Woods Of Ypres : Woods 4 – The Green Album

They Say :- Rising from the cold underbelly of the Canadian underground scene, Woods of Ypres have taken the raw tools of doom and goth and made the ultimate in downer rock, creating music that is both heartbreaking and cathartic all in one.

Although always remaining downbeat and crushed, the band make highly tuneful and listenable songs like “Wet Leather” and “I Was Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery” catchy in a way that is at odds with the often down-trodden subject matter.

Carrying the weight of the world, but with a wry grin etched on their features, Woods of Ypres are the perfect guilty pleasure for morose metalheads everywhere.

We Say :- Woods of Ypres are a cheery bunch, singing happy songs full of joy and optimism. It’s uplifting, almost spiritual, music….

No, no they’re not.

Woods Of Ypres have evolved from their Black Metal roots into something that it is difficult to quantify. OK Woods 4 – The Green Album is undeniably doom metal, or as someone else described it “epic downer metal” so I suppose if you must have a label that’s as good as any. The album first came out last year but is about to be reissued by Earache.

The focal point of the band is front-man David Gold who has an impressive baritone delivery which perfectly conveys a sense of doom and despair that few can match. I mean, really, this is depressing stuff. It says something for the tone of the album that the opening track Shards Of Love is one of the most uplifting. In a murder-ballad-ey kind of way.

And just in case you think I’m overplaying the whole doom and gloom thing, how’s this for a cheery lyric ?

My clothes are full of holes, hanging off my tired body
I command so much negativity, my charge drains the life from machinery

Or

By the time you read this, I will already be dead
Do not reply to this, it is only to be read

But the thing is that although the subject matter is unrelentingly depressing, musically this is a stunningly good album. Gold’s vocal delivery is excellent throughout and there is a powerful atmospheric quality which few bands could get anywhere near.  There are some outstanding tracks on here too, such as the stripped down simplicity of I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery or the almost prog-metal variations in Mirror Reflection & The Hammer Reinvention.

You do kind of get the feeling that the band aren’t always entirely serious with all the depressing gloom though. I mean alongside some excellent lyrics delivered near-perfectly there are some which are, erm, well, here’s a snippet of Wet Leather….

Life is just pain and piss; it’s nothing that I will miss
Life is just pain and piss; it’s just… temporary

I really like this album, although in some places this is in spite of the lyrics as much as it is because of them. I don’t imagine every listener will be able to see much beyond the depressing subject matter and morose themes, but if you can get past that there is a lot to recommend Woods 4 – The Green Album.