Review: Gaahls Wyrd “The Humming Mountain” [Season of Mist]

Review: Gaahls Wyrd “The Humming Mountain” [Season of Mist]

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Let’s hear the songs of the mountains, and explore their musical landscape, bask in their beautiful and odd atmosphere.

Yes, this is the kind of album that inspires poetic descriptions like this, thanks to its creativity and incredibly well-crafted songs. If you’re in the mood for that kind of music, it’s the kind of album that will hook you instantly.

What kind of music is it? I’d describe as a sort of unclassifiable metal with ever-changing moods and tempos, with lyrics that seem to describe life and nature. In many ways, the versatile and diverse music feels like a description of nature and its different landscape. It suggests different natural elements through music. And this is the best thing about this album, how well it creates a particular mood and story.

Musically, it feels like an interesting exploration of various styles. Because there are only five long and elaborate songs, I can write each track the more detailed descriptions that they need. The title track begins with somewhat heavy riffs that nod towards Gaahl’s black metal roots, but he unexpectedly sings in a softer clean vocal style that reminds me of 90s gothic and doom metal bands, while still being its own thing and not just a throwback.

Similarly heavy tracks, like “The Dwell”, also use fast and angry riff, and a similar low and melancholic, slightly sinister clean singing, this time with occasional… I’m not sure if it’s more accurate to describe that as growls or as lower and raspier speaking. After its heavy beginning, this one uses a lot of almost gothic metal melodies and vocals from the entire band as well as a few back-up singers.

It adds a few other influences with the even heavier “Awakening Remains- Before Leaving” and its powerful riffs and vocals by the entire band, which create an interesting contrast with the sinister low-voiced, gothic metal-inspired chorus.

Aside from the gothic metal influence, there is also a definite folky touch, not the upbeat and cheesy type of folk metal, but rather like a mysterious old folkloric song about nature and life. This is particularly apparent in the first song “The Seed”, with its mellow but eerie riff that goes through various note while Gaahl whisper-sings. The entire album has a little bit of that strange and elaborate folk song. This is even more obvious in the last track “The Sleep”, with its eerie acoustic guitar and spoken words.

This album is a really inventive mix of black, gothic and folk metal. I think it combines all the best aspects of those genres and has an impressive ambition and creativity. It has some really good songs to offer. Of course, it’s a type of music I love, but you don’t have to be a fan of that to notice how well-made and creative this album is. It will definitely make you want to explore the humming mountains.

Release date: November 5th, 2021

www.gaahlswyrd.com

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