PYTHIA @ The Borderline, London

Spread the metal:

Pythia, Mortad & L Sol Tace

@ The Borderline, London.

Review by Chris Rossiter

Photography by Andre Purvis

On a beautiful summers evening, I made my way down (with brutal hangover intact) to one of my favourite venues, The Borderline in the West End of London, to catch a few bands that I’ve been meaning to catch for a while, and also hang out with some excellent friends, while most importantly, listening to first class music!

I arrive nice and on time, just in time to catch L Sol Tace taking to the stage.

L Sol Tace

Anton Swan is an intimidating presence, not only his stature, but along with his shattering vocals, he forces you to listen to his twisted lyrics. 

Sam on lead guitar, a guy I’ve known personally for years, never looks as home as he does on stage, the same can be said for his counterpart Johnny D’mage while Brian on bass pulling all the stringed part of the songs together. 

James Murphy on the drums smashes his way through the set with masterful ownership of his kit, hard hitting and fast along with technical.  Along the set the 4th song starts of slow, with Antons deep and dark singing before it opens up into a heavier than thou destructive track. 

Insane finger work from Sam, a piece that stands out from the song but it’s immense quality only makes the song hit home with that little more force. 

The song is epic.  So epic in fact that you need to experience it live for it to have the real impact on you, though this goes for the whole of their set.  A soul ripping piece, it pulls you in, feeling your essence being taken from you and to the firey pit. 

The band belong on the main stage at any festival!  When you see a band that just fit, and get the job done, you know your on to a winner. 

That job being damaging your mindset, moving it into darker moods and sicker fantasies. 

L Sol Tace are a must see band for any true metal fan, who will only continue to grow and evolve.  The 5 piece really show that their home on stage and deserve to be on bigger and bigger stages.


The cymbals smashing and the bass drum rubles, they enter the stage with a huge scream from lead vocalist Somi. 

Pulling straight into their opening song, This blackened metal 4, soon to be 5 piece have the metal flowing through their veins.  Somi is a stunning lady with vocals that not only pierce your eardrums and stick in your brain, but also put most male vocalists to shame. 

Her showmanship and charisma mixed with her play acting with the stringed murders, devours us all.  Myth of Purity, a hell breaching scream bellows, the rumbling of the drums and bass, then a sqeual from the guitar, we’re underway in one of the greatest and catchiest songs I’ve heard in recent times. 

Heavy as fuck, then falling into a mellow but dark atmospheric section, this song has it all. 

Somi asks us to raise our horns up, and who wouldn’t oblige. 

Giving the legendary Angela Gossow a run for her money, Somi is one of the leading extreme metal vocalists in the world today.

She asks us who has an album?  I know I have, although I wish I’d got it free with Metal Hammer!  What a top album it is, dynamic and brutal to a T. 

The sullen atmosphere before heaving hitting blackness kicks in.  The deep deep bass rumbles in my chest, Somi’s vocals slay my senses while the fast paced beating of Szymek and Andrew Matthews of Snakebite, (stand in for stringed demon Johnny Hughes) complete the attack. 

Mortad are destined for higher things, although they haven’t been doing too bad of late, supporting the mighty Hatebreed in Germany amongst an array of boasting material.  I’m honoured to have shared a stage with them and look forward to seeing their rise up through the ranks.


A different mood sets over The Borderline on this fine summer eve. 

Taking June 2012 out with a band, Pythia enter the stage all in dress dating back to middle age Britain.  This metal sextet from London ask us to join them in their war. 

Emily Ovenden’s voice is mesmerising and powerful. Her harmonious voice mixed with the uplifting stringed companionship on stage leaves you dazzled with musical beauty in it’s entirety. 

The opening song "Betray my Heart" off of the bands latest stellar release "The Serpents Curse" is exactly what this band is about. 

My heads nodding away while my eyes are fixated on the stage and the glorious performance in front of me.  Along the set and "The Circle" has an epic intro, taking me back to the video which dictates Emily walking up a hill before the music kicks in full. 

The intro builds tension and expectancy until Emilys voice is a few pitches higher than before, her voice bellowing out over the PA.  She hits high notes with ease, notes that hardly anyone can reach.  Her range is immense and beyond what you’d expect from a metal band. 

Bassist Mark Harrington looks like an elf, a perfect visual representation for Pythia. 

Clearly chosen members for many reasons, talent and looks being high on the agenda. 

"Army of The Damned" is a song is akin to Ghost Love Score by Nightwish, with more changes and true epicness. 

Leaving you astound with beauty and lyrical genius, Pythia’s set is nothing short of mind blowing.

"Heartless" off of their latest album "The Serpents Curse" leaves us salivating and beginning to get a stiff neck from the headbanging being done!  

The final song for the night "Cry of our Nation" is another epic masterpiece.  From the moment the song enters into it’s speed, of course via a beauty of an intro, until the final note, you can’t help but stand in admiration for true musician genius. 

I could pay £30 for a Nightwish ticket, or come and see a much better version, UK based, infact London based for a fraction of the price.  

The crowd are dying for an extra taste of Pythia’s magic. 

So after some deliberation, we are lucky enough to get an encore, this time of "No Compromise" off the debut album, 2009’s "Beneath The Veiled Embrace"  I remember seeing an acoustic version from Bloodstock 2009 on the internet,  this is a much better version, although don’t let that take anything away from the acoustic version!  

Pythia finish off in style,  showing mainland Europe that we are the home of mystical metal, with some of the most famous, infamous and greatest times of the middle ages happening right her in Britain.  Pythia have come a far way in 5 short years, but they have so much further to go.

This gig was a showcase of 3 of London’s greatest bands, with great futures in front of them.  

I feel honoured to be part of this incredible night.  

Keep your eyes peeled for the next time these guys pop up with a gig near you.  

Don’t make a mistake, GO SEE THEM!