Sound — 8
Of Wind, Stone, and Pillor is an EP by American dark metal band Agalloch. It was originally meant to be released as a 7" vinyl in Dec '98 on Iron First Productions (with only the first 3 songs), but that never happened, and was later released in 2001 via The End Records with 2 bonus tracks. "Kneel To The Cross" was recorded in 2001, and "A Poem By Yeats" was recorded in 2000. This release was limited to 2500 copies (Wikipedia). This EP is pretty on par with most of Agalloch's prior EPs. It does not reach 30 minutes in length and it showcases the styles of some of the forthcoming album's sound. The band has always mixed folk into their music and they do a good job throughout the album. The title track is lacking some of the folk infusion but I believe the band was trying to create a powerful track that would sell their EP, and if that is the case they did a great job. The title track is stellar. Typically Agalloch sound and stylings are found on this EP and will keep any fan intrigued for the duration. I found the EP to be great, but not as great as From Which of this Oak.
Lyrics — 5
The only song that I found annoying vocally was Kneel to the Cross because of the repetitiveness of the chanting. I do realize it was chanting, but I found it to be an earsore. The singer uses typical black metal vocals, which I find incredibly demonic. I do not listen to this type of music for the lyrics, but I suspect that the lyrics are dark and about impending doom. I do not feel I can adequately rate this section because I listen to Agalloch for the music genious, not the lyrics. So I will grade based on vocal stylings. I do not listen to black metal, but I do like the vocalist, and I dont know how great he is compared to other black metalists.
Overall Impression — 8
My favorite songs on the EP are the title track and Haunting Birds because I found them musically stimulating. I would love to be able to play these songs but I do not have the time to learn everything about that songs that I would like to get out of them. Agalloch is one of my favorite bands because they are consistent in their sound and they make beautiful music. If you are looking for anything to kick around with on a rainy day, I definitely suggest putting this EP on. Beautiful.