Woods of Ypres
Woods of Ypres in early 2009. From left to right: Bryan Belleau, David Gold, Steve Furgiuele, and Evan Madden.
|Origin||Windsor, Ontario, Canada|
Woods of Ypres were a Canadian doom metal band from Windsor, Ontario. The band was founded in 2002, initially consisting of three members: David Gold, Aaron Palmer and Brian McManus. Their lineup frequently changed afterward, with over 20 members in the band through its various incarnations, which saw operations later based out of Toronto from 2003–2007, and Sault Ste. Marie from 2008–2011. Their only constant member was multi-instrumentalist and frontman David Gold, with the band ending after Gold's death in December 2011, just before releasing their album Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light , which won the 2013 Juno Award for the Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year.
Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for doom metal with songs such as "Black Sabbath", "Children of the Grave", "Electric Funeral" and "Into the Void". During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England, the United States and Sweden defined doom metal as a distinct genre.
Windsor is a city in southwestern Ontario, Canada, on the south bank of the Detroit River directly across from Detroit, Michigan. Located in Essex County, it is the southernmost city in Canada and marks the southwestern end of the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor. The city's population was 217,188 at the 2016 census, making it the third-most populated city in Southwestern Ontario, after London and Kitchener. The Detroit–Windsor urban area is North America's most populous transborder conurbation, and the Ambassador Bridge border crossing is the busiest commercial crossing on the Canada–United States border.
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the fastest growing city in North America, and is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Woods of Ypres was formed in Windsor, Ontario in 2002 by David Gold, Aaron Palmer and Brian McManus. The trio released the first Woods of Ypres demo, Against the Seasons: Cold Winter Songs from the Dead Summer Heat , the same year. After McManus' departure that same year, Woods of Ypres expanded to a quintet with new band members.
Against the Seasons: Cold Winter Songs from the Dead Summer Heat is the first studio release and only EP from the Canadian black metal/doom metal group Woods of Ypres. It was recorded in August, 2002 at Spectre Sound Studios in Tecumseh, Ontario. It is Woods of Ypres' only album featuring founding members Brian McManus and Aaron Palmer, and their only CD on which David Gold does not contribute any vocals or guitar work.
That December, David Gold moved to Toronto to begin working on a full-length album, completely overhauling their lineup in the process. Following the departure of singer Chris Jones, David took over as Woods of Ypres' lead singer and guitarist. In 2004, the band's first full-length album, Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth , was released on David Gold's record label, Krankenhaus Records.
Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth is the first full-length album and second studio release by the Canadian black metal band Woods of Ypres. It was recorded in 2004 at Spectre Sound in Tecumseh, Ontario. This marked Woods of Ypres' first release with David Gold on vocals and guitar as well as drums, along with the first appearance of keyboardist Jessica Rose. Steve Jones & Connor Sharpe supplied most of the lead guitar and bass work for this album, but were uncredited in the album booklet due to leaving Woods of Ypres before its release. Producer Glenn Fricker has since stated on his YouTube channel that the record “is the sound of a band disintegrating,” and characterized the sessions as “extremely difficult” due to one member, likely Gold, being “very unreasonable.”
The third Woods of Ypres album, Woods III: The Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues , was released at the end of 2007. Contrasting the two albums, critic Laura Taylor wrote, "While Pursuit of the Sun verged on metalized Pink Floyd, Woods' latest unearths more of the band's black and dark metal inspirations".In 2008, the band was featured on the cover of Unrestrained! Magazine.
Woods III: The Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues is the second full-length album and third studio release by Woods of Ypres. It was recorded in 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, and it was the band's last album released before relocating to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 2008. Woods III marked the band's only album to feature bassist/producer Dan Hulse, their last with keyboardist Jessica Rose, and their last album with frontman David Gold on studio drums until Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light in 2012.
After a work stint in South Korea, David Gold moved the band to his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 2008, where he united with existing local metal band Gates of Winter to both form the core of the new six-piece Woods of Ypres lineup, and join Gates of Winter himself on drums. After a series of lineup changes and departures, they recorded their fourth album Woods IV: The Green Album the following year. Released in November 2009, Exclaim! called it "the band's most amorphous and powerful creature so far."Earlier in 2009, Woods of Ypres also put out a compilation of 12 of the songs from their three main Krankenhaus-released albums entitled Independent Nature 2002–2007 and a vinyl-only single release of their 2004 song "Allure of the Earth", which also featured a cover of that song by Australian cellists Sebastian Simpson and Chris Doig.
Sault Ste. Marie is a city on the St. Marys River in Ontario, Canada, close to the U.S.-Canada border. It is the seat of the Algoma District and the third largest city in Northern Ontario, after Sudbury and Thunder Bay.
