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Cwn Annwn - Blood Of The Djinn

Published April 08 2008

=Staff's pick

The Scion
The Djinn*
The Fury

Genre Metal
Julie Schultz
Tracks 5
Neil James
Runningtime 28 Min.
Harry Rostovtsev
Label Self Released
Mike Strohkirch
Release 11 April 2008
Jake Stone
Country USA
Similar artists Metallica, Sinergy, Benedictum, Iron Maiden

Cwn Annwn (pronounced Coon-uh-NOON, loosely translating as "The Hounds Of Hell" in Welsh mythos) has often heard that they will go nowhere with a band name like that. I for my sake would have to state the opposite since it really sticks out, despite pronunciation difficulties. The St. Paul based band released their critically acclaimed debut album, entitled The Method Of Murder, in 2007 with Neil James handling the vocal duties alone. Shortly hereafter the band announced that ex-Vile Read singer Julie Schultz would take over the vocal spot and Cwn Annwn as we know it today was thereby born.

Cwn Annwn (I'm doing a god job hammering the band name into to your brain, don't I?) has considering they are a fairly new band a lot of interesting elements. Their musical direction is highly varied and can't be described with one word. On tracks like The Scion and The Djinn I can sense influences from Bay Area thrash with their feet firmly based in classic heavy metal. On the other hand we have a track like Recoil which is much more mellow and progressive. Calypso, which together with The Djinn is my big favourite here, shows the more melodic side of the band and is a great composition in all aspects. The individual skill of every single band member is also present during the entire recording. Julie Schultz has a great and expressive voice and even if I have not heard their debut album I am confident they did the right thing in recruiting her. The guitar work is delicious and inspiring but I also have to pinpoint what an excellent bassist Mike Strohkirch is. It was a long time since I heard such expressive and intriguing things going on in the bass department and it's a great thing that the production doesn't drown this instrument which often is the case nowadays.

Cwn Annwn is simply put a great new acquaintance of mine and the big potential of this original band shines through all the way. The record isn't without flaws since some of the melodies fall a bit flat and I believe that they will be a bit tighter as a band in the future. But my hopes for this band are high and from now on this disc will certainly return to my record player on a regular basis.








7 chalices of 10 - Hawk

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