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HARDWARES

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Heart Of Gold: A Tribute to Woods Of Ypres

(Independent)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 8.0

An idea conceived in the wake of David Gold's tragic death in December 2011 at the far too young age of 31, Heart Of Gold brings together a wide assortment of extreme metal lifers to celebrate David Gold and his labour of love and passion, WOODS OF YPRES. Gold was arguably Canada's DIY leader, the man never taking any break or respite from his continual, Herculean efforts to further Woods Of Ypres’ cause and, as such, it’s fitting that the groups on this tribute are mostly underground, a testament to Woods’ deep entrenchment in the extreme scene.

Anchored by the likes of NOVEMBERS DOOM, MUSK OX, PANZERFAUST and AMARANTH (and mastered by the legendary DAN SWANO), Heart Of Gold is a visceral, emotive commemoration of Gold’s music and life (music = life?) and the covers here are indicative of the type of respect and admiration other musicians and fans held for Woods Of Ypres, especially the radical re-workings, including the instrumental, piano-based version of ‘Adora Vivos’ from Raphael of Musk Ox or the male/female duet that graces KUHRZATH’s cover of ‘Finality’. Panzerfaust’s version of Woods classic ‘A Meeting Place And Time’ is also notable in its loyalty to black metal as is BEGOTTEN’s take on ‘Sea Of Immeasurable Loss’, while Novembers Doom’s ‘Wet Leather’ and RAE AMITAY and JOEL LAVIOLETTE - both Woods Of Ypres members - render ‘Silver’ just as melancholy and regretful as the original. The highlight, by far, however, is CATUVOLCUS’ ‘Thrill Of The Struggle’, this Quebec band raging with the type of ardour and fervour reserved for the elite; if you didn’t know ‘Thrill Of The Struggle’ was written by David Gold, you’d think it was CATUVOLCUS’ own statement of strength and purpose.

That said, critiquing tributes to one of metal’s fallen sons isn’t what Heart Of Gold is about, nor should it be: this record is a true tribute to one of Canada’s most talented metal musicians, a man who still had so much more music to give. In that vein, Woods Of Ypres’ Juno win for Woods 5: Grey Skies And Electric Light was fully and entirely merited, and it’s heartening to see that David Gold was recognized by the Canadian music industry, though it was, sadly, posthumously (and, on that note, ROB CRANNY would have loved this tribute record, fully and completely).

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