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gaahlswyrd thehummingmountain
Artist: Gaahls Wyrd
Title: The Humming Mountain
Genre: Norse / Metal / Black Metal
Release Date: 5th November 2021
Label: Season Of Mist


Album Review

Gaahl, once of GORGOROTH, GOD SEED and WARDRUNA, lover of wine and purveyor of the darkest charisma has been creating interesting and textured music with Wyrd for five years now. Helped with this by other ex-members of GOD SEED, what we have here is an interesting mix of heaviness and gruff low vocals suffused with more cinematic and windswept textures that are put together in a short but succinct EP that reveals more interest to me the more I listen. It also feels like a seamless progression to 2019s ‘GastiR - Ghosts Invited’ which in comparison to the length of this is an opus. A few of the tracks on ‘The Humming Mountain’ were written for ‘GastiR - Ghosts Invited’ but were left out because they were deemed to not be in keeping with the album’s theme. Personally I think they are in keeping, in a musical context but that’s just my opinion!

First track is called ‘The Seed’ and starts off in a relaxing easy going manner, almost Spanish in tone with Gaahl’s vocals, rounded and deep as per usual, the soft touches evoke a magical landscape, the bass hypnotically proggy. The latter stages get a little darker as the pace quickens, I wouldn’t say urgent but with a bit more emphasis before slowing to an easy end. ‘The Humming Mountain’ changes the tone from grey metal to black metal with hardly a noticeable join .The two guitars play off each other like thundering echoes, love it. Double kick drums hammering into your head like fire hardened spruce thorns! The bass bangs its intense and emphatic roundness into the proceedings like a heavy rain hitting grey rock, leaving deep gouges in its surface.

‘The Dwell’ starts out with some sinewy old school guitar riffing a la CELTIC FROST. The feel is thin, metallic and sharp, then off it goes on a kick drum gallop kicking up dust as it goes, Gaahl’s raspy vocal stamping its meter into the ground like the imprint of the front edge of a horse’s hoof. Love it! The other day I was at a bus stop swinging my head around like a mad woman, the stares I got back were a mixture of bemusement and irritation! The bass? A lofty gallop that satisfies!

‘Awakening Remains’ portentous, it stands on an outcrop, the guitars ringing like the sounds from Thor’s hammer as it hits metal and then again more metal. It then gets heavier! My stance changes, head bows. Up and down, up  and down it goes! I’m getting such a pounding right now! No, no - not that kind of pounding, for crying out loud, you filthy minded bastards! For a moment I thought I heard a few bars of the DEPARTMENT S track ‘Is Vic There?’ The bass’s rounded woodiness rings in my ears. Its woody thud pleases! Also pleasing is the chorus of voices that come in at the midpoint! They’re godly and hypnotic!

To finish off this short album we experience ‘The Sleep’. The notes on this are played slowly within a cavernous space, a dreamy space to start with. My mind fills in the gaps by dripping water from the cavern’s lofty heights. Gaahl’s gravel vocals briefly inhabit the space before disappearing. The sound of wind in the background is like the distant sound of an avalanche. This doesn’t last long, three minutes in fact, and then a silence.

This is great! Short and to the point. As I said above, there’s Metal in the DNA but all around it there are other sounds moulded to give off different auras and impressions. It feels progressive and film score like. It’s textured and measured as well as dark and icy, windswept and above all, organic. And the length is just about right to digest and absorb into your being in one or two listens. The ‘Humming Mountain’ is like a nicely put together lunch where all the elements complement each other without being oppressively over powering but at the same time still having bite! If you like KAMPFAR or SCHAMMASCH I think you’ll like this!


Tracklist

01. The Seed
02. The Humming Mountain
03. The Dwell
04. Awakening Remains - Before Leaving
05. The Sleep


Line-up

Eld – Bass
Lust Kilman – Guitars
Gaahl – Vocals
Spektre – Drums
Ivor Sandoy – Keyboards


Website

https://www.facebook.com/gaahlswyrd


Cover Picture

gaahlswyrd thehummingmountain


Rating

Music: 8.5
Sound: 8.5
Total: 8.5 / 10




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