Judging by traffic data, most Invisible Oranges readers are very invested in Agalloch, or at least in that band's tumultuous breakup. Our articles announcing their breakup and remembering their excellent career up to that point arrived on our two highest traffic days during the last month. That activity indicates a greater interest in the intersection of doom, black metal and a melodic, pastoral aesthetic in general; the following day Oak Pantheon, a band in the same vein from Minneapolis, released an album called In Pieces, and it rocketed to near the top of Bandcamp's most popular metal releases, outselling both Gorguts and Vektor on the day of its release.

London and Sarnia, Ontario's Vow of Thorns also explore this style, but do so more to my liking. On the one hand comparing them so heavily to Agalloch does the band a disservice. On the other hand they're inviting the comparison: Jason Walton, Agalloch's old bassist, mixed and mastered their upcoming album Farewell to the Sun. He did a damn fine job, too.

If you, like me, think Agalloch shined brightest on 2006's Ashes against the Grain, then Farewell to the Sun ought to slake your thirst. Vow of Thorns not only emulate that record perfect melodic balance, they even composed a three part title track. OK, "Our Fortress is Burning" was not precisely the title track, but let's not split hairs. Rather, stream the central piece of "Farewell to the Sun" below.

Vocalist and guitars K. Hawthorne (even their names are on-brand) had this to say about "Farewell to the Sun (Part 2)"

“Farewell To The Sun Pt. II, the second of the three-part title track. It observes the futility of a physical existence under the belief that transcendence hides beyond. Cares are forgotten and worries are shed when there is only one path in sight. Mortality is just a burden, but a heavy one.”

Vow of Thorns are about to tour their native Canada. Here are dates.

July 12 - Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo - info
July 13 - Oshawa, ON - The Atria - info
July 14 - Toronto, ON - Coalition T.O. - info
July 15 - Hamilton, ON - The Doors Pub - info
July 16 - London, ON - Old East Bar & Grill - info

Farewell to the Sun Will arrive on July 15 via their own Forest Dweller Inc. label. Follow Vow of Thorns on Facebook and Twitter.