The members of Brooklyn, New York's Gwynbleidd share an unshakeable bond. Convening in 2002, the four musicians found they each possessed a Polish ancestry alongside their love of heavy metal. Separated from home and thrust into estrangement, the group's music seemingly takes solace in the fact it is founded on brotherhood in a strange land.
Taking the name Gwynbleidd from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski's story The Sword of Fate, the newly-formed band quickly began plotting an intricate expression of their yearning for home. Honing their craft over the course of four years, Gwynbleidd settled upon an avant-garde sound fusing many disparate elements of metal. Structuring songs via labyrinthine prog arrangements, the band also tempered their blackened death metal with a tendency towards furious technicality. Rounded out by gothic melancholy and traces of traditional European folk music, Gwynbleidd struck with elegant metal worthy of acts like Opeth, Enslaved, and Katatonia.
The end result of this experimentation was the band's first EP, 2006's Amarathine. Limited to a single print-run, the four-track release turned heads by displaying brutality and beauty in equal measure. Devoting half the disc towards more metal fare, Gwynbleidd let the second portion express the group's collective love for folk. Intoxicating and gloomy, it marked the debut of a promising act in the extreme music underground.
Seeking a metal-oriented genesis for the band's full-length output, Gwynbleidd spent the ensuing three years recording 2009's Nostalgia. Stark and majestic, it seemed an exorcism of the group's longing for an unattainable past. In the meantime, the group played alongside the dance company Ballet Deviare and performed at festivals such as Heathen Crusade, Chicago Powerfest, and Paganfest. Sharing the stage with acts such as Suidakra, Orphaned Land, Slough Feg, Bal-Sagoth, Turisas, and others, the group ensured their fame would spread far beyond the city they call home.
Dark and dream-like, Gwynbleidd's complex compositions should convert even the most seasoned metal fans. Buried within the band's melting-pot sensibilities are a truth older than the genre itself – the world often leaves people wanting more. For those craving stately metal with an emphasis on the gothic and folk subgenres, Gwynbleidd are an excellent destination for any intrepid explorer.