Gaahl has always been an iconic figure in black metal, and yet he seemingly exists outside of most of its more common traits. With his latest project, Gaahls Wyrd (I say ‘latest’, but they’ve been active since 2015), the vocals are more clean than not, the overall pace is slower than the average black metal track, and the songs incorporate touches of traditional and folk metal throughout.
Gaahls Wyrd are usually labelled first and foremost as black metal, but that is almost inaccurate. So unique is their sound, and so innovate an artistic force is Gaahl himself, that Gaahls Wyrd really do feel like a genre unto themselves.
Through one album and an EP, the atmosphere and general vibe Gaahls Wyrd establishes is one of dark mysticism. It’s heavy – but more in the sense of feeling substantial in tone and emotion. Everything about this band’s sound feels strangely ancient and powerful.
What Gaahl et al have created (and continue to create) with Gaahls Wyrd is something truly special. This is black metal of another time and place – esoteric, ambitious, and unlike anything else being produced today.