I hold this one with high regard because it's the first record that really pulled me into the darker territories of metal. In hindsight the production is pretty hollow and the songwriting a tad cliche, but this is definitely MY cliche!
After all these years, no matter how cliche and/or cheesy, I hold this album with regard. It's what introduced me to folkmetal as a genre and is still relevant as the blueprint of what the genre is.
Rob Dougan is hurt, and he's mad, and he's got the tools to translate that into jazzy filmscore music. A raw voice with catchy hooks, makes for a formidable record. On multiple spins it becomes clear that all the classical instrumentation is 'fake', but in the trip-hop roots that shouldn't bother.
A masterfully crafted work of twisting and dark ambient. Using all kinds of apparatus and devices, Ulver crafts twisting melodies and gloomy soundscapes to an artform.
Agalloch's most prolific folk record. To this day, it's a high water mark for the folk black metal scene. It sets the right tone with subtle humming keys, sharp acoustic melodies and layers of foreboding distortion. It's full of atmosphere but thank god there is a remaster!