Beauty is typically considered a visual thing, for it lies in eyes of the beholder. I would, however, dispute this; and I would do it with Agalloch.
This is a band that I cannot remember how I discovered their work, yet I know it has been a cornerstone of my audio pleasure for a long time.
And so, whilst The White is only an EP, it is very much a gem that catches the soul as much as anything else.
There is great sense power that comes through the first half of the record, and it is brought to us by primal and natural sounds; balanced between the acoustic pluck of a string, and that of the background noise of life.
All of this culminates in a wonderful drop of bass in Pantheist, only to then be carried further on by enveloping vocals. Simply put, it becomes a mediation in sound.
Moving into the second part of The White, the music takes on a brighter tone whilst still dipping back into rhythms that remind us of life’s mortality. Pianos mourn a memory of something unique to all of us, yet still manage to lift us ever higher until the end.
Eventually, a narration is presented to us, and a story emerges. One of resistance against the things in life which seek to diminish us, whilst still reminding us that, above all else, the natural cycles of things will always be so.
All of this culminates in one of my favourite pieces by Agalloch: Where Shade Once Was.
It perfectly shows us that, whilst darkness does exist, it cannot be permanent, and is cast solely by the movement of light and life.