LIVE REVIEWS

 

"One thing's for sure, Scythia aren't shy. The second they took the stage, they were hell bent on putting on a proper show. Couple their motley medieval garb with some bold, galloping folk metal and you've got the complete Scythia package..." 

 

- The Mule, www.diffmusic.blogspot.com

 


  

"While folk metal may not have a very broad appeal, Scythia should be numbered among the leaders of the genre and deserve to be recognized. The band is definitely talented and very capable, and they deliver their unique sound with passion, enthusiasm and a great sense of drama and fun...."

  

- www.hardrockhaven.net

 


 

"A myriad of folk instruments perfectly capture medieval times accented by a veil of 70's progressive rock that temporarily shrouds a sound deeply rooted in metal...Scythia is a group composed of skilled musicians and storytellers. The band marries styles of folk, metal and progressive rock to bring a tasty slice of movie score music that is sure to thrill fans of Elvenking, Tengwar, and Dalriada. With the right mix and the backing of a label, Scythia would quickly climb into the upper echelon of folk metal's best."

  

- CROM Carl, www.metalunderground.com

 


 

 LINEAGE 2016

 

COMING SOON....STAY TUNED!

 


 

 OF CONQUEST 2014

 

 

Here in Alberta, we are landlocked, immune to invading marauders, Kraken induced shipwrecks and many other fantastical misadventures. That doesn’t stop us from imagining them or creating art surrounding such themes. Though some metal fans and bands might take themselves too seriously, many excel at indulging these fanciful voyages. Calgary and Edmonton band Scythia is one such band, a searing amalgamation of Blind Guardian and Ensiferum who channel this epic mindset into grandiose tunes that’ll inspire you to mosh, arm in arm, fists to the sky.

 

Composed of five members, including bandleader, guitarist and vocalist David Khan, bassist and growler Terry Savage, drummer and backing vocalist Celine Derval, keyboardist Jeff Black (also of Edmonton’s excellent Gatekeeper), and guitarist/backing vocalist AJ Bergin, Scythia has carved a unique niche in the Canadian metal landscape. Hot off the release of their third full length, …Of Conquest, the band is enjoying a worldwide interest in their tunes, revelling in the recent move to Alberta and enjoying their upwards trajectory, all while being impressively independent and musically multi-faceted...

 

Read the whole article at beatroute.ca/2014/04/14/scythia

 


 

8/10 – Great

Who is looking for a North American version of Metal blending heavy doses of Turisas, a splash of Wintersun, a smattering of 70s prog rock, sea shanties, a ton of German Power Metal, a hint of Northern European Melo Death (a la COB), and a tongue in cheek attitude?  If you are, then I have the band just for you – Canada’s own Scythia.  This band has been performing their own blend of epic progressive metal with a twist of folklore since 2008.  Their brand new independently released album,…Of Conquest, features rich, poetic storytelling, and an epic tale that captures the imagination of all who are privy to its lyrical melody.

 

Scythia does not mess around getting …Of Conquest off to a rip roaring start with the first four tracks that set the tone and begin this thrilling journey into a grand story of exploration, battle, deceit, and wild eyed adventure.  Oh yeah, it’s some great Heavy Metal as well!  Fanfare 1516 is the stage setter, clearly showing the Turisas influence, particularly with the keyboard passages and gang shouts.  Vocalist Dave Khan, though, takes control with his very likeable voice and apparent passion.  One of the more compelling songs follows in Merchant of Sin, a cool story of a “two faced charlatan” and they keep things rolling along with Bear Claw Tavern, a Heavy Metal ale drinking song.  Scythia throws in some harsh vocals, as well, roughing up the expectations.  Sailor’s Accolade provides the impression of being at sea, from the shanty-type accordion laced melody in the intro to the romping  and rolling remainder.

 

Following a brief respite (relatively speaking) during the intro to Reflection, Scythia ramps it up again with an almost Progressive tune, alternating among time signatures and using different arrangements.  The guitar leads at the beginning or Rise of the Kraken brings images of flailing tentacles, while the track brings the heavy rather nicely with a mid-paced head banger as well as a Hammond organ solo.  Into the Storm starts as a Turisas clone, but quickly morphs into a straight out Power Metal song.  Crank this one for sure.  Land of Scythia features some excellent guitar leads, not that they have been slacking up to this point, but these really caught my ear.

 

Instrumental (mostly) Wrath of the Ancients flows nicely into Army of the Bear, another one of their strong Power Metal tracks.  Reminds me a bit of Soul Temptation era Brainstorm.  The word epic is thrown around a lot in Metal, but I am going to use it to describe the 13+ minute Path Trhough the Labyrinth, from the flutes at the beginning to the harpsichord ending with harsh vocals, big orchestras, melancholy passages, and impressive speed all along the way.  …Of Conquest ends with the track Departure, a fitting conclusion to the whole affair.

