When Woods Of Ypres mainman David Gold died in a car crash in December 2011, the tragedy was tempered by a bitter irony. The 31-year-old singer/guitarist had spent the best part of 10 years immersing himself in various shades of existential dread and blank-eyed fatalism of the ‘we’re all going to die, so why bother?’ variety.
As such, his band’s fifth album stands as a fitting, if relentlessly downbeat epitaph.
Coming on like Type O Negative minus the deadpan humour, the ominous yet oddly accessible likes of Alternate Endings and Death Is Not The End dress up their doom metal roots with pastoral melodies and great washes of synths.
There’s not even a whiff of an ironically arched eyebrow behind Gold’s sepulchral croak, even if it is impossible to listen to lines like ‘I can be thankful to be alive, but I despise this life’ without thinking that you should be careful what you wish for.