ANWYNN - Forbidden Songs

Anwynn - Forbidden Songs

11 songs
42:37 minutes
***** **
M & O


Not to be confused with the identically names French black metal band, this Anwynn is a symphonic metal band from around Brussels in Belgium. The septet is made up of five men and two women, and apart from male and female vocals, we get two guitarists, a bassist, a keyboard player and a drummer. The band was founded in 2007 and self-released two demos in 2009 and 2011. Forbidden Songs is their first longplayer.

Anwynn certainly didn’t set out to reinvent the genre. They are deliberately using tried and tested recipes, like for instance the typical beauty-and-the-beast vocals. The male growls do have a lot of power, but the female singing feels a little strained at times. Apart from this flaw, I have to concede that the songwriting is really quite neat. At times the songs are sounding very symphonic, then again there is also more dramatic and even dark material. The band smuggled even a ballad, Lost In Avalon, onto the album, but I would have rather heard such a track on a Blackmore’s Night album, as it doesn’t really fit into the Belgians’ overall sound. No Victory is another quieter track, but this time the atmosphere is gloomier, with a dragging pace, and definitely brewing up more tension than the aforementioned insipid ballad. Most tracks benefit from their many twists and turns, which are often good for a surprise or two. Glorious Highlander for instance is not even four minutes long but contains more ideas than other, lesser artists’ entire albums. Especially the blast attacks towards the end took me entirely unpredictably.

Forbidden Songs is not so bad that the songs should actually be forbidden. Instrumentation and structure are both excellent, only the female vocal parts may polarise the audience. There are also moments where Amandine does a good job, but all in all I wish she acted more discreetly. If that were to happen, next time we could be looking forward to an even better album.

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