Nestled between the excellent darkwave of GOST, and a two hour set by MAYHEM ( who I must say, were absolutely stellar tonight ) are GAAHL’S WYRD, an interesting project by Gaahl of TRELLDOM and GORGOROTH, using songs from both of those bands as well as new songs involving some of the trance-like ritual elements of WARDRUNA, therefore presenting the old songs in a new context.
First track Ghosts Invited from 2019’s superb GastiR is introduced by the band, positioned right at the front of the stage. Seconds later, Gaahl emerges behind them, to a huge cheer, and walks slowly backwards and forwards behind his musicians, delivering the long slow vocal lines characteristic of this new project, creating as they do a disorientating time shifting effect between the lengthy phrases and blastbeats.
The visual effect of the band in this light is very striking. I don’t know how tall they all are, but Gaahl looks bloody huge, menacingly winding up and down the stage between the instrumentalists, almost like he really does walk in a different dimension to everyone else. The guitarists do tend to flick their hair and pump their fists in the air a lot though – is that a part of the act, to contrast with the singer’s slow ghostly movement, or perhaps just a general session musician thing? The crowd seem to love it regardless.
I’ve long been a fan of TRELLDOM, so it is ace to hear Slave til en Kommende Natt live. I never really got into GORGOROTH though – too decadent for me what with all that blood and flesh – but maybe there is something to be said for giving an ungrateful child the same present twice, but with different wrapping paper, because I am ashamed to admit that hearing Carving A Giant was fantastic….
Little is said over the hour’s performance, and they move through the following tracks: Ghosts Invited, Carving A Giant (Gorgoroth ), Slave til en kommende natt ( Trelldom )Wound Upon Wound (Gorgoroth ) , Ek Erilar, Carving the Voices, From the Spear, Sannhet – Smerte og Død (Trelldom), Prosperity and Beauty (Gorgoroth), Through Past and Past Exit Through Carved Stones (Gorgoroth cover)
GAAHL’S WYRD ( in fairness he wanted to call it simply WYRD, but that name was grabbed years ago ) probably shouldn’t have so much focus on the front man, but let’s face it, he’s an interesting guy. Overall, a great experience to watch live – catch them on this tour if you can, or in York at the Descended From Odin Festival February 2020.