The Mantle

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The Mantle
The Mantle.jpg
Studio album by Agalloch
Released August 13, 2002 (2002-08-13)
Recorded November 2001–April 2002
Genre Folk metal, black metal, post-metal, doom metal, progressive metal
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[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] Anderson pointed 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 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 tremolo-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 contained 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 and electric guitars, drums, percussion, EBow, woodchimes, samples, production, booklet photography and layout
  • Don Anderson – acoustic, classical and 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 and 9, accordion on track 9
  • Danielle Norton – trombone on track 7 and 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 December 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.