Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Review -- WOODS of YPRES -- Against the Seasons

AGAINST the SEASONS
Woods of Ypres
Independent
5.5(8)-out-of-10

OK, let me premise this CD right from the start, it's death/black metal, which is at best an acquired taste, and not one I have fully developed.
I really like the music here. I'd rate this CD much higher if it were an instrumental. This five-piece unit from Ontario can flat out play. This is music with the epic sound that is part of so much metal these days, from death metal through folk/Viking/ and symphonic metal.
David Gold on guitar and Dan Hulse on bass offer up the vocals, and herein lies my problem with this sub genre of metal, without liner notes my ear just doesn't have a clue what these two are singing. I get the feeling the songs are rich, detailed tales, but I don't want to have to study notes to appreciate music. Sadly a lot of effort that goes into writing gets lost in music like this (at least in my opinion).
I happen to love symphonic metal, and they have found a way to keep the metal influence and allow the grandiose stories to come through lyrically. I rather wish Woods of Ypres had gone in for the same effect.
Musically, give these guys full marks. The band is rounded out by Chris Mezz on drums, and Jessica Rose on keyboards.
Lyrically, I just don't know. They growl into the microphone, but about as clearly as a tormented grizzly bear. I just think they sell their lyrical ability short in the process. There are in fact times when Woods of Ypres does tone down the growl in places on the five, wonderfully long songs, and it's WOW time for me.
That said, I rather expect fans of this genre will find this a fullblown treat, thus again the duel scoring above, the eight being for fans of this particular brand of metal.
Check them out at www.woodsofypres.ca
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Reviews first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Sept. 5, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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