Rock & Pop, Blues, Folk, & Country

Agalloch

When: Sat., Aug. 11, 9 p.m. 2012

Ten years ago -- hell, five years ago -- it would have seemed unfathomable for a major media outlet like National Public Radio to cover bands like Agalloch. So it's a testament to both metal's artistic growth and its expansive fanbase that NPR has given recognition to a genre long believed to be the domain of knuckleheads. Portland's Agalloch obliterates those associations with its organically inspired black metal, which has been known to incorporate strings, tympani, and acoustic guitar and which references, among other things, nature, existentialism, and Ingmar Bergman. Following the most critically successful (and perhaps most accessible) album yet in its sixteen-year existence, Marrow of the Spirit, the band released a twenty-plus-minute, two-part single-song EP, Faustian Echoes, earlier this year, based on Goethe's Faust and featuring snippets from the 1994 film version by surrealist Czech director Jan Švankmajer. Cinematic in quality, this dark, brooding music swells and builds into something that transcends not only what we know about Agalloch, but what we know about metal. The band plays with Taurus at Great American Music Hall (879 O'Farrell St., San Francisco) on Saturday, Aug. 11. 9 p.m., $17, $19. SlimsPresents.com

Kathleen Richards

Price: $17

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