Wormwood - Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
9.5

206 users:
8.32
Band: Wormwood
Album: Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth
Release date: March 2017


01. Gjallarhornet
02. The Universe Is Dying
03. Under Hennes Vingslag
04. Godless Serenade
05. Oceans
06. Silverdimmans Återsken
07. Tidh Ok Odhe
08. Beneath Ravens And Bones
09. The Windmill
10. What We Lost In The Mist
11. The Boneless One
12. To Worship


It is a common experience that some albums need time to sink in and grow on you, sounding better and better after every listen. On other occasions comes an album that gets you hooked from the very beginning and the more you spin it, the more you are left flabbergasted by the sheer brilliance of it. Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth belongs to the latter kind.

Wormwood is a Swedish band that had only released one EP, called The Void: Stories From The Whispering Well, before this album. For those who have heard it, bits and pieces of inspired black metal can be detected; however, it was impossible to predict the awesomeness that was slowly brewing in the minds and hearts of the band and was going to come out two years later in the form of this full-length.

Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth reveals influences from classic Swedish black metal and especially Dissection, as well as Viking metal, particularly later-era Bathory, enhanced by Kvelertak-style black'n'roll and plenty of Scandinavian folk. Wormwood is not a copycat band, though; they manage to blend different genres in such an excellent manner that the final result, instead of sounding confusing and/or rehashed, feels so refreshing and new that it offers the listener a natural high.

The band is daring to mix contrasting styles not only from song to song, but also within the same song. The first single, "Godless Serenade", for example, begins with black shoegaze epicness that is followed by an acoustic passage, then a few seconds of melodic black metal riffing before turning into an upbeat black'n'roll anthem and concluding with a-return-to-basics black metal part. "Tidh Ok Ödhe", on the other hand, starts as a bright and happy folk song with accompanying female vocals and a "la-la-la" chorus that will stick to your mind forever. Three minutes later, the song becomes a black metal whirlwind that destroys everything in its path, before changing back to the cheerfulness of the beginning.

The contrasts are endless in this album and I could go on detailing them forever. From the brutal male growls to the ethereal female voice of Alexandra Moqvist and from the sometimes crushingly heavy or other times heavenly melodic guitars to the mellowness of the synths and the violin, this record is a journey of antitheses that are merged in the most resourceful way in order to create an unparalleled atmosphere, wherein the listener feels surrounded by stunning nature and experiences a vast range of emotions.

The guitars and the ingenious riffing and melodies play the protagonist role, escorted by the rhythmic and engaging drumming. The lack of a more distinctively audible bass is the only thing that slightly diminished my listening experience, but the production in general is open and roomy. I have no favourites whatsoever, but if you put a gun on my head, I'd go with the incredibly catchy "The Windmill", a song which I'm sure Tribulation would have loved to be theirs. For the last three months I have been listening to Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth from start to finish, without skipping a single track, at least once a day. Even after so many repeated listens, the ending of the album's epic closer, "To Worship", gets to me and fills me with overwhelming emotion every single time, functioning as the culmination of the previous eleven songs' grandeur.

Best debut and album of the year contender.

"Fly, take me to the sky
Die, I am forever
We are the weaves of this cosmic tapestry
Cry, as the last star is gone"


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 15.07.2017 by See them shimmy see them go,
see their painted faces glow,
slow slow quick quick slow,
see those pagans go go go go go!


Comments

Comments: 18   Visited by: 346 users
15.07.2017 - 11:31
The Underdog
This one took me by surprise. The way the blend different styles together and make it feel familiar, yet unique is hard to pull off and sounds very refreshing. Best debut contender for sure.
Loading...
15.07.2017 - 17:22
OpethFlames
Yea this album is at the top for album of the year for me so far. Outstanding stuff!
Loading...
15.07.2017 - 19:06
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Pretty average-sounding melodic BM if you ask me, good but nothing more. I also think you might be exaggerating the degree to which this is a genre-mixer. It variates in sound, sure, but more stylistically than anything else if that makes sense. It's taking influences from different black metal styles, it's not as if its blending black metal with doom, industrial, folk, etc. Now that would be interesting. Not shit but definitely not worth a near perfect score
----
Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
Loading...
15.07.2017 - 21:14
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Apothecary on 15.07.2017 at 19:06

Pretty average-sounding melodic BM if you ask me, good but nothing more. I also think you might be exaggerating the degree to which this is a genre-mixer. It variates in sound, sure, but more stylistically than anything else if that makes sense. It's taking influences from different black metal styles, it's not as if its blending black metal with doom, industrial, folk, etc. Now that would be interesting. Not shit but definitely not worth a near perfect score

I am mainly talking about different styles of black metal (melodic, atmospheric, shoegaze, black n roll, tr00) blended with folk and Viking. The near perfect score is predominantly based on my personal view on the quality of the compositions themselves and the pure enjoyment experienced while listening.
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
15.07.2017 - 21:27
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by nikarg on 15.07.2017 at 21:14

I am mainly talking about different styles of black metal (melodic, atmospheric, shoegaze, black n roll, tr00) blended with folk and Viking. The near perfect score is predominantly based on my personal view on the quality of the compositions themselves and the pure enjoyment experienced while listening.

