Gaahls Wyrd are a very experienced band, (with current and ex-members of acts such as Aeternus, Grimfist, Gorgoroth, Harm, Horizon Ablaze, and others), and I very much enjoyed their debut album Gastir – Ghosts Invited.
This 30-minute mini-album mixes blackened mood with a dark/doom metal approach that finds the band’s material in fine, contemplative form.
This min-album release is essentially three songs, bookended by an intro and outro. The intro is not your usual throwaway waste of space though; spanning nine minutes, The Seed is a masterclass in atmospheric ambience and soft mood-building. It’s beautiful. Even the final track – The Sleep – which is an ambient acoustic outro, is still a worthwhile addition.
The three primary songs build on the band’s established sound, fleshing it out further in atmospheric, reflective ways. Incorporating more acoustic guitars, keyboards, and post-rock elements, this new release is largely more immersive and introspective than the band’s past work. The sombre moods wash over you like waves, and the well-written and well-delivered music is infectious. The album’s title track exemplifies this new approach best. There’s still an energetic blackened bite here though in places, as tracks like The Dwell demonstrate – this is probably the closest in style the band’s previous material, overall. And then we have Awakening Remains – Before Leaving, which is a delicious slice of sophisticated atmospheric black metal.
The Humming Mountain is a very impressive work. This new direction of increased atmospheric and emotive content has resulted in some of the band’s best output so far.
Very highly recommended.