November 30, 2012

Woods of Ypres - Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light (2012)

I deem Canada to be The Bestest Metal Country of Forever. There are so many amazing metal bands hailing from this icy wasteland that it's not even funny anymore.

My most recent discovery - and you can tell by this that I am the master of being late to the party - is the final album by Woods of Ypres, a Canadian band that's had more line-up changes than Marco has had late-night pasta cravings. The main dude behind the band was David Gold, who was the mastermind behind the band. So when he passed away last year, everything crumbled down and Woods of Ypres had to call it quits. I've only known the band for less than 24 hours and I'm already super bummed out about this.


Anyway, Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light instantly hooked me and made me love this band without even having any knowledge about their previous stuff (which is obviously something I will be working on during the next weeks). Woods of Ypres' music borrows from melodic black metal and doom metal, combining tremolo-picked riffs, melodic surges and some flat-out rocking moments into one outstanding and highly atmospheric package. David Gold's clean, double-layered vocals are simply outstanding, having a certain warmth to them that make you feel cozy and comfortable, even when he's singing about always being second-best, loving but not being loved back, dying and becoming nothing and other equally sad subjects. In fact, the lyrics are nothing short of poetry and are one of the main selling points of this band. Some of my favorite bits are these:

(When) nature comes collecting, it doesn't care at all about you
Nature comes collecting, it doesn't care at all to know you
(When) nature comes collecting, it doesn't care to hear your story
Nature comes collecting, and only wants you for your body
(Keeper of the Ledger)

Life... life... so life is precious, after all 
Respect the body, for it is all you really are
Life... life... so life is precious after all 
Protect the body, for it is all that keeps you on
(Death Is Not an Exit)

A moment of silence... but not one moment more
The dead are to be forgotten, we are here to be adored 
In the bleak life and modern times, under grey skies and electric light
Mortal men are living gods, more real than any god ever was
Adora vivos - our people are civilized...
Love the living while they're still alive 
Adora vivos - our people are civilized... 
We shouldn't worship the dead
(Adora Vivos)

David Gold's emotional and deeply personal lyrics are backed by various violin, cello and piano arrangements, which also offer extra layers of melody to every song, further weaving a tapestry of ambiances that left me speechless and teary-eyed upon first listen. Okay, maybe that's too much, but there is no denying that these songs have some miraculous power over me. I think this album will become my rainy day music. 

I'm really glad I ignored my instinct to blow off this album based solely on the cover art (which is pretty bad) because if I hadn't, I would have missed out on what has now become one of my favorite 2012 releases. And it came out on the 13th of February, which also happens to be my birthday. Yay.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm you kinda beat me to the introduction. I also found out about this band quite recently, although not as recently as you. That's what I get for being lazy...