WORDS: Tim Redman
Underground metal is an odd beast. There are plenty of dark spaces for hidden treasures to hide away. SCYTHIAN is one such treasure. Hailing from London the band already have two excellent albums under their belts, despite rarely playing gigs, and have only recently begun to gain wider notoriety with the recent release of their second Hubris in Excelsis.
The band was founded by the S. Varth, A. Satyrus and J. C. Volgard in 2004 and released a well-received demo in 2007 before following it up with a magnificent first album To Those Who Stand Against Us… two years later. Then followed six years of limited activity from the band with only a handful of gigs and a single song on a split release with Greeks KAWIR. The announcement that the band would release their sophomore album on the well-known underground label Hells Headbangers in late 2015 caused a stir and resurgence of interest in the band.
Both SCYTHIAN records takes the aggression and anger that is a staple of the more extreme thrash scene, executed by bands such as DESASTER and DESTRÖYER 666, and manages to combine it with the more epic sound that fans of Viking-era BATHORY are familiar with. The quality of the musicianship on offer here is spectacular, with every riff a memorable one and the vocals a snarling call to arms. The lyrics perfectly convey the vision the band wants to get across, that crushing your enemy to dust beneath your horses on the open steppe.
Managing both the scale of the tracks in such a way as to make them hold that epic sound without losing any of the raw feeling and aggression is a difficult balancing act and the way SCYTHIAN combine these different styles so well truly sets them apart from other bands in the underground. This is a band that are definitely worth watching because with the quality they have shown so far they’re going places. Places that will be little more than rubble once this horde pass through them.