“Wormwood” Ghostlands – Wounds from a Bleeding Earth – 2017 CD REVIEW by Nabil Hossam

Each year, there are hundred thousand bands that show up and introduce their music. Few of them are lucky to be known by the fans or those who work well on advertising themselves. Some others remain underground for all eternity for several reasons, including financial reasons, lack of talent or losing interest. It’s mostly due to the financial reasons though but this is not the case when we talk about Wormwood. Wormwood is a new band that comes from Sweden. They formed in 2014 and their debut was released on the year 2015, it was an EP which was called The Void – Stories from the Whispering Well. This album Ghostlands – Wounds from a Bleeding Earth is their first full-length album that saw the light on this year, 2017. It’s an album that deserves great attention from metal music fans.

Before listening to this album, get your ear ready to one of the most enjoyable journeys so far in the year 2017:

The album is called Ghostlands – Wounds from a Bleeding Earth. The album is not only brilliant musically, but also so consistent. While you are half way through it it’s hard to believe that it’s just a second release by them, not something that resulted from several years of experience. If you are fan of atmospheric black metal, Viking influenced metal and folk metal music I really recommend you give this album a try and you will not regret it as it’s a blend of all of them together. The album contains 12 tracks; the first track is a 1:40 minutes intro so basically it’s 11 tracks.

The start of the album is so strong that it takes you right in the atmosphere and gives you the impression it wants to give without requiring you to take a lot of time while giving this album more than one listen in order to judge on it. The first track after the intro is “Under Hennes Vingslag” and it’s more folk-ish than atmospheric. The song is very catchy vocally and melodically. Followed by one of the strongest tracks “Godless Serenade” that they released a video clip for. This track is more atmospheric than the one before, the tempo is slower with many catchy and breathtaking melodies. Overall the track is consistent and a very solid atmospheric black metal track.

The third track is called “Oceans”, and it’s one of the strongest tracks too along with the two previous tracks, so generally the album started perfectly. It’s simply another consistent track that started with a slow drum beat that gets fast at times and slower at other times. The vocals are the strength of the track, and the album in general, and the melodies are the salt to it. Not to forget to mention the beautiful solo near the end of the track. The song started with an atmospheric black metal style and ended with a melodic death/folk metal style. It’s a great example for what I said when I mentioned that it’s a blend of all these genres together. Definitely one of the highlights of the album although it’s hard to focus on few tracks and ignore the others as the album, as I mentioned before, is way too consistent.

Track number four is “Silverdimmans Atersken” is very soothing, an acoustic track with beautiful clean female vocals. It goes just right in the feels nowhere else.

“Tidh Ok Odhe” is track number five and it has a folk-ish start, before it gets a bit heavier. But in general it’s a folk metal track with catchy melodies and great vocals that reminds me of Eluveitie for some reason. But after 3 minutes of a 4:49 minutes track the fast drum beats show up and suddenly you are listening to a melodic black metal track, before it gets back to its folk-ish style again. The album shows a great deal of variety and I consider it one of the strengths of the album as it’s not that easy to introduce more than one style and still keep the album consistent.

Track number six is “The Universe is Dying”, and from the title you can predict its style, a pure melodic black metal band with atmospheric influences. The melodies and the vocals together made a great combination in this track. As you are getting through album and you are already over half of the album you can still feel the consistency and how the album is still as strong as it started. “The Windmill” follows this track with its melodious riffs and of course its outstanding vocals.

“To Worship” is track number eight has got a bit up-beat start, then it forms itself as a melodic black metal song. Still at the same level as the tracks before and actually I can’t imagine that I can give it or any of the previous tracks less than 9 out of 10. I can imagine how hard the work they put into making this masterpiece. What I noticed about this album is that many tracks have got these mellow acoustic parts, including “To Worship”, which is one of my favorite things about the album. The solo at the end of this track is pretty good too.

The last three tracks are “Beneath Ravens and Bones”, “What we Lost in the Mist” and “The Boneless One”. The titles get the attention of your eye and the music gets the attention of your ear. “Beneath Ravens and Bones” is a bit slower than ““What we Lost in the Mist” and more melodic, “The Boneless One” is a mixture of both and the 3 tracks together ended the album perfectly. After you finish them you will be asking for more, and that can be achieved by re-listening to the album as one listen is not enough.

As an atmospheric black metal fan I can see a bright future for this band after seeing such a great second release which is Ghostlands – Wounds from a Bleeding Earth. Personally I consider it one of the greatest finds of 2017, if not the greatest so far. I can easily put it in the top 3 albums of the year and the best melodic black metal album too.

Highlights: “Under Hennes Vingslag“, “Godless Serenade“, “Oceans” and “The Boneless One”. I give this album an overall rating of 10/10.

Album’s track-list:

1. Gjallarhornet.
2. Under Hennes Vingslag.
3. Godless Serenade.
4. Oceans.
5. Silverdimmans Atersken.
6. Tidh Ok Odhe.
7. The Universe is Dying.
8. The Windmill.
9. To Worship.
10. Beneath Ravens and Bones.
11. What we Lost in the Mist.
12. The Boneless One.

Nabil Hossam / MHF Magazine


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