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Good album but far from perfect - 70%

cbschwab, April 19th, 2011

Hailing from a country which is anything but a pagan metal hotbed, Gwydion is out to show the world of metal they can play with the big boys. Thirteen years after forming, they release their first full length album, Ŷnys Mön. Having first become familiar with this band through their latest album “Horn Triskelion,” I was going into “Ŷnys Mön” with the assumption I would hear something of a similarity in styles. This is not the case. Ŷnys Mön displays a fusion of symphonic, viking, folk, and even some celtic metal.

The album starts out with a three minute intro (The Arrival), which is basically just the sound of a distant battle taking place. Starting out with a good introduction is important, especially within this subgenre. Unfortunately, this one failed to pull me in with anticipation of the rest of the album to follow. I felt it was way too long and found it just plain boring. They more than make up for it with the next track, “Rebirth”. Here you are introduced to the accordion tune of the keyboards, which remains for most of the album. This one gives off that epic feel you were hoping to get a glimpse of in the track before. The next three tracks (Viking’s Horned Parody, Spirals, and Inquisition Queries) are mediocre at best. The band’s style seems to take a darker sound in these songs, which was a disappointment after “Rebirth.” They got the ball rolling again with “Descendent of Don.” This is definitely a “pump your fist in the air and bang your head until you’re senseless” kind of song. “The Trickster of Ragnarök” and “The Turning of the Wheel” round out the album, which gave off a positive lasting impression.

Overall, I feel Ŷnys Mön is a good album. If I would have discovered this album before “Horn Triskelion,” my opinions of it might be a bit different. However, I would recommend this album for any fan of the extremely broad subgenre of pagan metal.