 

From Mr. Khan:  “The band is finally finding its ideal sound. This next album we are currently writing feels very natural and forms the perfect marriage of progressive power metal and catchy epic anthems.  That’s why we are putting our strong cards together and getting it done right!”

 

The album was engineered/produced and mixed by the team of Lasse Lammert (Alestorm, Gloryhammer), Shaun Thingvold (SYL, LOG), and Nino Laurenne (Ensiferum, Wintersun, Kiuas), giving the album a great sound throughout.  …Of Conquest is definitely an adventure for not only the ears, but also for the imagination.  Highly recommended to fans of Power Metal and those who would dare to take a trip back to the 16th Century through the music.

 

…Of Conquest: 8/10 – Great

I hear the sound in a METAL way.

Let me know how you hear it – harley_wlm@zoho.com

-Harley


 

Vandala Concepts

4.7 OUT OF 5 DRAGONS...

  


 

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Scythia just keeps getting better and better. Without trying to sound condescending as an industry observer, a radio guy, a web guy (but fan first and foremost) it has been so fun to watch them grow and morph into this monster folk Metal band. The brand new (as of early 2014) studio album is called …OF CONQUEST. If you are familiar with the band you will recognize the similarity in title to the two previous records, both of which we reviewed on this site. The reason is that the band has released the next part in the trilogy. I had the pleasure of chatting with the band after an early gig in Calgary a few years back and they stated with confidence that they were going to create a trilogy with an entire storyline, and they have done it! They have also delivered on their promise to deliver an album with a nautical theme as well. I’m recall being impressed with the vision of the band and despite a number of line-up changes they have prevailed in creating quite the epic adventure!

…OF CONQUEST in my opinion, is the bands best album to date. The song-writing is stronger and the performances are all superb. The album is very dynamic. There are sweeping soaring keyboards, female vocals, acoustic parts, sound-effects, and tons of folk elements. There parts all combine to create a magnificent whole that add to the story. One part I do like about the storyline and the lyrics is that it is not all just high-fantasy; you knows dragons, kings and demons with wings type stuff. The lyrics are far more earthy and realistic, well, except maybe for the Kraken, but giant squids do exist so it is not all that far-fetched. For example of such realism the semi-narration tale end of the track ‘Merchant Of Sin’ tells of Ragnar the Merchant and his travels and need for an accolade. ‘Sailors Accolade’ which appeared on the FOR THE BEAR EP of 2012 is another highlight. The golden age of adventure on the high seas has enough romantic imagery to work with that the band doesn’t need to create a Tolkien-esque wizard-clone or a Platinum dragon with 500 hit points. 

The band tackle their most ambitious cut yet the 12+ minute epic ‘Path Through The Labyrinth. With all the bells and whistles, Scythia fortunately always remember they are a Metal band and the guitar rage, the vocals soar, and the drums drive the whole thing along at the appropriate pace for these dynamic tales of high adventure.

It may be a little early to start predicting end-of-year list placements but …OF CONQUEST is so well written, performed and executed that I’m confident that people, myself included may consider this one of the strongest albums of the year. Let this album set sail in your player and I’ll meet you at Bear Claw Tavern to discuss how good the metallic minstrels of Scythia are.

  


 

4.5 out of 5

Oh Scythia, when melodic metal blends with folk and tends to stray away from non-death metal vocals, it seems to get a bad wrap and often ignored from the massive swarm of vile death metal listeners. However, this time around, the band turns up the musical charm and gives something with incredible replayability and “…Of Conquest” is full of quality metal from beginning to end!

 

Now to say this band is a modern Dio is a big statement, but I am going to stick with it. These guys offer us great music and I love the vocals! The lyrics plant imagery in your head and you are basically listening to short movies. It’s fantastic and I always enjoy myself.

These 4 warriors give us 12 wonderfully LARP filled songs, from being sinful merchants to getting shit faced at a tavern and then going on massive adventures, …Of Conquest gives us a little of everything we could think of. Each song has something memorable about it. Either the lyrical content or the riffing that is going on, each song is enjoyable. Galloping riffs, melodic leads, heroic drumming and vocals that tie it all together so perfect. Scythia really came together flawlessly on this one.

Musically, it’s damn good. I enjoy it all, from the fuzzy rhythm sections, to the screeching highs and rumbling bass lines. Celine Derval is a god damn wizard behind that drum kit and the entire band pays homage to epic metal gods like Blind Guardian, Dio, and Symphony X. Their guitar tone is good, the production levels are perfect as everything is audible. The flutes are not too high and neither are the keys when they are present. What is up with Canada pumping out nothing but great music lately!?!?!

Needless to say, I love this album and it is hard to complain about anything. Adventurous nerds who enjoy this genre of music will not be disappointed and I think this is Scythia’s strongest release yet. Very melodic, very much inspired by folk and a heavily progressive thought process while composing this fine record. “…Of Conquest” will be slaying stereos everywhere!