Exclaim! is a monthly Canadian music magazine that features in-depth coverage of new music across all genres with a special focus on Canadian and cutting-edge artists. Content is based on the monthly print publication, which publishes 9 issues per year, distributing over 103,000 copies to over 2,600 locations across Canada. The magazine has an average of 361,200 monthly readers. Their website, exclaim.ca, has an average of 675,000 unique visitors a month.
Sessions towards an unreleased EP named Woods 4.5: You Were The Light were made in Sault Ste. Marie in 2010 as well, but just two tracks from those sessions have been released as part of a vinyl-only single named Home in 2011, which has retroactively been referred to as Woods 4.5 in some interviews. Woods of Ypres announced their breakup in late 2010 partly due to frontman David Gold's move to Kuwait for work reasons, but it was announced that fall that the split was entirely false, and that Woods of Ypres had signed to Earache Records, who would later put out the band's last two studio albums.
Woods of Ypres' lineups had been noticeably unstable since their inception, with only David Gold participating on every release by the band. Woods of Ypres' live lineups ranged from three to six members at differing points, with lineups almost completely changing when Gold relocated the band, while two of their full-length albums only credit two musicians as full band members. Singles and compilations aside, the only band member to appear on two of the band's main albums other than Gold was keyboardist Jessica Rose, who performed on both Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth and Woods III.
All of Woods of Ypres's albums (except Woods V) saw their initial release or pre-2011 reissues on independent labels ran by David Gold,including Krankenhaus Records from 2004 to 2009, and Practical Art Records from 2009 to 2011. While Krankenhaus released albums by a few different Canadian metal bands, Practical Art only released albums from musical projects that Gold was a performer on. As well, Woods of Ypres were notorious for their independently ran and booked headlining tours of Canada and the United States.
Woods of Ypres played what would turn out to be their last concert in Richmond, Virginia on June 9, 2011. After the dismissal of Shane and Evan Madden shortly afterward, remaining band members David Gold and Joel Violette recorded the band's final studio album Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light that August at Beach Road Studios in Goderich, Ontario.
On December 22, 2011, David Gold died at age 31, in a collision with an automobile near Barrie, Ontario.Gold's death ended plans for Woods of Ypres to play their first ever European tour in early 2012, along with scuttling the planned debuts of new band members Brendan Hayter and Rae Amitay. Guitarist Joel Violette indicated in interviews that Woods of Ypres would not carry on recording or touring without Gold, effectively ending the band. Woods of Ypres' fifth and final studio album, Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light, was released on February 27, 2012 in Europe, with the North American release coming two months later. The band received a posthumous Juno nomination in the Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year category for Woods V in February 2013, and won the award in April.
Official tribute concerts in Toronto and Sault Ste. Marie were held in April 2012 in Gold's memory, featuring bands like Kittie and Novembers Doom on the bill. The former served as the CD release party for Woods 5, while the latter saw Woods of Ypres alums Joel Violette, Bryan Belleau, and Rae Amitay play an acoustic tribute set of Woods of Ypres material. A Woods of Ypres tribute album has been released,while the surviving members of Woods of Ypres' final lineup have since joined forces in the New Brunswick-based black metal band Thrawsunblat.
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Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light is the fourth studio album as well as the fifth and final studio release from Woods of Ypres, released two months after the death of multi-instrumentalist and frontman David Gold. On February 19, 2013 it was announced that Woods 5 had been nominated for a Juno Award for "Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year", along with the likes of Devin Townsend, Cancer Bats and Ex Deo, an award that it went on to win.
Woods 4: The Green Album is the third full-length album and fourth studio release by Ontario blackened doom metal band Woods of Ypres. It is the band's only release to feature guitarist Bryan Belleau, the only full album to feature Evan & Shane Madden on bass and drums, and the only full length Woods of Ypres release to not feature frontman David Gold on drums. It is the band's only full-length album to be released on Gold's final independent label Practical Art Records, and its March 2011 reissue through Earache Records marked their debut on that label as well. A music video was released for the song "I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery". A limited run of 1,000 copies of Woods IV also included a bonus album: Slaughter of the Seoul, the final album by South Korean death metal band Necramyth, who Gold drummed for at the time.
Independent Nature 2002-2007 is a compilation album released by Ontario blackened doom metal band Woods of Ypres in 2009. The only compilation released by Woods of Ypres, this album was both the band's first release after relocating to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 2008 and their last full-length release through Krankenhaus Records. Four songs each from Woods of Ypres' first three albums were included on this CD, and were presented in chronological order, documenting notable tracks from the band's early black metal-centric era.
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