It’s with a feeling of dread that I write this review, because a few days ago I received word about David Gold’s untimely passing. “Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light” is the final album of this very promising band.
“Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light” is the perfect follow-up to its mighty predecessor. It’s a little less rough around the edges, but Gold still takes his inspiration from bands like Type O Negative, (old) Katatonia and Paradise Lost. In fact, his clean vocals sounds like a tormented version of Nick Holmes and the late Peter Steele. He’s still not a happy camper. This becomes painfully clear when you listen to the heart-wrenching lyrics of ‘Alternate Ending,’ ‘Finality’ and ‘Death Is Not An Exit.’
Gold and his musical companion Joel Violette are very gifted songwriters. They have managed to merge well-written compositions with a very stark atmosphere, thus enhancing the overall doom metal feeling. The melancholic feel is further strengthened by the additions of cleverly placed string sections and Gold’s trademark low style of singing. ‘Travelling Alone,’ ‘Adora Vivos,’ ‘Silver’ and both of the ‘Kiss My Ashes’ parts are poignant examples of their considerable skills.
This time around Gold and Co. decided to go for a somewhat cleaner sound. This makes “Woods 5” somewhat more accessible, but it also diminishes the underground charm that graced its predecessor.
All in all, “Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light” doesn’t hold many surprises, but it’s an incredibly solid record, filled with some very memorable songs. It’s also a fitting tribute to the life and considerable talent of a very troubled musician. I’m not a religious person but I really hope David Gold has finally found some peace.