The band which started as a phenomenon around 10 years ago, was meant to split-up ingloriously. None of us expected that nearly a month before the release date, David Gold would be no more. The melancholic lyrics of his songs, returned as a boomerang to him, and at the age of 31, he passed away. For that reason, the band was definitely split-up, because David was the founder and the mind of Woods of Ypres, so it is sad from one side, that we won’t have the chance anymore to enjoy such a great music, from such a talented band. From the first listening, “Grey Skies and Electric Light” is close to “The Green Album”. The band stops the dominance of the black metal growls and riffs from the early albums, and keeps the melodies and the doom metal music with progressive guitar parts, in my opinion. Well, after some years many bands want to experiment with their music. So we should show clemency, because “Grey Skies and Electric Light” has differences from the other albums. One clear difference is the occult vocals, that never were heard from David Gold and the other difference is the atmosphere which accompanies the melancholic attitude. Also, in some tracks I can distinguish right or wrong, some progressive black metal parts on guitars.
More specifically, the first song, “Career Suicide” begins with catchy progressive guitar riffs, melodies and later a tapping solo that reminds a lot the progr genre. It has also very occult vocals and there is flexible drumming that boosts speed to the song, but I didn’t like it very much, and it’s a quite uninterested track in my opinion. But the next song is very interesting. “Traveling Alone” is one of the most beautiful songs that I have listened from the band. Perfect cold riffs, very good background melodies that reveal a dreamlike atmosphere, the vocals fit gloriously here and the drums take pver the tempo’s control in the whole duration of the song. “I can be thankful to be alive but I despise this life” shows the irony of the fortune to David Gold. Melancholy is dominant in both the lyrics and the music. “Alternate Ending” is another atmospheric song, with the same vocals and the same drumming. The guitars seem to have a secondary role due to the very good orchestrations. But despite the heavy slow tempo, I think that Woods of Ypres have written better songs in the past. The band’s progressive attitude seems to appear in “Lightning and Snow”, too. The blackish growls along with the usual occult vocals, return and in combination with guitar melodies and solo we have a rare song, so much great and progressed. Once again I have to mention the great composition and the smashing drums.
The atmosphere with the orchestrations continue to exist in “Finality”. Τhe guitar leaves its place to the piano and violin, plus the melancholic singing of David. “Finality” looks like a gothic song. It’s beautiful, but not typical Woods of Ypres. Well, if you are looking for a great Woods of Ypres song, there is “Death Is Not An Exit”. Great guitars, that have something of Katatonia, and again the vocals fit perfectly. “Grey Skies and Electric Light” is full of solos, and the one in “Death Is Not An Exit” completes the whole melancholic attitude, with a violin, which gives the last piece in perfection. It’s just a 10th grade song, for sure. The Canadians travel in the past, with “Adora Vivos”. Raw riffing, that reminds the pure black metal era, adapted in the massive vocals of “Grey Skies and Electric Light”. The drums are faster, the background music keeps the melodic atmosphere and the chaotic guitar playing gives extra positive points to the song. The differences in David’s vocals is that they are more multi-sided in this album. They have something seducing and lustful. In “Silver” you can distinguish it easy. In the music part, the progressive attitude continues to exist with the capable drumming.
Another characteristic is the atmospheric songs, because of the orchestrations and the backing vocals. “Modern Life Architecture” is one of them. But here, in addition to the other tracks, the heavy doom metal music is more dominant. The slow and smashing drumming proves that, with the help of the heavy riffs. The album ends with a two parted song, “Kiss My Ashes (Goodbye)”. In Part 1, the flowing riff reminds immediately “The Green Album”. The doom mood is here too and the massive guitars and drums just give pain to the listener. I don’t have any objections here, the opposite though, the vocals are perfectly stretched here. The fact that it is separated in two parts, does not make it musically the same. Part 2 is more atmospheric, than the Part 1 and has a complex two mute solo. The only common thing is the doom feeling, adding it with violin, could be more perfect? Well, the fifth release of Woods of Ypres is an album with music differences. Someone can find a combination of sounds that vary from black to doom with a progressive touch in the guitar sounds. All these things were composed so perfectly, as if the band members knew it would be their last album. Surely, “Grey Skies and Electric Light” is one level higher, from what the band did in the past and no one knows what the band was capable to do, if this car accident never happened. A glorious Rest In Piece for David Gold…
|Track List||Line Up|
01. Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)
02. Traveling Alone
03. Alternate Ending
04. Lightning & Snow
06. Death Is Not An Exit
07. Adora Vivos
09. Modern Life Architecture
10. Kiss My Ashes (Goodbye) Part1
11. Kiss My Ashes (Goodbye) Part2
|David Gold – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Drums
Joel Violette – Lead Guitar, Bass