“Gastir – Ghosts Invited” is the first full-length release of the 2015 founded band Gaahls Wyrd. In 2017, Gaahls Wyrd released a live album already, but this consists of cover versions of 5 songs from the band Trelldom and one from the band God Seed, both former bands of the name-giving singer of Gaahls Wyrd Gaahl. Logically, right?
I think Gaahl is best known for his work with the Black Metal band Gorgoroth from 1998 till 2007 as well as the folk band Wardruna, with some of their music known from the second season of the series Vikings.
Gastir – Ghosts Invited consists of 8 tracks with a playtime of 42 minutes. “Through Past and Past” is the shortest track with under three minutes, but it is the fastest and most aggressive one, in my opinion. “Carving the Voices” is the longest track with nearly seven and a half minute. It starts with a calm intro and the deep voice of Gaahl, it has some kind of dark and scary sacral feeling. I really like this one, but I need to warn you – this isn’t really Black Metal. There is an official video on YouTube as well.
With its black and white close-shots of trees, rocks and floating water it creates a spiritual, natural athmosphere. I need to think of a celtic druid, walking through deep woods. And now have a look at the cover of the album – and imagine this guy walking through the woods.
So in my opinion, the bands Gaahl played in before give you a good hint at the feeling of the music his current project plays. Black Metal with some kind of mystical, natural and spiritual ingredients. Some of the vocals sound like wolves howling in the background, like in “Veiztu Hve”. I really like the different kinds of voices Gaahl is using throughout the album. From spoken word parts with this deep, clerical voice, to grunts and growls and emotional screams – very diversified.
The production focuses on Gaahl’s voice as well. It’s the center of the whole production, sometimes spiced with doubled lines or some delay or echo on it. The drums sound very natural and powerful, and they even feel a little as if they were played in a cave or similar. No, there is not too much resonance, but some kind of dark and gloomy colour on them. The guitar sound fits the drums – not too much distortion on them, in fact most of the time it seems just to be a little overdrive in order to make them grunt a little.
This time it’s hard for me to name some other bands as similar artists, to be honest. There are some moments on Watain’s The Wild Hunt that have a similar direction, but this album isn’t typical for Watain, and as I said it is just moments in which it reminds me of Gaahls Wyrd‘s debut. Maybe you have some suggestions for me? Please leave your comments!
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As usual, we added the two favorite tracks to our Transcended Review Playlist