I adore this album, sometimes a melodic folk band just does not get it right and I was half and half before I started listening to this. After I got about half way through on my first listen I knew this was something special. Now after having jammed it for a month, I can clearly say it holds up and it still retains it’s ambitious charm! This is a must have for you metal heads.

Again, there are very little aggressive vocals done on this album and some death metal knuckleheads may not get into this. Anyone else who already likes this band or people discovering new catchy music that isn’t all breakdowns and blast beats, then this is the album for you. Welcome friends! Grab a mug of your finest ale and sit down and listen to these musical barbarians! You’ll be entirely glad you did! “…Of Conquest” is another great album that kick starts 2014 and blasts down all expectations!

 


 

\m/ 8.5 \m/

 

This is the third album from this Canadian folk metallers, though it is my first time I set sail with them. Now I don't know what's in the water in Vancouver (except for maybe Krakens), but they seem to have been been heavily influenced by something of a more European flavor. From the first time I heard Bear Claw Tavern on the air by a fellow DJ, I knew I had to check these guys out. 

They do not play any subtle games as they come right in and proudly wave their flag with their aquatic flavored folk metal, making this CD fit right at home next to your beer mug and your Alestorm collection! The production and sound are high quality and sound very professional and the musicianship is quite stellar. David Khan's vocals will not get confused with the Dickinsons or the Halfords of the world, but they do fit well with this particular sound. His guitar work is really good, though the guitars are not heavily featured throughout as there is some keyboard heavy moments (which fit well in this style of metal more so than others). 

There is some truly epic metal to be found on this labyrinthine piece of work with such tracks as Rise Of The Kraken and Into The Storm giving you that almost over the top folk attack while at the same time proving a track doesn't need to be ten or fifteen minutes long to get the message across (but they can do the lengthy ones if they choose to ... just check out Path Through The Labyrinth for that). They also do well with the fun folksy drinking songs that are another staple of folkdom such as the aforementioned Bear Claw Tavern. They have pretty much the full package here.

There are some other highlights on the CD (actually the disc is peppered with them to be honest), such as Merchant Of Sin, Land Of Scythia, Reflections, Army Of The Bear and the opener Fanfare 1516, which all have their own charm and strengths. Another plus to this album I want to point out is the sheer variety of music on here as no two songs sound repetitive of one another, so this is a CD you can play repeatedly without it getting boring!

Now grab your tankards and your alehorns, hoist the mainsail as adventure awaits!!

 


 

REVIEW: Scythia Deliver True Prog Metal Majesty

 

 

My latest review for Pittsburgh Music Magazine is from Canada's Scythia, a fascinating mix of power metal mythology and prog metal virtuosity. Surprisingly heavy, but just as epic, this is one of the most interesting progressive metal albums I've heard in quite a while. What a way to kick off 2014.

 

Canada’s Scythia have been pushing their snow-covered cavalry for nearly six years now, touring vigorously across the world and constantly aiming to find their comfort zone in the crowded realm of post-90’s progressive metal. It’s not easy; there are so many subgenres and styles to approach, but with their newest release, the band is finally coming into their own. 2014 is off to one hell of a start, because Scythia’s …Of Conquest is an album loaded from stem to stern with virtuosity, intensity and vision. Barely half a month into the new year and we’re already seeing something we’ll be talking about at year’s end. Scythia are a blistering example of progressive metal done right.

Scythia injects a strong shot of folklore influence into their progressive sound, and while that’s nothing too unusual for the genre, the emphasis on Dio-era power metal mythology is a remarkable shift. In fact, the band’s use of folk/power metal lyricism is a striking inclusion. “Sailor’s Accolade” draws plenty of inspiration from European history with the revving guitars of metal, but the upbeat “pirate” themes of seafaring Celtic songs. Lead vocalist Dave Khan is clearly educated in the work of bombastic metal mavens Iron Maiden, though his belting call does possess a trace of Axl Rose, with equal range, but cleaner delivery. In addition to Khan’s powerful singing, drummer Celine Derval also delivers some truly ascendant vocal performances, such as the amazing opening to “Reflections”, a simmering bit of balladry that erupts into a colossal blitz once Khan re-enters the fray. Even the storytelling “Land of Scythia” emits an aged vibe, one that commemorates a fallen fleet with an acoustic guitar line and Khan’s tremendous vocal chops before bursting into an epic climb. Each song tells a story, one built with exceptionally epic musicianship and, as heard in the stampeding “Army of the Bear”, plenty of charging battlecries.

