OCTOBER 2nd 2012
SCYTHIA: FOR THE BEAR
Review by Anka

I have known Scythia for a while now and witnessed their evolution through different lineup changes on the local Vancouver scene. What I liked most is that this band has the guts to actually play folk metal in a country without a real tradition in this genre, and might I add, they do it very well, going beyond the traditional sound of folk metal with their own twist of progressive elements tossed the epic mix, and the contribution of an instrument you won’t usually find in metal – the oboe.
This is not your typical angry, swing-your-axe, kill-anyone folk metal; you’ll enjoy captivating story-telling, energetic but playful and elegant melodies blended into more intense parts.

Their new E.P. ‘For the Bear’ has all these ingredients presented with a sharper, heavier sound. There are new songs plus a few re-recordings of previous material from their debut album. The intention was to capture the songs as they sound live and have them anchored in their current band energy, and I think the approach was worth it. This is Scythia in 2012 with a fun, upbeat album where you won't have time to catch your breath in between the stories, the shouts, the oboe of death trills, the heavy riffing or the vigorous beats.

‘Sailor’s Accolade’ is one of the new songs on the E.P. and makes a great opener – an up tempo epic piece that will surely make you sing along and build some excitement for what’s to come. This entire album flows in a selection of great anthem-like melodies with lots of dance and drink-along potential.

If you are a fantasy nerd and love video game music you will love their “Video Game Medley” – one of my favorites on this album - which incorporates themes of old and new video games like Wizards and Warriors 1, Castlevania, Skyrim and Final Fantasy VI – perfectly brought together in a tight, fast succession. The only ‘problem’ I see with this entire release is that it’s too short.

I would say this band is a different treat for you folk metal lovers and a must-listen.
A few Canadians will be able to catch Scythia on their upcoming Canadian tour during October- November so don't miss them ‘cause you’re in for a great show - go get a touch of folk magic while you’re wearing your shining armor and your drinking horn!