Aglo – Into the Maze

There are a number of obvious pairings for the world of death metal that we’ve seen out there with many seeking to push the boundary in one way or another but failing to really make anything of substance, but one realm where such a merging is begging for expansion is where we start to overlap with sludge. It’s such a tantalizing concoction to see the two brought together in a capacity that capitalizes on what both styles are able to bring to the table, and yet it’s not often enough that I’m able to find a band that really seizes the opportunity to deliver something actually worth listening to. For the first time in a good long while, the style has given me a name that had my attention right from the start with there being far more room for conquest under the banner of Aglo should it simply be taken without mercy.

It will never cease to elude me as to why this pairing of styles isn’t more widespread than it is given how many different directions it can be taken. In anybody’s hands, it can transform into something melodic, towering, or downright monolithic without once losing a distinctive and uncompromising edge of heaviness that permeates every facet of the creation. With what Aglo delivers in its second EP, it’s not hard for me at all to say that this is one of the best examples of death and sludge brought together in a powerful, cohesive form since the last Warcrab outing. There are but six tracks that adorn “Into the Maze”, but don’t let that make you think that Aglo is here to simply throw down a handful of riffs with a mild sense of heaviness only to dip out and leave us with palms facing upward wondering why we even bothered. Rather, every opportunity to deliver an impactful listen that executes the very concept of intensity right from the beginning is met without so much as a shred of hesitation, mercy, or question as to the very mission of Aglo. Each of these songs have an immense presence without so much as a single leak of light peeking through the tremendous shadow that Aglo’s very essence casts over the listener and everything around them with the serrated edges of doomy hooks only furthering the intrigue and intoxication that’s to be found around every corner of “Into the Maze”.

With all that is going on within the world of sludge-death, it’s not hard for one person to pick out a few highlights and name them as the best there is to experience with all that there is to offer, it’s tempting for me to do the same with Aglo after losing myself in this massive performance. It is but an EP yet has more than enough power than one many are able to bring to life in a single full-length, “Into the Maze” shows supreme potential and talent at play here such that I can only hope it’s not long before we come back into contact with the rising, lumbering entity that Aglo effortlessly makes itself out to be.

“Into the Maze” releases on February 16th!

LISTEN to an advanced track from “Into the Maze” on Bandcamp here.

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