It is with a heavy heart that I write this review as I was friends with Woods of Ypres’ founder / vocalist / pretty much everything that has to do with the band, David Gold. As you all should know, I am co-owner at FearShop.com and we are in contact with a lot of bands because we carry their merchandise. With some of the smaller bands, we are contacted by them and we make a decision on whether or not we want to carry their merchandise based on our impression of their music. We are very particular with the bands that we carry shirts for.
David Gold reached out to us years ago shortly after the release of Woods of Ypres‘ debut album. We liked what they had to offer so we carried their merch. Years later and I started this blog and the FearShop.com Metal Podcast, both of which he was featured on multiple times. We shared plenty of emails over the years just talking about music in general, not just his band. We shared a lot of the same tastes and always had a lot to say to each other.
My last interview with him was on theÂ FearShop.com Metal Podcast and then we shared a couple of emails after that. It has been about a week or so since we had spoken and I received an email from his PR agent telling me that he was no longer with us. The email was directly to me because he knew that David and I had grown close over the years and he wanted me to know before it was made public.
With all of that being said, I think that it is finally time that I reviewed their latest opus, Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light. It is a hard listen in many ways to me because of how close David and I had become. It is also a wondruous listen simply because it reminds me of what a unique musician and individual David really was.
For those of you that kept up with Woods of Ypres, you know that there was a drastic change in sound over the years, with the most recent years leaning towards a more doom metal feel. I was a fan of both phases of the band actually. Most people either love of hate one of the two phases. I saw past that and enjoyed both.
With Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light, Woods of Ypres was primarily a doom metal band with influences from goth to rock to almost anything they could shape into their music. A lot of tracks on this album are reminiscent of their previous work such as songs like Traveling Alone. There are other track on here, such as the highly impressive Keeper of the Ledger, that simply rock.
David’s vocals are as sharp as ever and the guitar work keeps pace with him just as well. The droning guitar melodics set up such an atmospheric element to the music that you find yourself immersed into Woods of Ypres’ mind along with the music. Outside of the melodic tracks, we have the faster ones, such as the aforementioned Keeper of the Ledger and parts of Adora Vivos. Everything works together so well on this album.
Like I mentioned, this is a hard one to listen to, but it is also one of the best albums of the year, so it needs to be talked about. Sometimes people forget that musicians are just regular people too. They have friends and family and sometimes their music is a lot more than just riffs as words. For me, Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light has become a method of remembering a dear friend during the best years of his life. You are missed my friend.
Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light Track Listing:
01. Lightning & Snow
02. Death Is Not An Exit
03. Keeper of the Ledger
04. Traveling Alone
05. Adora Vivos
07. Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)
08. Modern Life Architecture
09. Kiss My Ashes (Goodbye)
11. Alternate Ending