Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Woods of Ypres - Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

Woods of Ypres are a band from Sault St. Marie, Ontario that lived in the metal underground for just a little under a decade before vocalist/guitarist founder David Gold was killed in a car accident in December of 2011. David made an impact on the lives of many with his inspirational music and deep rooted lyrics, so much so that after his passing his family are still getting emails and letters telling just how much the 31 year old changed their lives forever.

Genre: Melodic Black/Doom Metal
Label: Earache Records
Release Date: January 31st, 2012

  1. Lightning & Snow
  2. Death Is Not an Exit
  3. Keeper of the Ledger
  4. Traveling Alone
  5. Adora Vivos
  6. Silver
  7. Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)
  8. Modern Life Architecture
  9. Kiss My Ashes (Goodbye)
  10. Finality
  11. Alternate Ending
Total Playtime: 1 hour, 02 minutes, 00 seconds




Rating: 10/10




More Woods of Ypres Articles and Reviews


Woods of Ypres are a band from Sault St. Marie, Ontario that lived in the metal underground for just a little under a decade before vocalist/guitarist founder David Gold was killed in a car accident in December of 2011. David made an impact on the lives of many with his inspirational music and deep rooted lyrics, so much so that after his passing his family are still getting emails and letters telling just how much the 31 year old changed their lives forever.

Grey Skies & Electric Light is an album that will poke and prod at every squishy part of your bleak and blackened heart, inevitably causing a few tears to be shed. Anyone who has heard Woods of Ypres' previous material will know what to expect when going in depth lyrically, but those not as familiar should know that David wrote some of the most profound and deep soul wrenching lyrics ever come across in any sort of depressive/doom metal; writing of death, lost love, loneliness, distaste for life and regret of taking the living for granted. A lot of the lyrical content in this album is enough to send a shiver down ones spine, as they foreshadow the unexpected death of the singer/songwriter.

At the tip of the iceberg that is Grey Skies & Electric Light, the first two songs are musically light hearted and upbeat. Flangers can be heard within the guitar effects and the background is filled with variant drumbeats that smooth the twangy guitars out nicely. "Death Is Not An Exit" has synthesized violins layered within the tracks which leaves a nice and elegant touch to the song, this same effect is also repeated in various other tracks throughout the album and can even be heard in the foreground at some points. These two tracks, along with others such as "Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)" and "Adora Vivos" have a light pop/indie style to them which sets this selected material apart from all other Woods of Ypres content.


"Keeper of the Ledger" is where the album begins to slow down. The slower a Woods of Ypres song is, the more likely it is to carve open your chest and rip your heart out to show you everything that is wrong with it, then gently coax you as you re-evaluate the entire meaning of life. "Kiss My Ashes Goodbye", "Finality" and "Alternate Ending" are all great examples of just how emotionally heavy the content can become.

Not a single song on this album sounds like what comes before it which is refreshing. This provides great variety and showcases David's talents for writing both catchy hooks and depressive, melancholic riffs. Also showing off versatility, David wrote and performed the drumming tracks as well. Joel Violette is on this album playing bass, piano and lead guitar and does an incredible job in all three areas. The lead guitar is melodic and skilled, never repeating the same style on any song. There are various deep, memorable piano segments within multiple tracks, one of the best being "Finality", and the bass is generally barely audible.

In the song "Alternate Ending", the lyrics are startling when compared to David's cause of death.

"In the darkness, under the stars, with enough warning,
To pull off to the side, in time

Back on the highway, under the moon, my final moments,
Still wondering about you..."


A very haunting and sad foreshadowing of what was unknowingly to come for David Gold.

Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light is a heart-heavy masterpiece from one of the greatest voices of our time. The audio quality is superb, there is depth between the instruments, and it is a true one of a kind experience that will take the listener on a roller-coaster of emotion and self-reflection.

David wrote in "Adora Vivos":

"A moment of silence... but not one moment more
The dead are to be forgotten, we are here to be adored"

So this is my moment to David (Ypres) Gold, and not a moment more. Thank you for all that you were, and all that you gave the world of music. For touching so many lives around you both near and far. R.I.P.

Check out the Merch Bundle Benefit Sale to help David's family with funeral costs, etc and also get yourself some nice swag!

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