Blending aspects of melodic death metal, nu-metal, industrial, and metalcore into 32 minutes of charismatic metal, Gwendydd have produced an enjoyable album in Censored.
The songs are nicely heavy and built around meaty riffs and classic structures. Theirs is an old-school sound of sorts, (although not completely, as the band also have some modern influences), and mostly wouldn’t have been out of place in the late 90s and early 00s. Think of a mix of bands such as Chimaira, Arch Enemy, Sepultura, Strapping Young Lad, and Devildriver, and you’ll be on the right lines. Having said that though, the band do throw in a few unexpected moments, such as the power metal in One Step More or the mix of electronics and sitar in We Are the New Order.
The songwriting emphasises short songs that do their damage and get out before they become tiresome. The band’s melodic death metal influences lend them speed and aggression, while the metalcore ones give them thick, chunky grooves and thunderous breakdowns. Nu-metal elements can be heard in some of 90s-style riff choices and creative ideas, and musical aesthetics. Touches of industrial can be heard too, as well as some more modern metalcore, djent, and technical metal flourishes. Overall it lends Censored a character that’s easy to like and even easier to listen to, especially as Gwendydd put their stamp all over their influences quite firmly.
The vocalist has a fearsome roar that she uses well. Her performance is passionate and fiery, and her rough bark is well-delivered. Occasionally she breaks into clean singing, displaying an angelic voice that’s very good indeed. There’s also male clean singing in One Step More, performing a duet with Gwendydd’s singer, and revealing a different, power metal-ish side to the band’s personality.
I enjoyed Censored a great deal. It’s an album that’s clearly been put together by a band that love their source material. They use their influences well across the brief album to unleash nine songs, (plus the usual pointless intro), that hit hard and leave a mark.
Very highly recommended.