Mar 182014

“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:





  1. Okay..heres some news that will brighten your day. Ulver had to drop off of MDF and they got Agalloch to fill the slot

    • Sorry I won’t get to see Ulver, but that is a hell of a replacement. I have my tickets and am continuing to keep fingers and toes crossed that my day job won’t fuck up the trip.

      • Are you staying for all 4 days? I’m tempted to get tickets for Friday/Edison Lot.

        • The line-up for Friday at Edison Lot is incredible. I can’t wait.

        • I’m having to come so far for it that I sprang for one of those all-access, all-days passes, and even got one for the Wednesday pre-show. This will be my first MDF experience, so I’m determined to do it up right.

          • I bought a 4-day early bird pass last summer. This will also be my first time at MDF. I thought about the pre-show, but I didn’t spring for that.

          • ..bring good earplugs..seriously..this is the number one thing you want to have at the fest

            … and be ready for an extremely long day on your feet. Im talking 12-15 hours with almost nowhere to sit besides the ground

      • Do you like Ulvers current output?… I know they werent going to play anything from their early material and Ive never particularly cared for anything they did after Nattens madrigal – aatte hymne til ulven I manden, but I know a couple of guys who were bummed they dropped off

        • I must admit that I prefer the early black metal albums, but I’ve enjoyed where they’ve been going since then as well (when I’m in a certain kind of mood).

  2. Dammit! Pichfork’s media player doesn’t work for me at work!

  3. When i saw the photo on Facebook i got all excited cos i thought it was new music from Primordial!
    Similar band photo is similar.

  4. HELL.


  5. I’m currently manning a bake sale at my college and playing this. I was too excited to wait.

    This is damn good.

  6. Sounds fucking amazing. Thanks for notifying us of the great news that Agalloch is back once more! 🙂

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