A major problem spot with many progressive metal bands in this new age is that the progressive tends to usurp the metal. Very few bands are able to deliver something heavy and intense while also bringing something intricate and complex. Scythia dodge that pitfall masterfully; …Of Conquest is a very heavy album. Khan’s excellent guitar solos in songs like “Reflections” and “Into the Storm” are razor-sharp, but toned to pitch perfection, not unlike those heard in Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. Drummer Celine Derval’s drumming patterns are extremely adaptive (a key feature for progressive metal); beats shift very frequently throughout …Of Conquest, but Derval keeps pace without a second of hesitation, while delivering just as much heated rhythm as jazzy virtuosity. The same can be said of bassist Terry Savage, whose varied musical background allows him to keep tabs with both the melodic and rhythmic ends of Scythia’s spectrum. The album is heavy, but not in the sludgy sense of Mastodon or Baroness. Scythia are able to hone the claws of the Dream Theater side of progressive metal; it’s certainly majestic, but it’s also just as furious.

But Scythia’s strong grip on prog metal tradition is never ignored. In fact, it’s some of the strongest heard from the community in years. The dizzying keyboards of Jeff Black in the end of “Rise of the Kraken” take the jazzy jam feel of King Crimson and jack in a healthy dose of purely metal drum beats, courtesy of Derval. They don’t sound as heavy as Khan’s guitar, but their texture is a welcome inclusion, one that cools the impact of Derval and Savage’s slamming rhythms. The intricacy isn’t used as a crutch for pretentiousness either; Scythia stays very sensibly in classic power metal mythology and the ever evolving world of heavier progressive metal like Dream Theater. The 13-minute stampede of “Path Through the Labyrinth” constantly changes tempo and rhythm, and while it doesn’t reach the most epic of heights of prog rock/metal forefathers, it manages to stay interesting throughout, a feat that many other prog metal bands have failed to achieve.

…Of Conquest is an album rich with progressive and heavy metal fundamentals, but even more impressive is how much these fundamentals are tightened up. The compositions are majestic and epic, but amazingly heavy. The furious vocal charges into battles, the steady keyboard serenities, the hardened guitar solos, the massively versatile rhythm section; every single one of these elements fulfills the satiations of any prog metal album, but Scythia always go one step further. Scythia are a band with so much creativity and virtuosity in their bones that they give even the prog veterans from Europe a run for their money. Just a few weeks into 2014 and we already have an album that’s sure to reach some Top 10 lists by year’s end. …Of Conquest is simply spectacular.

 


 

 

www.brokenneckradio.com

Hey fans and friends, it's the Asian Invasion here. 

Today we've got some pretty awesome epic/folklore/progressive thrash metal for you. 

Scythia are from Western Canada and they have been around since 2008. They have been pumping their version of folk like metal for over 5 years now and are achieving quite a modicum of success.  

They have a couple full length efforts and EP's under their belt already but the newest release "Of Conquest" is their most thought provoking and anticipated one to date. 

I had the honor of seeing Scythia play live at Armstrong Metal Fest in 2013 and they blew me away. Their stage presence and overall product really appealed to me and I most assuredly enjoyed the set. One song in particular that I remember the most is 'Bear Claw Tavern.' I've been waiting for the album version for a while now and finally it's a reality. 

The video for the song debuted on the Guitar World Magazine website and it's already amassed almost 100,000 views. 

It's the third track on this album which is a perfect place to supplement all the insanity going on. It's very upbeat and catchy as all hell. I've had it stuck in my head for quite a while now, fortunately gnomes not included.  

Another keeper on this release is 'Into The Storm.' Teemu Mantysaari, the guitarist for Wintersun, has a guest spot on it and it shows. The intensity is spot on and I can't say enough good things about vocalists Dave Khan voice and guitar playing ability. Playing lead guitar and singing is no easy feat simultaneously and he pulls it off without a problem.  

12 tracks in length and each song is just as killer as the last. 'Fanfare 1516' all the way to 'Departure' nothing flounders and it's just a complete album, no downside.  

It releases on January 14, 2014 so make sure to pick yourself up a copy. 

See you.... "At the BEAR CLAW!"

Stay metal!

 


 

7.5/10

There’s a wink and a nod that comes with Scythia’s epic/folk metal trundle. It’s almost as if they’re doing it with a point and laugh directed toward the serious bands of this style, the Ensiferums, Tyrs, and Suidakras, but that’s up to them to decide if there really is a hokey quality to their music; Scythia certainly has it. …Of Conquest is the band’s third full-length in unsigned-band-ville, yet it’s of the utmost sonic quality. The only catch is getting around the comedic aspect that accompanies the album’s 12 cuts. If one can do that (see: Alestorm), then down the hatch, right?

Sonically, there’s all sorts of direct parallels to the above-mentioned trio, and even countrymen Blackguard, yet Scythia are far more interesting and less pretentious. Through the vast portions of keyboard swaths, and melody batches, the vocals of Dave Kahn cut through the most. Kahn, perhaps best described as a Viking-hat wearing Devin Townsend-meets-Ripper Owens, is a bit of an anomaly in this style, only because most bands (save for Tyr) tend to grunt and scrape their vocals against a bed of rocks. Kahn, though, is noticeably discernible and animated, which could be the real catch once the jolly-ho “Bear Claw Tavern” or epically-inclined “Into the Storm” gets moving.

