Originally written by Erik Thomas.
Opeth with a celtic/folk lean from…….Brooklyn, New York…
There are some bands that try to create their own sound, bands that forge their own genre and ignore the influence of other bands and simply defy categorization. Then there are bands that say “Fuck it. We like early Opeth, let’s make a kickass four song, forty minute, professionally packaged EP that pays homage to that sound”. That band is Brooklyn’s Gwynbleidd (pronounced Gwin-blade).
From the opening acoustic throes of “Nostalgia” and its subsequent shift into progressive death metal by way of melancholic, layered, bluesy and creative riffs, mid range roars that permeates “New Setting” shows a tangible Opeth vibe circa My Arms Your Hearse, but is deftly done. The folk shift that occurs for the EP’s last two, newer tracks (“The Awakening” “Lure of the Land”) though still sounding very Opeth influenced, then starts to add a bit of Primordial into the mix and are also very well done, giving the band just a hint of character above and beyond very good Opeth clones.
As much as I enjoyed the first two tracks, especially the tempo shift that occurs halfway through “New Setting”, the last two tracks show that the band are on the verge of something special, and should be signing a record deal any time now if there is any justice in the metal world. Though still palpably Opeth in overall sound and presentation, the subtle folkish shift by way of folk vocals and more celtic inspired acoustics and percussion as highlighted by the brilliant segue that starts at 4:36 of “Awakening” and the opening of “Lure of the Land”, which sees the band fully mixing their Opeth drawl and subtle folk elements throughout.
For a self released supposed EP, this record plays and sounds like a proper ‘professional’ release, which only highlights how truly talented a band Gwynbleidd is and like fellow unsigned act The Fifth Sun, show how fickle the music industry is when bands as good as this have no record deal yet every single basement dwelling, myspace pimping Christian metalcore band already has two EP’s out before they break up.
Support this band and support skilled unsigned musicians, that truly deserve a record deal. Buy this EP from The End Records for a mere $10 and discover a real gem in the US metal scene.