Folky Thrash

Nov. 19, 2015


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Scythian is a death and thrash metal band from the UK. Hubris in Excelsis is "heavily inspired by apocalyptic science fiction, morbid poetry, and the unlikely mix of Sodom, Bathory, and Angelcorpse" and is their first full length since 2009. If you wanted a union of speed, melody, and ferocity today, look no further.

Folky chants and riffs in the intro to belie the music that is to come. Not unlike Bathory, Scythian continue to meld in these blackened and folk sounds throughout the album, but they are first and foremost a thrash metal band. Clearly birthed from the 80s style, Hubris in Excelsis is full of racing chords, ripping solos and the occasional sexualized grunts.

But they do have a more diverse sound than their contemporaries. "Apocalyptic Vision"'s first half is like an early Dark Tranquillity song with its mid-paced Gothenburg sound and passionate growls. Interesting elements that drop in and out throughout the album brought to mind everything from Nokturnal Mortum and Moonsorrow to In Flames. The sparing, tactical placement of these sounds leads to some solid song leaving.

But for Scythian, all roads seem to lead back Quorthon and Cronos. The drums here run rampant like the approaching of the four horseman. Snares and cymbal strikes are filled with violence. Guitars strain to keep up the pace with constantly shifting variations. This ain't no bay area stuff either. This is the dark realm of Kreator and Venom. Perhaps a bit more death metal than either, but surely bound in blood. The only major departure is the grim prose of "War Graves," which is still backed by a killer build.

By the time the dust settles from the colossal "Dystopia," you will already be ready for a second helping. The album is available on bandcamp in various forms, but the digital will run you $6.66. Check it out today.