Regardless of one’s vocal preference, the slap-happy nature of Scythia is either a burden or blessing. We’ll vouch for the former, for the influx of familiar, but properly executed epic metal ideas on display here warrant some attention. And like we were saying, if the Alestorm/Swashbuckle crew latches on to these Canucks, they shouldn’t remain an unsigned being for long.

 


 

5.0 Out Of 5.0

Every day I receive dozens of links to promo albums from record companies and PR firms. When I received this one for SCYTHIA I got excited. I love metal bands that delve into the folklore and have the balls to write stories for songs instead of just a song. The band was formed in 2008 and hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. Their name is from the ancient Greeks, who gave the name Scythia (or Great Scythia) to all the lands north-east of Europe and the northern coast of the Black Sea. If I were to describe SCYTHIA’s sound I would have to say power metal with elements of progressive metal and folk metal.

SCYTHIA is not on a label, they released their music themselves and more power to them for doing this. It is their fourth CD not counting the remix of ….Of Exile….Of Conquest is an outstanding piece of genius!

Leading the charge is "Fanfare 1516", a rousing, bombastic metal anthem with over the top dramatic vocals. The thunderous drums of Celine Derval kick off the epic story of the Merchant of Sin. The song covers the gamut of symphonic, folk, black, and power metal. Lead vocalist Dave Khan has a tad bit of the sound of SYSTEM OF A DOWN’s vocalist. It’s not exactly like the way he sings it’s more the tone and accent more than anything else. His strength lies in his ability to get the story across in a passionate and powerful fashion not to mention his lead guitar skills. Derval’s double bass drum work is spectacular and adds power and energy.


The album’s first single/video is for "Bear Claw Tavern", a fun, rousing metal drinking song with lots of folk metal influence and a great sing-a-long chorus! This song will have you singing and raising a mug in celebration of all things metal! Check out the video right HERE. An accordion intro begins "Sailor’s Accolade", another metal gem with a triumphant chorus. The breakdown on this song is a true head banger’s delight. Listening to this song you can just imagine being on a Viking ship headed out to sea. Drummer Derval steps in front of the microphone for the beginning vocal lines of "Reflections". Not only does she possess immense talent behind the kit, the lady can sing very well.

"Rise of the Kraken" is a thrashing whirlwind of majesty and glory about the hunt for the mighty Kraken. Symphonic metal elements permeate in "Into the Storm". Chugging guitar rhythms and harsh vocals add an element of black metal without sacrificing melody. "Land of Scythia" has the band in full traditional folk metal mode. The song is epic in scope with great storytelling lyrics, and great harmony guitar section. "Wrath of the Ancients" has some excellent drum work by Derval and some excellent harmony guitar solos."Army of the Bear" is a ferocious fist-pumping anthem loaded with excellent guitar harmonies and melodic and black metal vocal styles blended together perfectly. The albums lengthiest track, "Path Through The Labyrinth" clocks in at over 12 minutes and has melodic elements of IRON MAIDEN and the thrashy aspect of vintage METALLICA while staying true to their own sound. Khan and Derval trade vocal lines quite effectively, weaving in and out from melodic clean vocals and black metal guttural screams. The band weaves a tapestry of progressive time changes, cinematic orchestral sections, and straight up old school head banging metal. The album closes with "Departure", which has a fusion of straight ahead MAIDEN-esque metal and folk metal melodies and guitar harmonies. The vocals transition from melodic or "clean" vocals and harsh black metal vocals.

I can say that SCYTHIA’s …Of Conquest is a very welcome surprise, an album that is loaded with abundant musicianship, catchy songs, and most importantly, it’s different and awesome to listen to!

Right now the album is awaiting a February 2014 release and the band is planning on hitting the road in North America and beyond soon after. Once …Of Conquest is unleashed on the metal masses, expect to hear this band’s name over and over again. Hail SCYTHIA!

- See more at: http://www.knac.com/article.asp?ArticleID=10713#sthash.Y2H2SHvb.dpuf

 


 

5/5

 

Everyday I receive dozens of links to promo albums from dozens of record companies and PR firms. I read the description of the bands music/genre and based on if the bands sound is in my wheelhouse, I give it a quick listen. When I received the promo for Scythia’s …Of Conquest, I read the short write up and the words “epic progressive metal with combined with folklore” stood out to me and I gave it a listen, and boy am I glad that I did! The band was formed in 2008 and took it’s name from the ancientGreeks, who gave the name Scythia (or Great Scythia) to all the lands north-east of Europe and the northern coast of the Black Sea, unknown to them in that era. If I were to describe Scythia’s sound I would say that it is power metal with elements of progressive metal and folk metal. There is certainly a cheese factor that cannot be denied, much in the same way as Alestorm and Gloryhammer. This is not meant to be an insult, rather it is a compliment for a band that plays some serious heavy metal but never takes itself too seriously.

