Two years ago today David Gold, frontman of Northern Ontario’s Blackened Doom visionaries Woods of Ypres died in a car accident near Barrie, ON, Canada, not far from his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie. He was 31 years old. On the second anniversary of his passing, Platform magazine takes the chance to look back on the life of an artist.
Born in 1980 on the 19th of June, David Gold formed Woods of Ypres, aged 22, with friends Brian McManus and Aaron Palmer in 2002 releasing their first demo, ‘Against the Seasons: Cold Winter Songs from the Dead Summer Heat’ in the same year, from Windsor, Ontario. The next year, Gold moved to Toronto, beginning work on the band’s first full-length album.
In 2004 Krankenhaus Records, David’s own company, released ‘Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth’ and the band’s third album was released in 2007. ‘Woods III: Deepest Roots & Darkest Blues’ was received well by critics for its heavier, blacker sound. In 2008, Woods of Ypres appeared on the cover of UNRESTRAINED! Magazine, a Canadian metal magazine focused on the underground, a scene where Woods still fully resided.
In 2008, David Gold came back from working in South Korea, returning to his old hometown of Sault Ste. Marie in Northern Ontario and bringing the band with him. It was here that the band began work on ‘Woods IV: The Green Album’, which would be released in 2009. Before its release, the band put out a compilation of songs from their first three Krankenhaus albums, called ‘Independent Nature, 2002-2007’. The Green album was hailed as the most powerful album of the band so far, but the band were still so underground that David was selling albums by mail order at the end of his YouTube videos, by then, however, they’d caught the ear of Nottingham’s Earache Records, famous for releasing Napalm Death’s ‘Scum’ among other famous titles, their luck was about to change.
The band announced their splitting in late 2010, partly because of David Gold’s moving to Kuwait for work, it was, however, announced in the autumn of that year that this was completely untrue, Woods of Ypres had actually signed to Earache! Earache would put out their last two studio albums, first taking over the publishing of Woods IV and then putting out the band’s fifth album, ‘Woods V: Grey Skies and Electric Lights’
After years of working themselves to the bone in the underground for a decade, Woods were signed to a major label, they were starting to take off. Woods had played their last show before retiring to record the new album on the 9th of July 2011 in Richmond, Virginia, it would prove to be the last show they ever played together.
The fifth album was recorded that August in Ontario, to be released at the start of 2012.
It was during that break, on December 21st, 2011, mere days before Christmas, that David Gold was killed in a traffic accident not far from his home town, ending his plans of touring Europe with the band in early 2012. Guitarist Joel Violette made it clear in interviews after the incident that Woods would not go on to record any more studio albums without their friend David, ending the band.
Violette went on to release this statement “…It was an honour to have worked with David, an honour to have shared the stage with him, and an honour to have spent a summer writing and recording with him. He was an extremely talented, driven, and generous man. He will be sorely missed.”
‘Woods V: Grey Skies and Electric Lights’ was released on February 27, 2012 on Earache records to complete critical acclaim.