The Mantle

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The Mantle
Studio album by Agalloch
Released August 13, 2002 (2002-08-13)
Recorded November 2001–April 2002
Genre Folk metal, black metal, doom metal, progressive metal, post-rock
Length 68:25
Label The End
Producer Ronn Chick, John Haughm
Agalloch chronology
Of Stone, Wind and Pillor
The Mantle
Tomorrow Will Never Come
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Chronicles of Chaos 9.5/10[2]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars[3]

The Mantle is the second album by American metal band Agalloch. The album was released on August 13, 2002 by The End Records.


Cinema "really emerged as a reference point for how we arranged out music [on The Mantle]," said guitarist Don Anderson. He suggested that the band was "thinking in images and how sound might express those images".[4] Taking a more mellow tone than Agalloch's first full-length, Pale Folklore, The Mantle still contains heavy electric guitar riffs as well as acoustic guitar portions.[5] Guitarist Don Anderson points to the influence of neofolk music, particularly Death in June, as the impetus for using a strummed acoustic guitar in a darker musical context.[4] Present as well are long and melancholic double bass sequences, such as on the track "I Am the Wooden Doors". A critical influence upon Agalloch during this time period was Godspeed You! Black Emperor, with guitarist Don Anderson remarking

Godspeed, in particular, was the major influence. Their approach to the guitar seemed aligned with black metal. The guitar was no longer a purely riff-based instrument, but provided an ambiguous atmosphere through tremelo-picking either large chords or single melodic lines.[4]

On March 28, 2005, Profound Lore Records released a double LP version of The Mantle on grey-colored vinyl. Limited to 500 copies, it also featured exclusive cover artwork.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by John Haughm, except track 8 which contains an excerpt from Cherokee folk tale "Earth Making".[6]

No. Title Music Length
1. "A Celebration for the Death of Man..." (Instrumental) Haughm 2:24
2. "In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion"   Haughm/Anderson 14:45
3. "Odal" (Instrumental) Haughm 7:39
4. "I Am the Wooden Doors"   Haughm/Anderson/J. William W. 6:11
5. "The Lodge" (Instrumental) Haughm 4:40
6. "You Were But a Ghost in My Arms"   Haughm/Anderson/J. William W. 9:15
7. "The Hawthorne Passage" (Instrumental) Haughm/Anderson/J. William W. 11:19
8. "...And the Great Cold Death of the Earth"   Haughm/Anderson 7:14
9. "A Desolation Song"   Anderson 5:08
Total length:

Personnel and credits[edit]

  • John Haughm: Vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, drums, percussion, EBow, woodchimes, samples, production, booklet photography & layout
  • Don Anderson: Acoustic, classical & electric guitars, piano
  • Jason William Walton: Bass guitar, noisescape on track 3
  • Ronn Chick: Synths, samples, bells on track 8, mandolin on track 9, production
  • Ty Brubaker: Contrabass on track 5, 8 & 9, accordion on track 9
  • Danielle Norton: Trombone on track 7 & 8
  • Aaron Sholes: Sample on track 4, hand-made grim cymbal bell used on track 2, art direction, pre-production
  • Neta Smolack: Sample on track 4

Film clips[edit]

  • A section of "The Hawthorne Passage" (timestamp 7:46 - 7:50) includes a sound clip from the Swedish movie The Seventh Seal:

Antonius Block: Vem är du?
Döden: Jag är döden.

The official translation is:

Antonius Block: Who are you?
Death: I am Death.

  • The last few seconds of "The Hawthorne Passage" feature an excerpt of the film Fando y Lis in Spanish.

Lis (singing): Yo moriré y nadie se acordará de mí. De mí…
Fando: Sí, Lis, yo me acordaré de ti e iré a verte al cementerio con una flor y un perro, y en tu funeral cantaré, en voz baja, "¡Que bonito es un entierro!"

Translated to English, the excerpt reads:

Lis (singing): I will die and no one will remember me. Me…

Fando: Yes, Lis, I will remember you and I will go see you in the cemetery with a flower and a dog, and at your funeral I will sing, softly, "How beautiful is a funeral!"



  1. ^ York, William. "The Mantle review". Allmusic. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  2. ^ McKay, Aaron. "CoC: The Mantle review". Chronicles of Chaos. September 1, 2002. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  3. ^ SowingSeason. "The Mantle review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved Decemver 18, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Dick, Chris (November 2012). "Hall of Fame: Northwest Passage - The Making of Agalloch's The Mantle". Decibel Magazine (97): 58–66. 
  5. ^ M, Steve. "Agalloch - The Mantle (staff review) | Sputnikmusic". Sputnikmusic. December 30, 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  6. ^ The Mantle (booklet). Agalloch. The End Records. 2002. p. 11. 
  7. ^ Fando y Lis Retrieved on February 7, 2012.