Leading the charge is Fanfare 1516, a rousing, bombastic metal anthem with over the top dramatic vocals. The thunderous drums of Celine Derval kick off the epic story of the Merchant of Sin. The song covers the gamut of symphonic, folk, black, and power metal. Lead vocalist Dave Khan doesn’t have an amazing vocal range but his strength lies in his ability to get the story across in a passionate and powerful fashion not to mention his lead guitar skills. Derval’s double bass drum work is spectacular and adds power and energy. The albums first single/video is for Bear Claw Tavern, a fun, rousing metal drinking song with lots of folk metal influence and a great sing-a-long chorus! This is the first song I heard from Scythia and I was immediately struck by the humor and the catchiness of the tune. This song will have you singing and raising a mug of mead in celebration of all things metal! An accordion intro begins Sailor’s Accolade, another metal gem with a triumphant chorus. The breakdown on this song is a true headbanger’s delight. Listening to this song you can just imagine being on a Viking ship headed out to sea. Drummer Derval steps in front of the microphone for the beginning vocal lines ofReflections. Not only does she possess immense talent behind the kit, the lady can sing as well!! Khan takes over the vocal reigns to another folky power metal track with a 70’s prog feel to it. Rise of the Kraken is a thrashing whirlwind of majesty and glory about the hunt for the mighty Kraken. If that isn’t metal subject matter I don’t know what is! Symphonic metal elements permeate Into The Storm. Chugging guitar rhythms and harsh vocals add an element of black metal without sacrificing melody.
Land of Scythia has the band in full traditional folk metal mode. The song is epic in scope with great storytelling lyrics, and great harmony guitar section. The best way to describe it would be if Iron Maiden and Blind Guardian had a love child. Wrath of the Ancients has some excellent drum work by Derval and some excellent harmony guitar solos. Army of the Bear is a ferocious fist-pumping anthem loaded with excellent guitar harmonies and melodic and black metal vocal styles blend together perfectly. The albums lengthiest track, Path Through The Labyrinth clocks in at over 12 minutes and has melodic elements of Iron Maiden and the thrashy aspect of vintage Metallica while staying true to their own sound. Khan and Derval trade vocal lines quite effectively, weaving in and out from melodic clean vocals and black metal guttural screams. The band weave a tapestry of progressive time changes, cinematic orchestral sections, and straight up old school headbanging metal. The album closes with Departure, which has a fusion of straight ahead Maiden-esque metal and folk metal melodies and guitar harmonies. Khan transitions from melodic or “clean” vocals and harsh black metal vocals. …Of Conquest is the fourth release from the band hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, however as I am unfamiliar with their previous work, so I can’t speak to any changes in their sound or the recordings. However, I can say that Scythia’s …Of conquest is a very welcome surprise, an album that is loaded with killer musicianship, catchy metal songs, and most importantly, it’s just so damn fun to listen to! Right now the album is awaiting a February 2014 release and the band is planning on hitting the road in North America and beyond soon after. Once …Of Conquest is unleashed on the metal masses, expect to hear a lot more about Scythia!

- See more at: http://www.ladyobscure.com/albums/scythia-of-conquest/#sthash.nMI040XZ.dpuf

 


 

So I got this album sent to me from a Canadian band goes by the name of SCYTHIA. WHO?!? My thoughts exactly. Then I read the bio: they perform their own blend of epic progressive metal with a twist of folklore. Hmmm…now I had to hear what was going on, thanks to that description and badass cover art. Turns out this record “…Of Conquest” is SCYTHIA’S third, and it’s definitely worth looking into, especially if you’re on the prowl for something a little different. This is certainly not conventional Metal by any means, but it surely rocks hard, and is also a lot of fun at times.

 

Opening song “Fanfare 1516” stacks on the riffs with a layer of keyboards and has that ship on the high seas feel to it.“Merchant of Sin” follows that up with some fancy drumming, heavy guitars, and time changes galore. First single and video“Bear Claw Tavern” is definitely a drinking’ anthem that you could see the minstrels playing in Ye Olden times as everyone in the tavern swings his goblet full of ale or mead, howling along drunkenly. This is a fun one for sure!

Drummer Celine Derval shares lead vocal duties with singer / guitarist Dave Khan on “Reflections” which is also one of the more intricate pieces on “…Of Conquest”, as well as a personal favorite. The guitar simply shreds and Jeff Black’s keyboards accentuate them nicely. This all goes in tandem with Derval and bassist Terry Savage forging the rhythm section landscape. Put it all together and you’ve got one of the best tracks on the album alongside “Rise of the Kraken” which is next. These are the kind of songs that I think would thrive in a live setting, so rich is the musical canvas that SCYTHIA paint on. There are all kinds of action happening in “Into the Storm” that it’s almost dizzying. There are even some harsh vocals provided by Savage which are a nice touch.

