As a fan of Symphonic Metal, I have come across the name PYTHIA several times. It’s a band I am familiar with, I have caught them live with their previous line-up. Their latest album The Solace Of Ancient Earth provided the perfect opportunity to start listening to them again. It’s been four years since the release of their last album Shadows Of A Broken Past and given the strong content on The Solace Of Ancient Earth, it’s easy to see why it has been an anticipated release.
For those who don’t know PYTHIA, they are a Symphonic Metal act from the UK and they formed in 2007. Since their debut live show supporting Tarja, their fan base has grown significantly and continues to do so. The Solace Of Ancient Earth will ensure fans stay in Camp PYTHIA and will draw in new listeners.
From the opening track An Earthen Lament you can already hear the strength within the enchanting melody. Throughout the album, PYTHIA take you on a journey of soaring melodies with grand symphonic keyboards, flawless soprano vocals and that much needed escapism that’s needed in today’s fast paced world.
This is the first album with new vocalist Sophie Dorman who has taken over from long time vocalist Emily Ovenden. When this happens, the pressure is high to live up to the previous singer. Given that Sophie’s impeccable vocal work was one the first things I noticed when I started to listen to the album, it’s more than safe to say she is a great fit to the band.
The album contains a beautiful portfolio of stunning and passionate melodies that provide an escape from whatever stressful reality you are living in. Below are just some of the examples of what this brilliant album has to offer.
Ancient Soul was the song I included on my own blog’s Spotify playlist. The reason? I felt this track was a great example of what PYTHIA offer up as a band. The song has a stunning melody that consists of angelic vocal work, soaring symphonic keyboards and great guitar work. The mix of tempos in the track work very well too. The faster arrangements suit the verses well and soaring beats suit the chorus nicely.
Dawn Will Come starts off strong. The swaying rhythms and smooth guitar solo get the track off to a great start. It also shows the versatility of Sophie’s vocal range. She can hit the low notes as well as those high notes. Both of these work for the dynamics in the song. The hint of bagpipes is also a brilliant touch.
Soul To The Sea ends the album on a truly mesmerising note. The beginning of the track reminds me of DELAIN and EVERGREY, the melody on the keyboard and the guitar riff echoing are the elements that remind me of these bands. The chorus of this song has got to be a new favourite of mine, it’s very hypnotic and reminds me of the sirens drawing the sailors to their deaths.
The album is a wonderful work of art. This is a Symphonic Metal gem; one that should be treasured and valued for a long time. Not to mention it requires extra care and attention. Highly recommended for fans of NIGHTWISH, DELAIN and EVERGREY.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
The Solace Of Ancient Earth is out now via Golden Axe Records.