Pythia’s 2009 debut ‘Beneath The Veiled Embrace’ certainly created musical ripples upon the sea of Female Fronted Metal and heralded a hard touring ethic which saw the band headline the Sophie Stage at Derby’s Bloodstock Festival and grab a slot at the prestigious Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium.
The big test for a band however is the all important follow up album, get it right and your loved by all, get it wrong and it can so often be the coffin nail in a bands career. Well fear not, for Pythia have produced one of the most exciting albums of the genre that I’ve heard for many years, not only is it harder and heavier than it’s predecessor , it combines melody and symphonic elements interwoven with Emily Alice Ovenden’s Operatic yet hauntingly emotion charged vocals to perfection.
Opening track ‘Cry Of Our Nation’ in places evoked memories of Nightwish circa ‘Oceanborn/Wishmaster’ with its high tempo keyboards and hard and fast guitar riffs. Where as elsewhere on the album certain comparisons with Epica might not be too far off the mark.
The band however certainly don’t copy anyone, this offering is as original and passionate as it gets, ‘My Perfect Enemy’ being a prime example with its dark malevolent lyrics which showcases the bands love of all things Gothic.
Pythia do throw in some ‘radio friendly’ moments though, ‘Betray My Heart’ chosen as the albums first single has an amazingly catchy chorus along the lines of Nightwish’s ‘I Wish I Had An Angel’ and should do well in gathering new fans into the fold.
It will be interesting to see where the band go next as this album could be seen as a musical crossroads, whether to stay on the harder and heavier path that they’ve carved or turn onto a more ‘pop rock’ side street as Within Temptation seem to have done recently. Personally I sincerely hope they carry on the former rather than the latter , as based on ‘The Serpent’s Curse’ they could quite easily rise to the top and dominate the Female Fronted Metal scene for a long time to come.
Released via Golden Axe/Universal on February 28th this album is an absolute must. 10/10.
1. Cry Of Our Nation.
2. Betray My Heart.
3. Kissing The Knife.
4. Just A Lie.
5. Dark Star.
6. Long Live The King.
7. The Circle.
8. My Perfect Enemy.
10. Our Forgotten Land.