I have been a fan of Scythia since the release of their debut “…Of War” in 2010; there is something about their brand of folk metal that has always appealed to me and I’ve been looking forward to the release of the band’s latest, “…Of Conquest”, for some time.
First off, calling Scythia a folk metal band does them a bit of a disservice. What they have created on “…Of Conquest” is a high energy mix of progressive power metal. Yes there are folk elements throughout the album but it is much more than the sum of its parts - there are lots of musical complexities to grab onto and the addition of keyboardist Jeff Black has even added a symphonic component. I have to mention the guitar work - there are some great leads throughout the album and Dave Khan’s guitar playing is a driving force that pulls all the other elements of “…Of Conquest” together. There is also a guest solo courtesy of Wintersun’s Teemu Mäntysaari on the track “Into the Storm”.
The production on “…Of Conquest” is incredible and all of the instruments sound powerful and distinct. It was produced by Lasse Lammert who has worked with the likes of Alestorm and Halcyon Way and it’s clear that he certainly helped to bring to light the bands stellar performance.
It’s hard to find anything negative to say about Scythia’s latest release but if I had one complaint it would be that I would have liked to hear more of drummer Celine Derval’s vocals. Along with Dave Khan’s lead vocals the rest of the band also lends their vocal talents to the record. This mosaic of vocal styles makes for an engaging experience. Derval’s vocals are used sparingly but to great effect and I wish I could have heard more of them.
“…Of Conquest” is Scythia’s strongest album to date. The band has worked long and hard to develop a sound that is truly their own.