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Review: Woods of Ypres - Woods IV: The Green Album
Woods of Ypres
Woods IV: The Green Album

Label: Practical Art Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 78:28
Tracks: 16
Genre: Doom Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: August 2, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Woods IV: The Green Album

Rated 3.92/5 (78.33%) (12 Votes)

Woods of Ypres have evolved so far from the pure Black Metal stylings of Against the Seasons that it's hard to even know what to call them anymore. They are still definitely a metal band, but there is almost no trace of BM anymore, and they are very individual and avant-garde. With my disappointment with Woods III I was not expecting much from this, to be honest, assuming it would be all post-rock, but this is actually pretty good.

This sounds much more like a Doom album than anything else, and if someone told you it was Black Metal without knowledge of the band's history you would be utterly confused. True, there are some harsh vocals here and there on this disc, but mostly this is big, heavy Doom-styled riffs and David Gold's clean singing. I have to say David's singing has improved a lot, and while he may not be great, he has learned to stay on key and carry a tune. He still delivers a lot of the vocals in a kind of deadpan sotto voice that recalls Lou Reed or something like him, but he sounds much better than he did on Woods III. The guitar tone here is strong, and the riffs are sometimes excellent. There is none of the fury of older songs like "Dragged Across a Forest Floor" or "Shedding the Deadwood", but the music is still good enough to hold its own. A retro sort of Doom feel has suffused the music, which creates an interesting mood when combined with the odd harsh growl and Gold's low intoned singing.

Lyrically Woods of Ypres are still somewhat silly, with David Gold's sometimes painfully banal observations of the minutiae of daily life seeming even more out of place the more grandiose the music becomes. On some songs the stark approach works, as on the moving "I Was Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetary", but sometimes it just comes across as self-indulgent. Still, this is a well-produced, deeply-layered album with a lot to savor, and I have been enjoying exploring all the nooks and corners of it. It meanders in places, loses focus in others. It's not a perfect album by any means, but after all this time it is great to see the experimental, iconoclastic Woods of Ypres still pushing their boundaries, and still producing good music.

Other related information on the site
Review: Against the Seasons (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Woods III: Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues (reviewed by Brett Buckle)
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