It’s such a shame when amazing bands perform once or twice, record one album or EP and then disappear. Gallowbraid is one of them. They (another one man band?) recorded only one album called “Ashen Eidolon” in far 2010 and keep it silent since then. I absolutely loved this release!

Ashen Eidolon

This one reminds me of the currently disbanded Agalloch. “Ashen Eidolon” is everything about a black metal, folk, forests, long acoustic parts with clean vocals, roaring guitars and the atmosphere. This music is very thinking-provoking. I’m somehow in tune with this themes and it makes me happy. When I listen to Agalloch and Gallowbraid I always think about my youth and forests where I liked to walk. About rivers of my childhood and hours in the train on the way to the village.

“Ashen Eidolon” caught me from the very first song.

Tracklist

  1. Ashen Eidolon
  2. Autumn I
  3. Oak and Aspen
  4. Autumn II
  5. Stone of Remembrance

Pros

Folk elements. I don’t like to listen to pure folk. It’s very predictable and positive for me. I like when folk elements are merging with various musical genres such as ambient, metal and so on. “Ashen Eidolon” is a good example of how you should do that merging. Everything is in its place: pipes, atmospheric effects, various traditional instruments and tunes.

Guitars and vocals. Even it is a 50% black metal release guitars and vocals here are absolutely not related to this genre. They are raw, heavy distorted with traditional melodic death metal elements like dueling tracks and so on. Sometimes it sounds really like In Flames, especially on their early albums. Vocals are also very death metal oriented. I might say, it is a folk In Flames, then blackened folk metal.

Cons

Mixing. The idea was very good, but the technical side of the realisation failed a little. This kind of the music should be a little bit crisper.

Overal

“Ashen Eidolon” is the best Agalloch-oriented album I’ve ever heard in ages. Definitely worth listening and even buying.

Album cover via gallowbraid.bandcamp.com

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