Gwynbleidd @ Lit Lounge (10/26/2009)

Logo - Gwynbleidd

Artist: Gwynbleidd
Venue: The Lit Lounge (New York, NY)
Opener: Hung, Empyreon
Date: 10/26/2009
Label: Black Currant Music

While we had only just caught Gwynbleidd in concert a few weeks ago even after knowing about how they did things for years, we could not resist the chance to support them once again based on our enjoyment of their latest CD “Nostalgia”. Tonight the band would be celebrating the “official” release of the CD even though it had been circulating for a couple of months around the media circles. They would have the show down in the recesses of the Lit Lounge where we had been a couple of times before and I think the last time was for Unexpect and Virgin Black but that is a story for a different article and you can find that elsewhere on the site with a simple search. The band would be joined for the special occasion by both Hung and Empyreon. Hung would start off the night with a musical explosion.

Hung: I finally ended my game of cat and mouse in trying to catch Hung performing when the band was a last minute addition to the show being done by Otep when the singer and her group were coming to NYC a few short months ago. This was a great evening and one that left me very musically satisfied and also somewhat accomplished because there is nothing more annoying than wanting to see a band and just not being able to do so based on other things being locked into place. Hung had released “Progeny” not too long ago which while an EP is loaded from beginning to end with fantastic compositions. Founded by Lyris Hung, the band delivers Melodic Progressive Death Metal and while the larger term used applies very well, there is much more to their sound and groove than simple labels allow for. The five member band was dealing with confined space down in the Lit Lounge concert space but they made do as both bassist Roon and singer Dmitry head banged to their own groove and through it all Roons dreadlocks appeared to be alive. Evil Jon was doing some wonderful melodic damage on the guitar and this evening I was able to focus a little more on his technique which was quite good. Lyris Hung the bands violiness seemed to be content with hanging back near her amplifiers but that didn’t affect the amazing skills that she possesses on the string instrument. I noticed how her violin actually resembles a skull in some sense but I am sure that this was just a trick to my eyes when it came down to it. They would only play five songs this evening and many of them came from the “Progeny” EP which is something that you should look into purchasing quickly. They had a great amount of merchandise available with some cool shirts being a part of the mix. Dishing it out to the fans who had some interest were the bands own lovely “Hung-ettes” (not their real title of course). Given the fact that they seem to play NYC quite a bit you should look around to see where they might be doing so near you as this is a good Metal time. Gwynbleidd was coming up next.

Gwynbleidd: Even though I had been enjoying the new CD for a couple of months and had known about the band since reviewing their EP, I had never managed to see Gwynbleidd perform and this shocked me based on how much I actually enjoyed them. Fortunately I would rectify this problem when they played a gig at the Ace Of Clubs down below the Acme Restaurant a couple of months ago and I was totally blown away by how resonant and powerful their sound was on the live stage. Tonight the band would be celebrating this amazing album’s official release. As mentioned the space in the Lit Lounge is rather tight so it would find the band members being a little bit closer to the fans this evening since Adam’s drums are massive in size and would not be able to squeeze into the small space relegated to the skin bashers. Fronted by Maciej, who handles the dark vocals and plays guitar, the band would deliver the full “Nostalgia” release with the exception of the track “Adrift” which is the albums instrumental piece. This was based on time constraints but I don’t think anyone minded since they were pretty much rooted into place by the overwhelming melodies coming out of these guys gear. They are vastly different from the first band up Hung, but honestly the two paired together was making for an intense show that was proving to be incredibly satisfying. If you are a fan of music along the lines of My Dying Bride and Opeth then I think that Gwynbleidd might be something you would enjoy sinking your Metal teeth into. The release sounds fantastic on CD and in the live sense and in the spirit of bands like Rush and Dream Theatre, the guys in Gwynbleidd are able to deliver the tunes note for note giving the fans an amazing experience.

Empyreon: Even though I knew a few of the bands members before tonight, I kind of lost track of what was going on with Empyreon and had not seen them perform since early 2007 when they opened up for a then reunited Trouble. That show found guitarist Robert Katrikh who has since moved on and a different drummer. Now, keyboardist wunderkind Mike “Destiny” Khalilov is joined by singer/screamer Aaron Joos and drummer Frank Godla while bass is still adeptly handled by Phil Coard. Tonight the guys would be supporting their latest album entitled “Beyond Perception” which is a thunderous display of Power Metal glory with some great changes and riffs. The album is available digitally and can be ordered through mediums like or I-Tunes. They hit the small stage running and really delivered some energetic stuff this evening. I had to admit I was impressed by the level of play between the guys and the overall aggression that the new material seemed to possess. After the show I would find out that the entire new release was performed from beginning to end and that was surely a treat that was dished out without many people even realizing it at the time. During the set Mike K. was playing a guitar but had keyboards set up next to him which he would use periodically. The sounds of lead guitar were actually nothing of the sort and were instead keyboard riffs set up to be played as needed as the gig went on. While this was a great show of the musician’s skill, I think I would have preferred to see him playing the boards and doing these riffs and having someone else handle rhythms on the guitar. Either way, this was a rocking set and one that even found a couple of members of Hung right up front head banging and getting more into the show. I had to say that I preferred this version of Empyreon a little bit more than the one I had seen a couple of years ago based on it having a lot more “grit” to it.

All in all this was a pretty good way to start off one’s Metal week. For me this was only the second bit of activity in a run of five shows that was started by Satyricon and Chthonic the night before. Even though this would be a killer week I could not pass up the chance to see such talented groups all in one place and raise the horns in support of local area Metal. Good work from everyone so please make sure to look into them and make your own assessments. I’m pretty sure that you will find my words are in order about them all.

Hung Set List:
1. Lust for Blood
2. Progeny
3. The Evil Tsar
4. Maria
5. The Sediment of War

Empyreon Set List:
1. Fall of the Equinox
2. Beyond Perception
3. Behind the Clouds
4. Infinity
5. Ten Thousand Miles
6. Swamps of Sadness
7. Of Mortals and Men
8. Let the End Begin
9. Ancients

Gwynbleidd Set List:
1. Nostalgia
2. Egress
3. New Setting
4. Stormcalling
5. Thawing Innocence
6. Stare Into The Sun
7. Canvas For Departure

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