Album: The Solace of Ancient Earth
Release Date: 17th May, 2019
Label: Golden Axe
Review by Sean
Well, what can be said about Pythia that we don’t already know? They’re amazing live, they’re phenomenal on record, and as you can probably guess, they knock it out of the park yet again here.
From start to finish, the album is a perfect example of what symphonic metal should be. For me, no other band comes close, not even the supposed “big hitters” that some would mention. Yes, I
am saying this is better than whatever Nightwish could come up with. Come at me, haters.
The reasons why I say such a “controversial”statement is severalfold, if that’s a real word. Firstly, they sound fresh, and not boring and tired like Nightwish have been for a good while now.
Secondly, and this shows a bit of bias, I’ll admit, to start of the description of their album, they used a line from my favourite book series of all time.
“Go then, there are other worlds than these…” – – Stephen King, The Dark Tower
Then, thirdly, and to actually give some substance to what I’m saying, from start to finish the music on here is absolutely top notch. The guitar work is flawless, the vocals are immense, and
the drumming is fantastic.
I don’t often get a chance to see too many gigs these days, but I’m saying now, I am going to be a the next gig of theirs I get the chance to, because I need to hear this stuff sung live. If you’ve ever
seen them lie before, you know how great they are, and trust me guys, this will top what they’ve done before. If you’ve never seen them live before, then you’re in for an absolute treat.
I could go on for a while about each individual song, but I’ll talk a little about some highlights instead.
‘Spirits of the Trees’ has an excellent chugging guitar riff to start it off, and I do love a good chug riff. But when the song gets flowing, it’s 100% the sort of song you’d show someone if they asked you to describe symphonic metal. Soaring vocals, faint strings in the background, a choir pushing through occasionally, and a chorus that you’ll try to whistle or hum along to, but not be able to reach the same notes that the singer can.
‘Your Dark Reign’ is more my sort of symphonic metal. Darker, heavier, but still keeps that distinct sound to it. It wouldn’t be out of place on ‘Once’, if I’m honest. Vocalist Sophie Dorman shines through here more than anywhere else on the album, for me, her full range on show, and fully faultless.
And the last track I’ll talk about, my favourite, ‘Ghost in the Woods’. That intro, the slower, stuttering verse, the full pelt chorus, the song rises and falls amazingly well, and that recurring guitar riff. It all blends to make a proper belter of a track. If I was making a playlist of one track per album I liked of the year, this would be up there right near the front, to kick things off properly.
So, perfect album? Nah. There’s a couple of things that weren’t ticking all the boxes, but, for me, they’re not as prevalent as the good bits.
This is an album anyone who likes metal should enjoy, so get your ears around it, get it listened to.
8 out of 10
01. An Earthen Lament
02. Spirits of the Trees
03. Ancient Soul
04. Black Wings
05. Your Dark Reign
06. Dawn will Come
07. Hold of Winter
08. Ghost in the Woods
09. Crumble to Dust
10. Soul to the Sea