 

Things take a softer turn with “Land of Scythia” which is hands-down the most medieval-sounding song in the collection. As far as slower stuff goes, it’s pretty good, but not mind-blowing or anything, and with about two minutes left it turns fast and heavy, which is cool. Like I said, it’s an alright song, but just alright. I really enjoyed the sinister feel of “Wrath of the Ancients” and the bombast of “Army of the Bear” which was another favorite from jump. Album closer “Departure” is another song with a pounding rhythm and driving guitar line that’ll have you ready to set sail in no time, as is “Sailor’s Accolade”. Again, I am so curious to see/hear this stuff live now that it’s not even funny.

 

Which brings me to “Path Through the Labyrinth”…a sprawling epic that spans 12 minutes and 52 seconds. This thing is all over the map, going from slow and steady to off to the races and then back again, with not a dull moment in between. I found myself wondering where we were headed next with each tempo change. With songs of this nature you run the risk of boring your audience, especially in 2013, when people have the attention span of a gnat, but that’s not the case here. The band manages to keep it fresh and interesting throughout.

 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this album, and I’m pretty happy that my friends Maria and Natalie turned me onto SCYTHIA. Look for “…Of Conquest” in the very near future, and snag your copy quick as you can.

 


 

 

RATING: 9/10

 

So I got this album sent to me from a Canadian band goes by the name of SCYTHIAWHO?!? My thoughts exactly. Then I read the bio: they perform their own blend of epic progressive metal with a twist of folklore. Hmmm…now I had to hear what was going on, thanks to that description and badass cover art. Turns out this record …Of Conquest is SCYTHIA’S third, and it’s definitely worth looking into, especially if you’re on the prowl for something a little different. This is certainly not conventional metal by any means, but it surely rocks hard, and is also a lot of fun at times.

Opening song “Fanfare 1516” stacks on the riffs with a layer of keyboards and has that ship on the high seas feel to it. “Merchant of Sin” follows that up with some fancy drumming, heavy guitars, and time changes galore. First single and video “Bear Claw Tavern” is DEFINITELY a drinkin’ anthem that you could see the minstrels playing in Ye Olden times as everyone in the tavern swings his goblet full of ale or mead, howling along drunkenly. This is a fun one for sure!

Drummer Celine Derval shares lead vocal duties with singer/guitarist Dave Khan on “Reflections” which is also one of the more intricate pieces on …Of Conquest, as well as a personal favorite. The guitar simply shreds and Jeff Black’s keys accentuate them nicely. This all goes in tandem with Derval and bassist Terry Savage forging the rhythm section landscape. Put it all together and you’ve got one of the best tracks on the album alongside “Rise of the Kraken” which is next. These are the kind of songs that I think would thrive in a live setting, so rich is the musical canvas that SCYTHIA paint on.  There’s all kinds of action happening in “Into the Storm” that it’s almost dizzying. There are even some harsh vocals provided by Savage which are a nice touch.

Things take a softer turn with “Land of Scythia” which is hands-down the most medieval-sounding song in the collection. As far as slower stuff goes, it’s pretty good, but not mind-blowing or anything, and with about two minutes left it turns fast and heavy, which is cool. Like I said, it’s an alright song, but just alright. I really enjoyed the sinister feel of “Wrath of the Ancients” and the bombast of “Army of the Bear” which was another favorite from jump. Album closer “Departure” is another song with a pounding rhythm and driving guitar line that’ll have you ready to set sail in no time, as is “Sailor’s Accolade”. Again, I am so curious to see/hear this stuff live now that it’s not even funny.

Which brings me to “Path Through the Labyrinth”…a sprawling epic that spans 12 minutes and 52 seconds.  This thing is all over the map, going from slow and steady to off to the races and then back again, with not a dull moment in between. I found myself wondering where we were headed next with each tempo change. With songs of this nature you run the risk of boring your audience, especially in 2014, when people have the attention span of a gnat, but that’s not the case here. The band manages to keep it fresh and interesting throughout.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this album, and I’m pretty happy that my friends Maria and Natalie turned me onto SCYTHIA. Look for…Of Conquest in the very near future, and snag your copy quick as you can.

STANDOUT TRACKS: “Reflections”, “Rise of the Kraken”, “Army of the Bear”, “Path Through the Labyrinth”, “Departure”, “Into the Storm”

 


 

.OF EXILE REMIX 2013

.

"Their isn't enough good folk metal in this world. A lot of it just seems to be the product of posers and people who simply don't understand the true path of folk metal mastery. Yet every once in a while I come across a new band who seek to breathe life in the genre. Scythia is one of those bands. Their new record ...Of Exile is a powerful effort with some cool ideas and lots of promising parts. A concept album in the nerdiest form (Telling the story of some medieval warriors on an epic quest) this album is great fun, yet clearly showcases a lot of stunning technical chops.


