Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros, Locrian | Reggie's Rock Club | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros, Locrian Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sun., March 27, 8 p.m. 2011

The Pacific northwest with its gloomy nine-month cloud cover is becoming something of a new Scandinavia when it comes to folkish black metal—and Portland's Agalloch lean at least as hard on the moonlit-heathen-sacrifice atmospherics as any European artist. Their fourth full-length, last fall's Marrow of the Spirit (Profound Lore), reprises the band's favorite trick of lulling the listener with a very pretty instrumental at the start—though it's been a long time since I've heard cello and birdsong sound so sinister—and then charging into a distinctively bloody dreamscape that echoes with shamanic sorcery (they list "petrified bone" as an instrument), its long, tangled guitar lines howling like an evil wind in the trees. Of the six tracks, only that intro lasts less than nine minutes, and each of the album's mini epics travels a lot of cold, alien, and rather romantic terrain to get to its climactic final battle. Since Agalloch have decided against brevity, though, they've had to come up with other ways to leave an audience wanting more. They love to release special editions so limited you'll probably never see one in the wild, including a wooden-box version of their 2006 LP that came with a bag of ashes or a piece of bone. They're also very sparing about playing shows, to say nothing of touring—they seem to come around about as often as a solar eclipse, with the biggest difference being that you can predict an eclipse. 17+. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $18, $15 in advance

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