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Gaahls Wyrd - GastiR - Ghosts Invited

Gaahls Wyrd
GastiR - Ghosts Invited
by Martin Knap at 02 July 2019, 1:53 PM

Ex-GORGOROTH vocalist Gaahl doesn’t needs an introduction. He was immortalized in the Vice documentary “True Norwegian Black Metal,” in which the reporters find themselves fearing for their life in a snow blizzard or being outright intimidated by Gaahl’s persona and behavior during interviews – do yourself a favor and watch it, if you already haven’t. Gaahl didn’t part ways with GORGOROTH on very amicable terms and after his departure he went on to form GOD SEED with another ex-GORGOROTH member King ov Hell. I quite liked their album “I Begin” which was the only album that they’ve released. (It was recorded during a name dispute with the his former band mates form GORGOROTH and was actually supposed to be a GORGOROTH release.) GOD SEED had a more atmospheric, grand sound and  “I Begin” wasn’t well received well by orthodox Black Metal fans, but I think it was overall very solid and had some really memorable songs on it. “GastiR - Ghosts Invited” was long in the making, Gaahl really didn’t release much since “I Begin,” and obviously this album, which he recorded with his new band GAAHLS WYRD, was greatly anticipated.

One thing that I can say right off the bat about it that GAAHLS WYRD isn’t boring or predictable. The album draws inspiration from the music that Ghaal helped to make in the past: obviously there is that majestic, atmospheric late GORGOROTH sound that people perhaps associate with Gaahl (typified by songs like “Sign of an Open Eye” for example), but other songs can be pretty raw and aggressive, there are even some noticeable TRELLDOM influences (the band in which Gaahl started his career as a vocalist), particularly in the song “Veiztu Hve”. There is a lot of variety on the album: there are some aggressive ragers, such as the second song “From The Speak” with its pumped-up Thrash riffs or the short number “Through And Past And Past”; on the other hand we have somber songs rich in atmosphere such as the opener “Ek Erilar,” which has some dark “Ordo Ab Chao” era MAYHEM vibes, or “Carving the Voices” which features emotional clean vocals. The music on “GastiR - Ghosts Invited” is really well crafted: the riffs and guitar work are sweet, the song structures are interesting and dynamic, they often have climactic buildups, interesting guitar leads etc.; there are some original ideas, for example the eerie chanting backed by blast-beats in “Ghosts Invited” sounds pretty unconventional. But overall the album falls a bit short of expectations, sometimes the music lacks bite, or sounds a bit hollow. The climactic parts are just not as impactful as one would hope and sometimes the material feels a bit rehashed.

That being said, this is still a quality release and has moments of greatness. My brain likes what is going on this album, but for some reason my heart is not in it as much as I would hope.

Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Ek Erilar
2. From the Spear
3. Ghosts Invited
4. Carving the Voices
5. Veiztu Hve
6. The Speech and the Self
7. Through and Past and Past
8. Within the Voice of Existence

Eld – Bass
Lust Kilman – Guitars
Gaahl - Vocals
Spektre - Drums

Record Label: Season of Mist


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