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Kadwaladyr biography
Hailing from Pontivy, Brittany, Kadwaladyr was very much a family affair from the start. Brothers Gurvan and Konan Mevel and their sister Bleunwenn formed the group in the early 1990s. From their first two poorly distributed releases, possibly only available on cassette, their sophisticated blend of folk, celtic, world and progressive styles was already apparent.

A break of sorts occurred when the group was signed to the celebrated progressive label Musea in time for a third release The Last Hero. But it was on the subsequent 18'61 that Kad both streamlined their name and their sound. Then, suddenly, they were gone, but only as a collective entity.

Kad's members have been active in a variety of ways, but the two of most interest on progarchives are the involvement of several in TRI YANN as members and guests, and their significant role in the works of the acclaimed SEVEN REIZH, where Bluewenn sings beautifully and several other siblings play. Konan went on to form the short lived BELSHAMA and the more prolific and successful SKILDA, which is more in the vein of techno celtic fusion.

KAD belongs in progarchives for its obscure but worthwhile blend of traditional Breton and progressive rock, with 18,61 being the album to seek out.

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2.75 | 8 ratings
The Last Hero
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 18,61 by KADWALADYR album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.00 | 2 ratings

Kadwaladyr Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Of Kad's 2 well distributed releases, this is generally considered the group's pinnacle. In reality, there isn't much here that hasn't been done as well or better by a host of Breton and other celtic groups, including MOVING HEARTS, SILEAS, and L'ANGE VERT, to name a few widely spaced yet oddly related heavenly bodies. But Kad is a little more progressive due to their use of imaginative rhythms and their penchant for jazzy undercurrents, while their occasional lead guitars verge on heavy rock, albeit with a folk aspect even at their most throbbing.

Like one would expect from Brittany, we are treated to, or subject to, as per your tastes, a plethora of pipes. Not unexpectedly for a French release, we are also exposed to melodrama and a certain overwroughtedness. Sometimes this works, as in the incisive closer "Nous Sommes D'Ailleurs", even if it rehashes the usual if understandable celtic paranoia about cultural instability. But sometimes I hear a bit too much of Christian Descamp's vapid vitriole in "Hent ar sevenadurezh dazont". Still, with instrumentals like "Little Fairy (in Urban Megaliths)" and the lovely female voice of "Tarraing Na Mara", we certainly aren't submerged in self pity.

Even if there are only passing clues to later member-infused works like those of SEVEN REIZH, this finale in the KAD repertoire is worth discovering for fans of Breton folk rock and French prog in general.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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