I get your point. I dunno, it's hard for me to get all that excited over melodic and atmospheric forms of black metal all that much. Probably because there's just so much of it around now it's difficult to really separate the "good" bands from the "excellent" ones. Honestly off the type of my head the only atmo BM bands I get seriously hyped up for new releases from are probably Wolves In The Throne Room, Fen, and A Forest Of Stars
----
Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
Loading...
15.07.2017 - 21:40
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Apothecary on 15.07.2017 at 21:27

Written by nikarg on 15.07.2017 at 21:14

I get your point. I dunno, it's hard for me to get all that excited over melodic and atmospheric forms of black metal all that much. Probably because there's just so much of it around now it's difficult to really separate the "good" bands from the "excellent" ones. Honestly off the type of my head the only atmo BM bands I get seriously hyped up for new releases from are probably Wolves In The Throne Room, Fen, and A Forest Of Stars

I know it's not your cup of tea mate, but in my mind this album is different than regular atmo-melodic bm like memoria vetusta for example btw I don't particularly like any of the bands you mention
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
15.07.2017 - 22:27
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by nikarg on 15.07.2017 at 21:40

I know it's not your cup of tea mate, but in my mind this album is different than regular atmo-melodic bm like memoria vetusta for example btw I don't particularly like any of the bands you mention

Nah, not that it's not my cup of tea, I just think there are other bands out there that do this kinda black metal much better. That's all. AFOS I can understand as they're a pretty bizarre band, but if you're not a fan of Fen and WITTR you need to re-evaluate life
----
Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
Loading...
16.07.2017 - 00:56
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Apothecary on 15.07.2017 at 22:27

Nah, not that it's not my cup of tea, I just think there are other bands out there that do this kinda black metal much better. That's all. AFOS I can understand as they're a pretty bizarre band, but if you're not a fan of Fen and WITTR you need to re-evaluate life

Sorry but they both bore me to death.. However, I'm a fan of Hail Spirit Noir and LoC so I'm not really beyond hope, lol
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
16.07.2017 - 01:18
Risto
Wandering Midget
Thing is, this shouldn't even be labeled atmospheric black. Maybe the EP is more in that vein, but this is way too folk oriented for it (except maybe Godless Serenade).
Loading...
16.07.2017 - 18:54
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
What a debut...excellent review and thanks.
----
rekt
Loading...
17.07.2017 - 01:11
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Risto on 16.07.2017 at 01:18

Thing is, this shouldn't even be labeled atmospheric black. Maybe the EP is more in that vein, but this is way too folk oriented for it (except maybe Godless Serenade).

I agree and I don't think the EP should be under that label either. There is mainly folk and melodic stuff in Ghostlands. Having said that, I don't know how or why the label "atmospheric" was given, but I also don't care much about such things when an album is as mind-blowing as this one.
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
17.07.2017 - 13:13
Cassian
Even for me, a gothic and melodic death metal fan, this album is beautiful!
Loading...
17.07.2017 - 14:36
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Apothecary on 15.07.2017 at 19:06

Pretty average-sounding melodic BM if you ask me, good but nothing more. I also think you might be exaggerating the degree to which this is a genre-mixer. It variates in sound, sure, but more stylistically than anything else if that makes sense. It's taking influences from different black metal styles, it's not as if its blending black metal with doom, industrial, folk, etc. Now that would be interesting. Not shit but definitely not worth a near perfect score


As some visionary said somewhere...
Quote:
As merry as lambs prancing around in meadows melodic black metal that makes this fat guy start a one man polonaise in his living room. Yes, boys and girls that is what Wormwood does to this man with 'Ghostlands: Wounds From A Bleeding Earth' So, very upbeat it all is. At times it makes me think of acts such as Finntroll and Månegarm. The kind of pagan black with a lot of folk leanings. Not everyone's cup of tea and to be honest, also not really mine. But at times this sort of black does go down well and it makes you smile. Well-executed, that has to be said. 74/100
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
18.07.2017 - 17:07
Nick Carter
I am definetely in the bandwagon of this album. It has something inside of it that feels as a mind-ear bomb after you listen to it, and it doesn't fade away with each time you hear it again. It mixes sounds that have been mixed before, but somehow this sound as if it is the way it has to be mixed since the beginning. It has a soul deep inside.
----
#MetalIsForEveryone
Loading...
19.07.2017 - 21:00
Fellow Duh Say
Very Good "debut" album. Reminds me a LITTLE of a more atmospheric Swedish Mgla. I just miss the cymbal flare of Mgla, but I pretty much always miss the cymbal flare of Mgla. I think while there is a lot of good, even a lot of very good atmospheric bm, great bands and albums are few and far between.
Loading...
06.08.2017 - 21:52
BitterCOld
Gringo
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.07.2017 at 14:36


As some visionary said somewhere...
Quote:
As merry as lambs prancing around in meadows melodic black metal that makes this fat guy start a one man polonaise in his living room. Yes, boys and girls that is what Wormwood does to this man with 'Ghostlands: Wounds From A Bleeding Earth' So, very upbeat it all is. At times it makes me think of acts such as Finntroll and Månegarm. The kind of pagan black with a lot of folk leanings. Not everyone's cup of tea and to be honest, also not really mine. But at times this sort of black does go down well and it makes you smile. Well-executed, that has to be said. 74/100



Somewhere around there as well. Scored it a 7 on MS with the flat scoring, was ok, but every once in a while some cool little riff or section comes on that makes you nod in approval, so 7.5 from me. can't round up to 8, though.
----
get the fuck off my lawn.
Loading...
20.08.2017 - 22:47
Dark Horizons
Really good and enjoyable album, melodic black metal with folk elements and groove!
But... 9,5?! 9,5 is for something near perfetction, something that will still shine after many years... 9,5 seems to me a fanboy-vote.
----
We are just a moment in time
A blink of an eye
A dream for the blind
Visions from a dying brain
I hope you don't understand
Loading...
22.08.2017 - 18:07
Fallen Ghost
Metalhead
Hell yes this is awesome! At first I found some parts to be too "folky" for my taste, but they are now awesome, four first songs are outstanding imo!
Loading...

Hits total: 6494 | This month: 182