Agalloch Club Sonar, Baltimore MD May 24
Published May 25, 2012Portland, OR's black-and-folk legends Agalloch knew exactly what their audience was hungry for. After snarling through a vicious rendition of "Dead Winter Days," John Haughm told the crowd that they had decided to play a set entirely composed of older material, with a focus on Pale Folklore and The Mantle. While Haughm's voice aches as tremulously as ever, he also grated and roared, trading the band's usually almost stately calm for a riveting intensity. The final two songs of the set -- "You Were But a Ghost in My Arms" and "The Lodge (Dismantled)" -- were particularly stunning. At the end of the set, Haughm knelt on the stage, the ripple of his hair glowing in the stage lights, playing the lasts notes reverentially. Don Anderson stood over him, his guitar held aloft, his fist wrapped around the neck like a warrior holding the handle of an axe, challenging the audience.