GAAHL’S WYRD – Live at the Electric Ballroom London, 4th November 2019

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.

Kicking things off at the Electric Ballroom.

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)

Thanks to Sheol Productions – the whole gig.

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.

Live in 2017, but a much clearer shot.

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