Label: Art Gates Records
Date: November 13th, 2020
Gwydion is a six-piece act coming from Portugal that was formed in 1995 by a group of friends that shared a passion for metal and interest in Celtic culture. In their discography, they have five full-length albums, including “Gwydion”, which we are reviewing on this occasion. They also have several recognitions behind them, such as “2nd best band over 2010 chosen by the readers of the Loud magazine” and their third album “Veteran” was included in a group of best Folk Metal album of 2013 on the site Metal Storm website.
In the first song “Stand Alone”, after a 90-second epic intro on keyboards, Gwydion is leading us into the world of Vikings, epic battles…The influence of Ensiferum and Amon Amarth is felt, while the vocals irresistibly remind me of Anders Friden’s (In flames) vocals, from the last few In Flames albums. The following “The Bards” seems to have been created under the high influence of Finntroll and Ensiferum. It is followed by “The Chair Of The Sovereign” and “Hostile Alliance”, which were greatly influenced by Amon Amarth. The next “Battle Of Alclud Ford” is one of the most interesting on the album, but again, we can feel the influence of Ensiferum. And so on until the end of the album… The album closes with the acoustic song “A Roda”, which, in my opinion, is the best on this album.
The main reason why I didn’t like this album too much is that there is no consistency, it seems like it’s some kind of a compilation. It seems to me that the songs were recorded according to which band they were inspired by on that day. Obviously, the guys from Gwydion have the knowledge to record songs, but there is a lack of originality here. In addition, the production had to be much better – it seems as if it is an unfinished recording. Viking metal must sound pompous, furious, violent… I expected much more from a band that has 25 years of experience.