Jun 042019
 

 

(Wil Cifer reviews GastiR – Ghosts Invited, the new album by Gaahls Wyrd, which is out now via Season of Mist.)

Gaahl is an iconoclast. For him black metal is not something he simply paints onto his face. Black metal is something he expresses himself through with an honest anger. While you might not feel that hate coming at you through the speakers like his work with Gorgoroth, you can feel the darkness. He does not settle for the mediocrity of sounding like everyone else.

His first song is spoken in a Gollum-like voice. They are not just hitting you with blast beats, but with dissonance, creepiness, and haunting melodies. There are blast beats on “Ghosts Invited” but they take you on an immersive journey with more thrashing sections and some groove. In places Gaahl uses sung baritone vocals to off-set the din. They slow down into a more elegant and melodic pulse with “Carving the Voices”. If this is hurting your feelings because it doesn’t sound just like Gorgoroth, well go listen to Gorgoroth. Yes, he is singing more, but I imagine if he was just rehashing what he did in Gorgoroth, he would bore himself to death. Continue reading »

Apr 232019
 

 

I’m torn between the desire to back-track and continue to catch up on new advance songs that I failed to notice over the nearly three weeks when I couldn’t devote time to round-ups, and the steady impulse to focus on things “hot off the presses”. This particular collection reflects that schism: There’s a bit of both in here.

GAAHLS WYRD

The timbre of Gaahl‘s voice dominates the opening of “Carving the Voices“, which Metal Hammer premiered a week ago. Like a prophet who might actually be clairvoyant or an ancient enchanter who has just emerged from a centuries-long imprisonment within a gnarled oak, the deep resonance of his voice conveys the possession of wisdom both profound and full of dread. Continue reading »

Feb 102019
 


photo by Jørn Veberg

 

The conditions were correct for frostbitten music yesterday, when the Seattle area received more snow in 24 hours than it usually gets in a year. Granted, it was a laughably small amount by the standards of people who live in truly wintry climes (8 inches at the airport, and greater or lesser amounts around the area), but enough to paralyze the region and knock out the power (and internet service) in the forest where I live from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. We’re obviously not really set up to deal with snow very well.

The absence of power and net access put a crimp in my usual Saturday surveying of new black metal; I spent more time feeding the wood-burning stove to stay warm. I did catch up a bit this morning, but also relied on listening I’d done during last week before the weather turned hostile. There’s enough here to justify dividing the group into two parts. But I’m kind of hurrying through the words since more snow is expected today, and I’ve got to make preparations.

Part 1 consists of advance tracks from three forthcoming albums. Part 2 is devoted to recent full releases.

GAAHLS WYRD

The presence of Gaahl (Kristian Espedal) at the front of this formation will guarantee attention for their debut album, GastiR – Ghosts Invited. But for that recording he had some impressive talent around him, too — Ole Walaunet (The Batallion, God Seed, Grimfist), Frode Kilvik (Krakow, Aeternus), and Kevin Kvåle (Horizon Ablaze). Continue reading »