Scythia is a new six-member band coming from Canada. They were formed in the end of 2008 and they just released their debut album on their own, without any label behind them. Their music belongs to the folk metal genre in general and the group has been very active, supporting many big bands in local gigs, like Eluveitie, Belphegor, Alestorm, etc and they have already scheduled many shows in the coming months.
Folk metal nowadays has a large variety of bands and sub-genres in its ranks, so it’s not enough to describe Scythia’s music alone. I would say that the basis of their music is progressive metal, under a folk prism, mainly due to Marisol’s excellent violins. The 9 songs of this album are very complex and they don’t follow typical structures, so you will not find repeated parts, bridges and refrains. They chose the “hard” way, since they had many ideas and lot of inspiration, enough to create a very variable and interesting work. The strong card of Scythia is the orchestration and the combination of progressive metal riffs with synths and violins in a very melodic folk result. Except for the folk touches, there are also many classical influences both on violins and keys, which are combined very well inside the songs. The rhythm of the songs changes often, as well as the power of them. Except for the more typical progressive metal parts, there are also some long instrumental parts, where progressive guitars and violins are “married” perfectly (my favorite parts from the band), some acoustic parts, some parts with an epic power metal approach and a few extreme outbursts. Vocals are the typical of a progressive power metal band, with the addition of some beautiful female ones and very few brutal screams. In my opinion the band needs some more work in the vocals. Of course the singer has a very correct voice, but he needs a more personal “color” in order to make something more distinctive and recognizable.
Overall “… of War” is a promising debut that I definitely enjoyed and I believe fans of the genre should check them. They are reminiscent to bands like Elvenking, Kamelot, etc. and they need only few improvements to make something great. The production is one of them, especially in the more extreme parts, where the guitars sound a little drowned. Their sound isn’t polished at all. On the contrary it has a “live” feeling and I think it was something intended, since they pay a lot of attention to their live performances. I believe that what Scythia lack for now, is a special characteristic that will separate them from the rest. They are still in the beginning though and actually only a few bands have managed this. Of course we speak for a self-financed and self released debut album, so the result is more than satisfying. Everything else will come with time… The cd is released in digipak and you can visit their official pages to listen to their music and find more info about the band.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos