This is a big release, absolutely no doubt about it, but doom is a big genre, so why not? The most striking thing about this sonic assemblage of depression and decay is that it’s 16 tracks. Woods of Ypres span the spectrum from doom, depressive rock, black metal, sludge and just about everything else.

Despite the fact that it’s a metal release, it’s not ugly in the traditional metal sense. If anything, I’d say this album is very Wordsworthian; the songs are about relationships, journeys, doubts, depression and the average person goes through. This makes it far more relatable than the usual metal album.

A release of this magnitude, that runs the gamut of so many emotions and topics always runs the risk of being a little thin. Woods of Ypres, however, goes in quite the opposite direction, in fact, it’s too dense at times. It’s almost an hour and 20 minutes long and while it’s all quality material, it may leave you wondering, “Is this going to be forever?”

It’s a beautiful album, make no mistake, but it’s hard to find an hour and a half to relax and really let it grow. Imagine someone doing an elapsed time video of an oak tree growing over a one thousand year period—that’s what this album is like. It’s wonderful, but it takes a while to click. This is the sort of album that has the potential to be appreciated by many, but could lose many people to the length and size of the album. Despite this, it’s worth the time that one would have to put into it.

In A Word: Arboreal

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