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Agalloch are a band hailing from Portland, Oregon who formed in 1995. Since their debut in 1998 they have released five studio albums and are known as one of the most esoteric and unique heavy metal bands in the world due to their brand of avant-garde folk metal.
The band came together as a collaboration between guitarist and singer John Haughm and keyboardist Shane Breyer in early 1996. The duo put together a set of demo recordings to be knocked into shape properly with a full band behind them, and their first recruit came in the form of guitarist Don Anderson in the summer of the same year. Haughm is also a drummer along with being a vocalist and guitarist, so the trio booked some studio time in August to record their first full demo tape “From Which Of This Oak”. However it wasn’t until 1998, and a demo tape recorded specifically to send to record labels, that the band actually scored a record deal, signing with The End Records for a 1999 release of their debut album “Pale Folklore”.
With the release of their debut album, the band’s sound shifted from their early, black metal influenced style to an equally extreme interpretation of folk metal. Even though the band lost Breyer soon after the album was finished, it was raved about critically and the band were in the studio recording their second effort by 2001, after a short break from writing, recording and touring. Ever since then the band have remained one of the most fascinating acts in alternative metal, never afraid to experiment with styles ranging from post-rock to neoclassical music. The band are still going strong to this very day, two decades after they formed, and are still as unpredictable and incredible as ever. For that, Agalloch come highly recommended.