Review: Iselder “Fe Godwn Ni Eto” [Marwolaeth Records]

Review: Iselder “Fe Godwn Ni Eto” [Marwolaeth Records]

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Iselder is a band that has been around for a fair amount of years. However, this is a band that is fairly new to me. With his last album release ‘Welsh Nationalist Black Metal’; this album drew some unnecessary controversy towards it, during its promotional run. There is a vast difference between “Nationalism”, and “National Socialism”. So many people see the word “Nationalist” and I’m sorry, but not really… but, it’s really not hard to educate yourself on the differences between the two terms. As the sole band member Gofid has stated, and I will re-address this here, in my review… and, I am quoting his exact wording on this issue… “Being Welsh means belonging, feeling that we belong – whatever our language, colour or religion.” This is by no means a racist statement; and it should not even be remotely regarded as such. For the band to be blacklisted on a certain site, as well as to also be called a “black metal infiltrator and traitor to the scene”… there really is no excuse for this type of behavior. Some people just can’t be helped, I suppose. It really is a shame that there are a few people out there that absolutely insist on actually believing all this ridiculous nonsense. At the end of the day though, it should be about the music, not any of all this untrue bullshit. Education is key with this instance; so it would be a very good idea to remember this. This, I feel, is something that warrants addressing before I even start with writing my review. So, with that out of the way…

“March of the White Eagles” is a very simplistic accordion tune (which comes from an album called “Marching Songs of the Free Wales Army”, and the Free Wales Army is where the motto ‘Fe Godwn Ni Eto’ comes from), that sets the tone for the duration of the album. In less than a minute, it easily leads into…

“Fe Godwn Ni Eto”, which means ‘We Will Rise Again’ (and was the motto of Welsh (extremist) group the Free Wales Army). This is quite a heavy, and intense track! Immense passion can be felt all throughout. I really love a gravely-style black metal voice. To me, it always seems to add just a bit more passion to the vocals. A more sense of severity to the lyrics. And Gofid, he incorporates this into his music so very well. The riffs, while quite droning, have somewhat of a gritty sound; as well as holding an intensified, immense amount of atmosphere. More towards the middle of the track however, the pace changes to more of a doom-style essence. Augmented chants of “Fe Godwn Ni Eto” echo all throughout! Truly, a very powerful song.

The style of 90s thrash metal hits “Merthyr Rising” pretty damn hard. This is my second favorite track off the album. Excessively fast-paced as all hell! Absolutely relentless, nonstop. Razor-sharp guitar riffs pulverize throughout the whole entire song! Drums hold a steady pace until maybe about halfway through, over the song. Then, it breaks down, going just a bit slower; truly embracing that heavy thrash element. Goddamn this song, I absolutely love it so much! Gofid‘s vocals are just as intense on this track, as well. Merthyr is a town in Wales where a riot took place in the late 1800s. This is one that gets repeated an awful lot!

In following, “Dragonsblood” maintains that same ‘thrash-style element’… which then leads into “Annibyniaeth”, which means ‘independence in Welsh’. This track is quite catchy, excessively so… zoning in on the droning riffs that hold such a substantial melody within. This is another favorite, as well that does get repeated quite heavily… before we get to the very end… in to which my favorite songs lies therein…

This song… “Aberfan” is my absolute, most favorite Iselder song that Gofid has ever done! Goddamn it, the passion is so fucking strong, coupled with such mesmerizing, intense atmosphere… well, not going to lie, this one does make me tear up some… that haunting atmosphere just… the way… Gofid‘s passion on this one… Goddamn it, I just fucking love it. Absolute, pristine perfect this song is. It is very slow-paced, and very beautiful… so moving. With Gofid using such strength and conviction in his voice, this is an extremely, and very intensified song! As lovely as all the music is on this one track, it’s his vocals that practically devastate me emotionally. His voice is such a treasure, really.
Aberfan is a small village in the south of Wales where a coal tip caused a landslide and subdued a primary school, killing 130+ people.

As with Iselder‘s last album release, Fe Godwn Ni Eto is just as epically wonderful. Actual stories behind most of the songs, gives way to such powerful emotions felt while listening. You can tell, by how the album unfolds itself as you’re listening, just what all this means to Gofid, and why he is so passionate about all of the subject matter at hand. Truly, this is a very unique black metal listening experience; and I very highly recommend that you give it a listen. An absolute, brilliant album of pure perfection, from beginning to end. And, as I listen to both of his most recently released albums… it only makes me look even MORE forward to what is next in store for Iselder.

Release date: July 1st, 2021

https://www.facebook.com/Iselder

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About the author

I play (Alliance-side) on World of Warcraft. Love my cat Amatue. Love spiders and scorpions. Collect cassettes and vintage cassette players. Favorite bands: Totale Vernichtung/Vicarivs Filii Dei/Hermóðr / Favorite genres: Black Metal/Dark Ambient. Support the underground!!

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