Agalloch Confirm Breakup, Ousted Member Speaks Out
Last Friday (May 13), we reported that atmospheric black metal act Agalloch had disbanded after 21 years. The split came after frontman John Haughm announced he had parted ways with every member of the band, leaving Agalloch's future hanging in the balance. Not long after, Haughm hinted that he could still continue under the Agalloch name, but now with the dust settled, the final answer has arrived: Agalloch are indeed finished.
A brief statement was uploaded to the Agalloch website, stating, "In May 2016, founding member John Haughm parted ways with Don [Anderson], Aesop [Dekker] and Jason [Walton] and, after careful consideration, permanently put the band to rest." The message comes as a bit of a surprise, considering Haughm stated, "Whether this is the permanent end of Agalloch altogether or a possible fresh start, I don’t know. I probably won’t know for awhile," on Monday (May 16).
The initial breakup post on the Agalloch Facebook page has been taken down in favor of the one seen below. Using mostly the same wording, the main aspect that changed is the confirmation that the band is done.
One day after the news first broke, guitarist Don Anderson revealed this was not done amicably, expressing how crushed he feels in a lengthy statement,
Usually statements like these open with expressions of gratitude for the fans, friends, colleagues, and people we’ve worked with. There is a sort of form to the break-up letter that long-running bands produce: “thanks everyone that has supported us over the years, bought our records, came to our shows,” and so forth. Then the apologies arrive from fans, friends, and family members: “we’re so sorry to hear this. We hope you are ok.” But, I can’t start like that—it seems too mechanical. I can’t start that way because it is I who should apologize to all of you.
I am sorry you won’t ever hear new music from Agalloch. I am sorry our fans in Latin America, China, Russia, Japan, Australia, will never see us play. I’m sorry I won’t personally meet many of you after a show and talk about music, movies, school, and share a shot of bourbon. I’m really, really sorry because I had every intention of continuing.
This was not my decision.
I did not want this.
I still maintain it was not necessary.
I’m sorry it had to be this way. I am personally devastated and have not felt this level of grief since my father passed away ten years ago. So, if you are sad, upset, pissed, or bitter—I share these feelings with you. I know Agalloch deeply touched a lot of people. And I honor that by grieving in solidarity with all of you. Agalloch was an incalculable part of my identity and I’ll be walking as half a man for some time now.
I want to thank many people. I am terrified of forgetting anyone as my mind isn’t all that clear today. So, for now, I really want to thank the fans from the bottom of my heart. My favorite activity was meeting all of you after a gig, or before a gig. The spiritual connection you and I shared during a show was the closest I, an atheist, have ever felt to God. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
You might think our music helped you through the dark times in your lives, but all along you were helping me avoid the darkness.
New York, May 14, 2016
[via Ultimate Metal]
Over the course of their career, Agalloch released five critically acclaimed records as well as five EPs. The group is renowned for their evolution of black metal, injecting folk and atmospheric elements into their sound. Their last album, The Serpent and the Sphere, came in at No. 11 on our 20 Best Metal Albums of 2014 list.
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