|Review: Woods of Ypres - Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth|
|Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth||Affiliates|
Year released: 2004
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: October 30, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth
Rated 3.63/5 (72.5%) (8 Votes)
This is the second CD from Canadian avant-garde Black Metal band Woods Of Ypres. I never heard their first, but I heard good things about it, so when I saw a new one was out I troubled myself to listen to some samples. I was impressed, and here we are. The very existence of this album is impressive, as pretty much the entire band up and quit midway through recording, leaving David Gold to finish the rest of it more or less himself.
This is a very different CD – as you would expect of a band that bills their sound as 'Summer Black Metal'. This is pretty much midway between Agalloch and Morgion, as there is a BM basis to this music, but there is a lot of melody worked in, mostly in the form of acoustic interludes and clean vocals. The album starts out very mellow and smooth, with the acoustic and moody opener, and the blasts and heavy riffs don't start until midway through "The Will To Give", and then you get the awesome "The Sun Was In My Eyes" two-parter, and you see why this album is getting good press. Epic, emotional, melodic stuff with real sweep and excellent riffing. I have to say, I like this album much better when it is heavy and aggressive than during the acoustic parts. One problem is that Gold's clean vocals are a bit iffy. Some places he sounds pretty good, but there are too many spots where he sounds off-key or tentative, and they detract from the music. His harsh rasps are just fine, and his singing is not bad by any stretch – it's just not quite as good as he wants it to be. With the majestic compositions at hand, you really want good, good singing.
But there are some really cool songs on here, besides the aforementioned "The Sun Was In My Eyes" songs, you get haunting tunes like "Allure Of The Earth", and "Shedding The Deadwood" and killers like "Dragged Across A Forest Floor". The lyrics are very good, and weave some beautiful images of lazy summer rendered desolate and slightly creepy. Sometimes the verse strays too much into introspective confessional territory for me, but you certainly will not read any other BM bands writing stuff like this. I would almost qualify this as Doom, but only in that melancholy Agalloch sense.
So I like this a lot, if not as much as I had hoped I would from the samples. "Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth" is an impressive attempt to do something visionary and original, and succeeds on the basis of audacity and sheer songwriting talent. It just drags a little too long and is a bit too mellow for it's own good. Even if David Gold has to carry on by himself, he should do it. There is just too much talent and potential here to waste.
|Other related information on the site|
|Review: Against the Seasons (reviewed by Michel Renaud)|
Review: Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Woods III: Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues (reviewed by Brett Buckle)
Review: Woods IV: The Green Album (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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