“When left alone, the forests renew themselves.
              When left alone, man improves himself, as well.” - Woods of Ypres

Not a lot of music speaks to me like that of Woods of Ypres. When I first heard the music of this Canadian band over 3 years ago as I was looking through YouTube for Doom Metal bands, I knew there was something great about them that I couldn’t find in most bands. However, I wasn’t such a huge fan of them until August 2013, when I had the time to finally listen to all of their discography over the span of two days. I was totally enthralled by the emotional and philosophical scope of their music. Most of that was achieved thanks to their frontman David Gold.

 To begin with, I didn’t really keep up with Woods of Ypres since I discovered them first on YouTube, so I didn’t hear of David’s passing on December 21, 2011. That was three years ago. Upon learning of his death after listening to their entire discography, especially after listening to Woods V: Grey Skies and Electric Light, a deep sense of grief and sorrow overwhelmed me. I didn’t know David personally (I wish I did), but the emotional impact that his music had on me and on my creative works was quite evident since then. From the heavy, doomy riffs of “Your Ontario Town Is a Burial Ground” and “Everything I Touch Turns to Coal” to the Atmospheric Black Metal spirit of “The Sea of Immeasurable Loss” and “The Sun Was In My Eyes”, David’s music always transports me to the woods of his native Ontario. Woods V, their last album, left a particular impact on me with its lyrics on life, death, society, and art. David’s minimalistic style of writing helped further the meaning of the lyrics he wrote.
  That being said, his music grows on you, especially if you are going through some emotional trouble or a breakup. He tells us not to depend on others for happiness, but only on ourselves; that we should not get attached to people or places because one day, losing them will devastate us. More importantly, he told us to seize the moment and enjoy life, to cherish our loved ones while they are still alive, and to follow our hearts’ passion instead of what society thinks we should do. I think David’s lyrics are poetry on their own despite them being so simple.

The fact that David journeyed to Kuwait and formed friendships with many people there, some of whom I am now friends with, could mean that he had somewhat of an influence on the Middle Eastern metal scene. I think if it weren't for me looking for YouTube covers of Woods of Ypres songs and finding Hadi Sarieddine's cover of "Finality", I wouldn't have discovered  the UAE metal scene and become immersed in it. Although his stay in Kuwait was rather brief, he wore a Kuwaiti flag patch on his jacket while performing in his final tour in Canada and the US to show his love for the country and its people. People who have met him say he was a down-to-earth, loving person who interacted closely with his fans.
I would like to say that I’m writing this because I felt I never had the chance to properly thank him, and even though he told us in his last album that “the dead are to be forgotten”, I believe we should not forget him because he lives on in his music with us and in all the souls he inspired. We are not mourning him, but we are celebrating his work and life.

With that, I would like to thank him for inspiring me and many others. I don't think words are enough to express how indebted I feel to this musician. Nevertheless, his legacy will live on in his timeless music, and continue to inspire many people. 

"The will to give
 There is no destination
 There is only the journey."  - Woods of Ypres, The Will to Give

By Habib T

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