempo build? Vocals both growled and hissed? A quick and focused race through black metal? A heroic coda of pirouetting melodies and broad feelings? Indeed…”
Those are the opening words to Grayson Haver Currin’s introduction of “Celestial Effigy”, the first advance track from the next album by Portland’s Agalloch, which Pitchfork premiered this morning. The Serpent & The Sphere is the name of the album and it will be released by Profound Lore on May 13, followed by a May 19 European release by Eisenwald. There may be a 2014 album I’m anticipating more eagerly than this one, but if so I can’t remember what it might be.
The Pitchfork premiere is an exclusive one, so you’ll have to go here to listen. [UPDATE: No, you don’t have to leave us — because the song is now on SoundCloud and I’ve embedded it after the jump.] In addition to those words quoted above, I’d say this about the song: It’s most definitely recognizable as an Agalloch song, with ringing guitars and nimble bass and drum work, a mixture of driving intensity and swirling melodies. But it’s also definitely on the more hard-rocking side of the band’s multi-faceted character — which is just fine.
Pitchfork called the song “the seven-minute centerpiece” of the new album. Agalloch’s John Haughm replied with this note on his FB page: “And no, this is not the ‘centerpiece’ of the record, but a 7 minute fragment of a 60 minute puzzle.”
Here’s Agalloch’s Facebook link, followed by the song, followed by the album cover: