It's time for another news post at the SMS, and today, the focus is 100% on local blackened doom metal band Woods of Ypres and their late frontman David Gold, as a lot of news from and about them has came my way in the past week! So for this post, we have some new "Woods V" CD reviews, an awesome new live video, and leading things off, all the details and revelations from a great (but long) new interview article about David and the band, so read on below, and check out this month's YouTube Channel Profile on Candle Hour's YouTube channel below this post!
A lengthy new article by Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles journalist Carl Begai about the late David Gold was posted online at his official website yesterday, and it's definitely worth a read! Entitled "WOODS OF YPRES - Gold And Grey", the article features some personal rememberances about David and the work he put into Woods Of Ypres' final recorded album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light", but the bulk of this article features interview segments with three people very close to David during the "W5" recording sessions: Kittie frontwoman Morgan Lander, "Woods V" producer Siegfried Meier, and Woods of Ypres guitarist/studio bassist Joel Violette. In Morgan's third of the article, it's revealed that she hooked up David with Siegfried for production of "W5", and she discussed how she helped and remembered David during the recording sessions and songwriting for the album, her perceptions of the writing process when she was in the Soo for a week last summer, and some thoughts on the new album. Siegfried Meier's chunk of the article features info on how he met David, the interactions and recording process from Beach Road Studios in Goderich last August, his impressions of the material and lyrics, and the significance of the major storm that hit that area during the sessions.
Joel Violette's interview/discussion ends this article, where he mentions how he met David, their work together in Thrawsunblat and how he eventually joined Woods of Ypres, his inclusion in Woods of Ypres songwriting, the sound of "Woods V" and their interaction with Earache Records, and the band's future. That all alone is an awesome read, but there's also some scattered references to what lies ahead as well that I should emphasize. Morgan Lander confirmed that Kittie will cover Woods of Ypres material at both the Ypres Metal Fest in Sault Ontario on April 7th and the David Gold memorial concert/"W5" CD release show in Toronto on April 5th, and she thinks David would like the songs she picked to cover. Good to hear, and it's nice to see that she credited Dismembertainment's Rich Moreland in the article for booking the local memorial concert too! In terms of the memorial concerts, Joel confirmed that he and Woods of Ypres' final drummer Rae Amitay will perform an acoustic tribute set at the Soo show on April 7th, with both he & Rae handling vocals (no word on if bassist Brendan Hayter will be a part, or if a similar set will happen in Toronto.) He also noted that the yet-to-be-revealed "W5" song "Keeper of the Ledger" is the "densest & lushest" song on the album, and Earache had originally wanted it as a bonus track rather than an official credited song, though it's on the official release as it "encompasses everything Woods had done before" and brings it full circle.
Finally to note on this article, Joel addressed the band's future and his press release following David's death, including criticism about a statement he made implying that the band could continue without David. Joel confirmed that he just wanted to put hope into the situation rather than just giving an abrupt goodbye, and noted old plans for a "Woods VI", but he added that without David, you can't write a new Woods of Ypres album. What he did say was that an acoustic piano-based tribute album of Woods of Ypres re-workings could possibly come out, and it's the only thing Joel could see releasing posthumously under the Woods name. This is a great article that Carl compiled, and it has a lot of great remembrances and information about David, Woods of Ypres, and what lies ahead, though I hope (if nothing else) that a Woods of Ypres rarities album comes out as well in the future, as I know there's unreleased quality material from past sessions that'd be cool to see released to fans. Aside from that, everything seems well at hand to keep David's memory alive and reach "Woods V" to a wider audience, and hopefully the good vibes continue for a long time to come! Remember to check out Carl's full article at this location, but be warned, it's fairly lengthy, but worth a read!
Next up in Woods of Ypres news, remember in June when some awesome professionally filmed footage of the band playing "Falling Apart" in St. Paul, Minnesota was posted online? With it's multiple camera angles and professional quality, it was among the best quality videos I've ever seen of a local band. Now, Rusty Nuts Productions are giving us the entire concert from that night's show to watch on YouTube, as posted to their YouTube channel on Monday! Filmed at Station 4 in St. Paul on May 14th, this comprises of the band's entire 65 minute set from this concert on their final "Pain & Piss" tour, and in this video, you'll see Woods of Ypres play (in order) "The Sea of Immeasurable Loss", "The Sun Was In My Eyes (Part 1)", "By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead)", "Pining (For You)", "Wet Leather", "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)", "Halves & Quarters", "Falling Apart", and "Awaiting The Inevitable", followed by "A Meeting Place & Time" as an encore. The video even ends with credits to the filmers and most (if not all) former Woods of Ypres members, though oddly with a rap song as backing music. This is an exceptional live video from Woods of Ypres' last live run, and this may be the last full concert shot from David's lifetime, so it's definitely all the more interesting to check out! This is great stuff and very professionally filmed, so check out Woods of Ypres live in Minnesota below!
And finally for this all Woods/David post, here's a few more reviews of "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light"! On Monday, "Metal" Matt Longo from the website Mind Over Metal gave "W5" a perfect 5/5 despite the eeriness of some of the songs, praising songs like "Adora Vivos" for harkening back to earlier material, while calling the whole album a "melancholic manifesto of torture and tumult" and the band's finest record. Nice review with personal reflections, so give it a look at this location! On February 9th, Phil Kane from MetalTalk.net gave "Woods V" a favourable review, saying it's "pretty heavy shit" and praising it's mesages and atmosphere, while still calling it "strangely misunderstood" and not for fans of their early material. Good review, click here to give it a look! In January, Russian metal site Truemetalheadz gave this album a favourable review as well in a two part post, calling it the best album of their career that doesn't lose momentu, but warns that you have to be in a certain mood to enjoy it. Another solid review, though oddly formatted, so click here to read it! Finally, Encyclopaedia Metallum user TikrasTamsusNaktis gave "Woods V" an 80% rating, calling it excellent but different, and though he thought it was their most accessible album, it also had ominous and eerie lyrics relating to David's death. Well written review, so head to this link to check it out, and stay tuned for more "Woods V" reviews to come!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews either tomorrow or Friday, and much more news to come as we slowly wrap up February! Thanks everyone!