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Released: 2016, Indie
One of Calgary, Alberta’s biggest and best bands (in terms of exposure, tours and international reputation) Scythia are back with album number four. Dropping the trend of naming their albums, ‘of-something’ they have simply chosen LINEAGE.
Making friends and allies across the world, the band went to Finland and recorded at the Sonic Pump studios owned and operated by Nino of Thunderstone, who also makes a guest appearance on the album. It goes without saying the production is excellent in all areas. The CD presentation is a little bit on the budget side; a slim-line digi-pak with no lyrics or booklet this time around but still having very decent artwork.
My immediate impression is that Scythia are a little heavier, perhaps a touch faster and maybe a little more ..serious?...for lack of a better term. Some of the folky-elements take a bit more of a back-seat and we get more straight-up Metal. The classic Metal cuts are a bit shorter but the album is anchored in the middle with a type of epic track called Loremaster Parts I & II running about 14 minutes while the rest of the tunes run a little more streamlined in the 4-5 minute range. In fact the whole album is about 20 minutes shorter than the last album that wrapped up the conceptual storyline. The lyrics are a bit more focused, less about drinking and bears and more about battles, and history.
Musically, LINEAGE is still top-notch in every respect. Fast and heavy with big vocal lines both gruff and clean dominate the album, with huge sing-along choruses with ‘Laugh Of The Tsar’ being a prime example. I would almost suggest the band could eliminate the gruff vocals without any detriment. There are some very nice orchestrated introductions, bridges and interludes that accentuate the fast, heavier parts very nicely. The whole album is quite heavy, there is nothing that can be construed as a ballad and there isn’t really a poor track in the batch.
LINEAGE is a great album for those who feel that the whole folk-element is cool but at times overshadows the Metal. This new direction is welcome, a bit of an evolutionary change. I really enjoy the first albums but I also enjoy this new direction talking a step towards a traditional Power Metal sound and a step back from the folk sounds. Scythia continue to cement their legacy with yet another world-class album.
1. Eternal Oath
2. Laugh of the Tsar
4. Soldier's Lament
5. Loremaster Pt. I
6. Loremaster Pt. II
7. The Sacrifice
Dave Khan Vocals, Guitar
AJ Bergin Guitar
Terry Savage Bass
Celine Derval Drums
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