Gwyllion - The edge of all I know 4/5
1. In silence enclosed
5. Beyond goodbye
6. The night awakes
8. A thousand words
9. Roots of reality
Gwyllion is a female fronted power metal band from Belgium and 'The edge of all I know' is their 2nd CD, following their impressive debut 'Awakening the dream'. The band is made up of experienced musicians and many of them have been in other bands from Belgium, including the defunct heavy/true metal band Double Diamond. In addition, there are 6 members total and 3 of them are from the Debonnet family, who have all had their share of experience in the metal world.
'The edge of all I know' has been a pleasant surprise, as it's an extremely catchy power metal CD with a tremendous production, plenty of speed, the perfect symphonic presence, well-executed piano/keyboard interplay, and there are even some slightly progressive moments and one song that contains a somewhat folky feel (track 6 "The night awakes"). Basically, the CD has a degree of diversity, while still maintaining a strong power metal base and a nice balance between the other elements. The songwriting is exceptional throughout the entire CD and the band's talent is very obvious.
For general comparisons, think of Nightwish, Dark Moor, Wildpath and Auspex, but in a way, the band comes off as a blend of Ebony Ark and Dawn of Destiny. Vocally, Annelore Vantomme is similar to Cati Torrealba from Aghonya and Beatriz Albert from Ebony Ark, so she's not of the soprano (or highly operatic) type. I should mention that Annelore isn't extremely high-pitched like Tanja Maul of Dawn of Destiny though, either. Regardless of the comparisons, all you need to know is that Annelore has an amazing voice and her performance on this CD is stellar. Seriously, she's up there with the best of 'em.
The CD starts out with a powerful/orchestral intro "In silence enclosed", which builds things up for a fairly aggressive beginning with track 2 "Entwined" and track 4 "Rage" (track 3 "Void" that separates these songs is strong too). Along with track 7 "Closure" and track 8 "A thousand words", they're the fastest and catchiest. "A thousand words" is definitely my favorite song, as it's got a killer hook in the opening moments and the song is seriously magnificent - at the level of Dawn of Destiny's best songs, which is high praise indeed. I also really like the beautiful piano-oriented slow song "Angelheart", which is the CD's closer.
In the end, we've got a band with a very good debut 'Awakening the dream' and this excellent 2nd CD 'The edge of all I know'. I can easily recommend both CDs to fans of female fronted power metal, though just so it's clear, this CD is slightly better than the debut. Oh, and if you're a fan of any of the mentioned bands, you've simply got to get into this band as soon as possible, as just like for me - they'll be a pleasant surprise.
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