Next review: » Scythia - ...of Exile (Reissue)
Released: 2011, Indie
In just a couple of years these Western Canadian folk/Power Metallions have made quite a name for themselves. A pair of high quality releases some heavy gigging and a good attitude have Scythia surging towards the top of the heap.
…OF EXILE is the sophomore record and it’s a nice package. It comes housed in a nice looking digipak, good layout and design. There is a remarkable similarity on the inside sleeve of this album and the front cover of Vexillium’s THE WANDERING NOTES album. However, I doubt Scythia saw the Vexillium album cover before, both are new albums by pretty underground bands and the two are separated half-way around the world; Vancouver, Canada vs. Pisa, Italy…. Let’s call it a coincidence. Still, it looks great and it shows a band cares to take time on presentation.
The 10 track, 50 minute album is part Two in a trilogy, and is the follow-up to the 2010 debut …OF WAR. Rumour has it Part three will round out the trilogy with a bit of a nautical theme. The production on this is really good. There are many sound effects that really add character and flavour to the album. The first couple times I spun this was on the ol’ iPod and then in the car, but on the stereo at home I could really hear the extras on cuts like the instrumental ‘Sleeping Village’ with horses, church bells and more.
Epic is a pretty overused phrase to describe songs these days. It seems every ‘big’ or over 7 minutes is called ‘epic’. Well, in this case …Of EXILE…is epic! In the truest definition of the term, specifically (According to Dictionary.com) "noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style". Yes, it is a concept album and to fully appreciate the story I’d recommend you read the lyrics while enjoying the music.
Scythia fall perfectly into the Power/Folk realm and they do it well. One of the highlights for people is the inclusion of an Oboe into the bands sound. The compositions are interesting, great gang vocals, just the right amount of speed and melody. There are the heavier cuts like, ‘Spirit Of The Quest’ and ‘Voice Of The Sword’ a few mellower bridge pieces and a fun drinking song (with amusing intro narration) to round out the album called ‘Hobarth’s Inn’. The narration is excellent it helps the story and adds atmosphere.
…OF EXILE is another solid entry in a busy and crowded sub-genre, with enough quality and character that makes it harder and harder for me to pick my Canadian album of the year.
2. Spirit of the Quest
3. Sleeping Village
4. Forgotten Forest
5. Fallen King
6. Voice of the Sword
7. For The King
9. Dies Irae II
10. Hobarth's Inn
Dave Khan Vocals, Lead Guitar
Nik Golar Guitars, Bass,Vocals
Scott F. Thompson Keyboards
Morgan Zentner Oboe
Celine Derval Drums, Vocals
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