Woods of Ypres - "Woods IV: The Green Album" CD Review (Earache Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Woods of Ypres - "Woods IV: The Green Album" CD Review (Earache Records)

At the end of last year, Earache Records announced the signing of Canadian black metal act Woods of Ypres. The band has been around since 2002 and Earache will reissue the band’s fourth full-length, Woods IV: The Green Album, which was originally independently released in 2009, on March 22nd.

The Green Album clocks in just shy of eighty minutes and the organic sound, clean vocals and delicate instrumental interludes hide a pronounced sense of self-loathing and loss found within the lyrics. The band frequently garners comparisons to Type O Negative which is likely due to singer David Gold’s clean baritone vocals but there only seems to be a touch of Type O's style of goth-metal in the Woods of Ypres' music. The majority of the songs are slow burning, brooding doom (a la Candlemass) but the music doesn't fall into this bass-heavy genre. Rather, clear production brings out Gold's upfront vocals along with prominent guitars which range from metallic chugging and thrash riffs to delicate acoustical work. Adding to the mix, some tracks have soft interludes that use piano, violin, oboe and other 'non-traditional' instruments.

Lyrically, The Green Album focuses on the breakup of a relationship and the disc starts with "Shards of Love", where Gold is narrating both sides of a dialogue with his former girlfriend as she is packing to go as he is "pouring my heart to you trying to get you to stay". From here, Gold seems to resign himself to his fate and delivers the self-recriminating "Everything I Touch Turns To Gold (Then To Coal)" where Gold's vocals are complemented by additional harsh vocals. The gloom and doom lyrical themes lead into a wicked sense of 'tongue-in-cheek' irony as the disc progresses into "By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead" (with the lyrics "By the time you read / I will already be gone / Do not reply to this") and "Wet Leather", which Gold says "should obviously not be taken seriously, but instead as a song about a negative frame of mind that comes and goes ― when everything seems hopeless, pointless, "life is just pain and piss, everything is a scam," akin to something off of Sentenced's Cold White Light album." (quote from an Exclaim.ca interview with David Gold).

While Gold takes the listener into his downward spiral for the better part of the disc, the disc ends on a note of closure and rebuilding with the songs "To Long Life In The 'Limbo Union'" and the somewhat smarmy "Move On! (The Woman Will Always Leave the Man)".

One of the strongest cuts on the disc is the stellar "I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery".

Woods of Ypres are playing a 10-date CD release tour next month that stops at The Bowery Electric on Wed., March 16th.

Woods of Ypres