Ghostlands: Wounds from a Bleeding Earth
WORMWOOD

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WORMWOOD - Ghostlands: Wounds from a Bleeding Earth cover
3.88 | 4 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2017

Tracklist

01. Gjallarhornet (1:40)
02. The Universe Is Dying (5:09)
03. Under hennes vingslag (4:05)
04. Godless Serenade (5:20)
05. Oceans (5:26)
06. Silverdimmans återsken (1:57)
07. Tidh ok ödhe (4:50)
08. Beneath Ravens and Bones (5:43)
09. The Windmill (5:12)
10. What We Lost in the Mist (6:40)
11. The Boneless One (5:22)
12. To Worship (6:47)

Total Time 58:11

Line-up/Musicians

- Borka / Bass
- Johtun / Drums
- Nox / Guitars
- Rydsheim / Guitars
- Nine / Vocals

Guest/session musicians:
- Martin Björklund / Fiddle
- Nephente / Vocals
- Alexandra "Lalla" Moqvist / Vocals

About this release

Format: CD
Label: Non Serviam Records
Release date: March 10th, 2017

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WORMWOOD GHOSTLANDS: WOUNDS FROM A BLEEDING EARTH reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

adg211288
Wormwood, who are not to be confused with no less than four other metal bands who have used the same name (all from the US) is a fairly new Swedish melodic black metal act. Formed in 2014 and featuring two members, vocalist Nine and guitarist Nox, of the black metal act Withershin, they previously released the EP The Void: Stories from the Whispering Well (2015). Ghostlands: Wounds from a Bleeding Earth (2017) is their debut full-length studio album.

The music on Ghostlands: Wounds from a Bleeding Earth (which I'm going to refer to as simply Ghostlands from herein) is, for the most part, an example of a fairly standard melodic black metal sound. That means aside from there being plenty of melody the production is extremely well polished for the black metal genre with absolutely no trace of cold rawness and the songwriting favours directness over any kind of atmosphere. Given the near one hour, twelve track running time of the album were this all the album did it would most certainly outstay its welcome as while Wormwood show themselves competent musicians, whose ear for melody is noteworthy, there wouldn't be all that much variation in their approach. Fortunately they find that much needed variation by also including an influence of folk metal, which changes up the feel of their songs considerably when it comes into play.

While this makes Ghostlands a more interesting album, it also acts as something of a double edged sword as the more folk metal based songs also show off how much stronger an album Ghostlands could have been if Wormwood had made it their focus, as these certainly are the best tracks on the release. There just isn't enough of a folk influence here for Ghostlands to be considered a true folk/black metal hybrid even though the influence is used on a regular basis and the only non-standard instrument in use is the fiddle. One track that stands out in particular is Tidh ok Ödhe (and by extension the shorter Silverdimmans Återsken that acts as something of a lead-in to it), which features guest female vocalist Alexandra 'Lalla' Moqvist, whose clean singing provides vocal interplay with the growls and adds another dimension to the music that instantly makes it the most memorable song Wormwood have here. It actually strikes me as a melodic black metal version of some of power metal band Falconer's folksier tracks, especially those that have featured a guest female voice as well.

Ghostlands ultimately stands as an enjoyable first major release for Wormwood, but an overall lack of memorability means that come its conclusion I'm struggling to recall the individual tracks even after giving the complete album several listens. This drags down the likelihood of my returning to it too often, except of course for that one really exceptional track Tidh ok Ödhe where everything just fell together and showed what the band were really capable of. If they can manage more tracks of that calibre in the future then they can definitely expect a much more enthusiastic review from this writer.

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