Pythia: Shadows Of A Broken Past

UK symphonic metallers conquer their demons

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Regathering their composure following a period of internal problems, Pythia’s third album is here.

Fans will know what to expect of the Londoners, still fronted by co-founder Emily Ovenden, but there’s no denying that Pythia do what they do incredibly well.

Emily’s spectacular voice remains the focal point of a style that fuses symphonic and gothic elements, transporting us to a fantasy-driven wonderland that yields muscle, romance and commercial appeal. Is that really Brian Blessed introducing Sword Of Destiny with a rousing speech to “most valiant knights”, reminding them of the courage of their forefathers? As the guitars of Ross White and Oz Wright chime out in galloping yet melodious response, echoed by the pulsating keys of Marcus Matusiak, Pythia teach a few of their rivals how to tell a decent yarn. They also deserve respect for the fact that Shadows… contrasts longer, more demanding pieces such as the yearning Your Eternity with heavier, more immediate moments like War Games and The Key.