Scythian: Hubris In Excelsis

Savage UK duo navigate themselves around the classics

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Scythian love to cover their tracks.

While they’re one of the rare British acts to be signed on a US label usually more accustomed to frantic South American fare, the choirs that echo at the beginning of their epic second album intro suggest initially that we’re about to follow Quorthon’s path to Valhalla, only to be buried into a torrent of black/thrash the next minute before returning to those Viking shores with northern winds blowing our hair.

Featuring Craven Idol’s vocalist and having taken their name from an archaic Iranian tribe known for their warcraft, you might expect this duo to dwell in those purposely noisy frontiers between black and death metal, but Scythian’s passion for classic heavy metal, Bathory and the occasional acoustic parts puts their music into sharper relief.

The transition from gritty riffage to lush vocal and classic heavy metal solos may not always be as smooth as the band had hoped, but their epic, cinematic vibe and Hubris In Excelsis’s splendid artwork hint at promises just waiting to fully blossom.