Ofiussa Terra das Serpentes, 30 October 2021
Gwydion & Banda do Ateneu (Ateneu Vilafranquense, VF Xira)

It is well known the bond between Heavy Metal and Classical Music. Several well known Metal bands, like Metallica, Kiss, Scorpions, Nightwish and more, played quite successful shows with orchestras. On the less Metal mainstream side, for instance I remember Skálmöld, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Tyr. In Portugal there was none until this amazing show.

Gwydion joined forces with the Banda do Ateneu, a philharmonica from a centenary association located in Vila Franca de Xira, 34 km from Lisbon. The philarmonica is composed by more than 40 members and very well conducted by Samuel Pascoal. The venue has 550 seats, excellent sound and lighting capabilities, and was almost sold out for this ambitious project. The mayor and other local authorities were present as well as many non "metalic" persons, attracted for this cultural event. The concert had the name "Ofiussa Terra das Serpentes", a song from the Horn Triskelion album and based on the name given by the ancient Greek to the territory that is now Portugal. The setlist was divided in three parts, the intermediate without orchestra. In several occasions, some members of the Espada Lusitana medieval fighting warriors group added some drama.

What a triumphant entry! Some medieval portuguese warriors appeared on the back and started to go down the stairs towards the stage. In between, the band members. After taking place, the guard left and the band started with Stand Alone (see video link below). And what a chill, the power of Gwydion with the complex power of an orchestra. The audience reacted quite well, including those that probably never have heard Gwydion before. The second song, precisely Ofiussa (and many others), included a female chorus composed by Isabel Cristina (Dogma) and Célia Ramos (Mons Lvnae and others). The first part completed with the songs Triskelion Horde Is Nigh, Strenght Remains, Veteran and King's Last Breath.

The second part was like a normal show without orchestra, but with excellent sound and lighting. The orchestra members, wearing the show black shirt, however, stayed sit there emjoying the show. This part included The Chair Of The Sovereign, Hostile Alliance, Brewed To Taste Like Glory and Cad Goddeu.

The third part started with the orchestra playing a dramatic song while two medieval warriors crossed swords. Gwydion came to stage and started to play the strong song with the band's name (video link below). Next was Trail To A New Land, the hymn Thirteen Days (video link below), Hammer Of The Gods, Fighting To The End and The Bards. But the show hasn't ended yet, there was a surprise reserved: Ofiussa was played again, but with the original singer, Ruben "Ladnah" Almeida. A standing acclaim awarded both the band and orchestra!

I'm so glad to attend this historical show. It must be released on DVD and/or Blue Ray. The setlist was perfectly chosen and the adaptation to orchestra was excellent. Hopefully things are coming back to normal and we all could enjoy great shows and the company of friends!
Thanks a lot to Gwydion for giving me a press pass. I bought the ticket but like that I was free to move and choose the best angles ☺

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   Gwydion + Orchestra - Stand Alone
   Gwydion + Orchestra - Gwydion
   Gwydion + Orchestra - Thirteen Days
   Photo Report

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