Woods of Ypres - Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light
Earache Records
Gothic Metal
11 songs (55:55)
Release year: 2012
Woods of Ypres, Earache Records
Reviewed by Khelek

I will admit to getting at least some enjoyment out of Woods of Ypres first couple albums. I found them to be decent gothic metal interspersed with some black metal moments, but overall it was all somewhat cliché and for the most part their music simply did not stick with me. Sadly, vocalist and founding member David Gold died last December and this is the final album that was recorded. I am very aware of a lot of black metal enthusiasts have called these guys out for being posers and not even remotely close to metal (and I have to say, after their most recent albums, I have to agree to some extent). The band seems to have taken this in stride and, instead of attempting to please everyone, have sought to produce albums that those who do enjoy their style will like, which is somewhat admirable even if it does not produce anything of much value. Unfortunately their fifth album is a very dumbed-down version of the sound they originally had, promoting a very melodic, gothic rock sound that is the essence of blandness and monotony.

Career Suicide's riffs remind me somewhat of Katatonia, but the vocals just sound a bit silly to me, in part because of the lyrics and their repetitiveness. Travelling Alone is no different. It is monotonous in its depression and once again the lyrics are so painfully cliché. I usually hesitate to mention the lyrical content of music because ultimately I weight the music itself more heavily simply because some bands do not know English very well, or their goal is simply to create music and not write great lyrics. However, with vocals such a prominent part of this band's sound I simply can't ignore them. With this album title I actually expected lyrics that would be somewhat poetic and thought-provoking. What is presented here is the complete opposite. The lyrics are so cliche and obvious I actually found it painful to pay attention to them. And that wouldn't be so bad if the music itself was engaging. But it's not interesting at all. The guitar riffs are generic, the occasional solos bland. I have no problem with depressive, bleak atmospheres, but there are much better ways of accomplishing it. I will say that I like the sound of the late David Gold's deep vocals, somewhere between Peter Steele and Jyrki of The 69 Eyes. Lightning & Snow is one of the few songs on the album that actually gets some energy going. The riffs are quicker, and - what's this! - a guitar solo! Once again it's quite a repetitive song though; it takes no chances and sticks to a very predictable song structure. The rest of the album unfortunately continues on this unsurprising course.

In what I can only assume is their final album, Woods of Ypres once again played it very safe and shied away from doing anything remotely interesting. If this genre is appealing to you, there are many gothic metal acts out there still making great music (e.g. Katatonia, Evergrey, Swallow The Sun). I could name other bands that have similar depressive emotions in their music, but I will refrain because if you've gotten this far you probably already know them. Long story short, don't waste your money unless you are a big fan of the band's previous work.

Killing Songs :
Khelek quoted 30 / 100
Other albums by Woods of Ypres that we have reviewed:
Woods of Ypres - Woods IV: The Green Album reviewed by Khelek and quoted 60 / 100
Woods of Ypres - Woods III: The Deepest Roots And Darkest Blues reviewed by James and quoted 12 / 100
Woods of Ypres - Against The Seasons reviewed by Misha and quoted 80 / 100
Woods of Ypres - Pursuit Of The Sun and Allure Of The Earth reviewed by Crims and quoted 93 / 100
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