Sound — 8
Woods of Ypres single "Home" (often refered to as "Woods IV,5" because it was released between the fourth and the fifth album) is one of the bands last studio efforts. It consists of two songs that have not been released on any other format to my knowledge. These songs, titled "Falling Apart" and "You Were the Light" have more in common sound-wise with "Woods IV" than with Woods 5 in that share the same kind of harshness and dissonance. Only concidering song writing however, "You Were the Light" could easily have slipped onto Woods 5 without feeling out of place. I would describe this works genre as a blend of black metal and doom metal, so we're not talking about a single that strays from the bands usual sound. The first of the songs is an incredibly heavy piece not unlike "Woods IV"'s "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)" but it has a mellow chorus and incorporates orchestral strings in the sound which adds tremendously to it. "You Were the Light" on the other hand is a calmer piece (relatively speaking) that I concider to be one of Woods of Ypres best songs. Like "Falling Apart" it has orchestral elements and the great use of rhythmic guitar really makes this track shine. Apart from said rhythm guitar the song reminds me a bit of "Wood 5"'s "Death Is Not an Exit."
Lyrics — 9
"You Were the Light" on the other hand is a calmer piece (relatively speaking) that I concider to be one of Woods of Ypres best songs. Like "Falling Apart" it has orchestral elements and the great use of rhythmic guitar really makes this track shine. Apart from said rhythm guitar the song reminds me a bit of "Wood 5"'s "Death Is Not An Exit." The lyrics for the first track "Falling Apart" have been wrapped in fierce internet debate and I don't think any final version of them have been established online. What is clear is that the song is about fatigue and feeling worn out. The past is broken beyond repair and instead of lingering all one can do is push forward. The words to "You Were the Light" however, are easy to make out. They are about a relationship that has ended unwell and about the unjust and cruel treatment that has followed. A possible reference to the balcony-scene in Romeo and Juliet can be found in the lyrics here as well. Overall the lyrics are full of emotion and power and the delivery is on par with both "Woods IV" and "5." The growls on "Falling Apart" sound absolutely demolishing and brutal and the low register singing in "You Were the Light" is simply stunningly well performed.
Overall Impression — 8
The thing I enjoyed the very most about this release other than the fact that the songs were well written and well performed is that both songs used orchestration. "Woods IV,5" takes what was great about "Woods IV" and builds upon it which takes the sound to even further heights. The orchestration, the singer/songwriter approach to the music and perhaps not overdoing the playing as it helps put forth the right emotion and mood. It's overall surprising how much the band appears to have grown in the short period of time spanning between the two releases. Though I concider Woods of Ypres to have been a relatively unique band in that they blended mellow elements that appear to almost be from the singer/songwriter tradition with rough black metal and heavy doom metal-parts I can find some similarities with Novembers Doom, 40 Watt Sun, Gorgoroth and even some particular songs from Behemoth's catalogue (such as "Ov Fire and the Void"). To fans of "Woods IV" and "5" listening to this would certainly be time well spent.