What really makes these guys stand out for me is the way they seemingly fuse Wintersun and Dream Theater and are not afraid to toss in elements of Blind Guardian for flavor. The end result seems like a natural progression upon the power/folk metal genre. The folk-loric nature of the lyrics adds a lot of flavor to the sound. It gives the music a certain ancient power and keeps things fresh and fun. The introduction to the ultimate track Hobarts Inn is a great example of this, as the warriors complete their quest they realize it's time for a drink. When I heard this I was simply shocked, here is a folk metal band who can capture both the fun loving nature of Alestorm and the more serious compositions of Wintersun, in other words, it's pretty darn awesome.

In short, this is a powerful folk metal release with a fun side to it. While the essence of the album may be rather epic their are still moments of hilarity that poke through the facade of power metal glory. Very well executed and much better than the original mix I would recommend ...Of Exile to any folk or power metaller looking for something fun and new to blast them away. With elegant melodies and sing a long choruses I could see these guys going far, suffice to say, it should be exciting seeing them live next spring on their European tour!"

 

- Two Guys Metal Reviews, www.twoguysmetalreviews.tk

.

FOR THE BEAR 2012

 

"Oh, what a night. I mean, put SCYTHIA into your stereo, turn the volume up and look what happens. All your guests will turn into wild animals going nuts to a whole album full of heavy and highly energetic power folk metal anthems you will not have heard from any band before in such a radical and direct way. You can surely track down the metallic aspects to the classics like IRON MAIDEN, BLIND GUARDIAN and probably some more obscure and mystically sounding acts like BROCAS HELM while the folk side of life here presents knowledge of the ancient music, the real folk music far from drunken Irishmen singing in their local pub about shooting Brits and swallowing whiskey. This is definitely a haunting and spiritual kind of folk music that has been carefully interwoven with the sharp edged and infernally furious true metal sounds. And with all of that going on here you will experience a very entertaining group playing songs with melodies not of this earth. They are not even too dark and gloomy in a mystic sense, they go straight to your blood, set your soul ablaze and fire up your whole spirit. Happy metal in a very natural way, far from the lame bombast of what so many of these cheesy keyboard speed acts from the later 90s and early 2000s have delivered, just similar to what BROCAS HELM have done on their second and third album, just with some woodwinds and violin. Sounds crazy enough to draw your interest and kick your ass? Then go for it, this is utterly brilliant!"

 

 

 


- Sir Lord Doom, Hellion Records

.

.

OF EXILE 2011

 

"Well, those Canadians, a quite unique nation with even one part speaking a whole different language than the others. Well, it is no wonder this country grows bands that play some very outstanding and special music. RUSH for example with their brand of hard rock and progressive rock, VOIVOD who mix thrash metal, punk rock, psychedelic rock, space rock and post punk to something absolutely unique. And now we have the wonderful SCYTHIA who conquer the metal territory from a different vantage point being quite obviously influenced by the ancient folk and medieval music which is quite often exactly the same. But since we talk metal here, these cats are for sure armed with guitars, drums and bass guitar and have a singer who covers all fields of vocals from heroic chants to furious hissing and growling just as the song itself demands it. If you could imagine German cult act BLIND GUARDIAN in their early years having a jam with BROCAS HELM you get a picture of the metal side of this band and then add some woodwinds and a violin, now here we go having the joy of our life. Some synthesized orchestral grandiloquence plus these folk instruments carefully woven into the powerfully whipping metal outbursts give us a perfect music trip to ancient times or even to fantastic landscapes where you will experience elves and hobbits dance hand in hand around the fire on which like an adorned ox grand master Sauron is rotating with an apple in his mouth and a carrot up his aerse. Yummy! But as so often in life there is more behind SCYHIA than meets the eye. Technically this band has an overwhelming level with many delicate structures and details which certainly take their share of listening sessions before showing up in their entire gorgeousness. So you will find new aspects with each spin you give this album in your player and this is definitely enjoyable as it keeps the music fresh and exciting. So grab your copy of this private pressing and be enchanted!"

 

 

 

- Sir Lord Doom, Hellion Records

 

The classic sound and epic subject matter make this one wholly different from any 

 

other Metal album (Of Exile) youíre likely to listen to this year....

 

9/10î 

 

- www.confrontmagazine.com

 

 

 

"The classic sound and epic subject matter make this one wholly different from any other Metal album (Of Exile) you're likely to listen to this year....9/10"

 

 

 

 - www.confrontmagazine.com

 

 

 

"It's like an acid-laden renaissance fair over there. Fantastic instrumentation and some incredible licks......And totally bad-ass, like the chops on those guys are just ridiculous." 

 

 

 

- Matthew Meadows, CXCU FM

 

 

 

"Of Exile...is one of the most varied and most progressive albums in the folk metal genre, and one that will be able to appeal to a broad audience. All there is left for me to say is that I can't understand that this band is still unsigned...81/100"

 

 

 

- Nima, www.lordsofmetal.nl

 

 

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