This upcoming week, on Sept. 25, the folk metal quartet Scythia will release an EP entitled “For The Bear” – the third release in less than two years from the Vancouverites. “For The Bear” contains a good mix of solid new folk metal tracks and remixed tunes from Scythia’s two full-length albums “…Of War” and “…Of Exile.”
Review of the new Scythia tracks
Of the four new Scythia tracks that you find on “For The Bear,” this Metal Music Examiner would only characterize two of them – “Sailor’s Accolade” and “Mattawa Reel” – as truly new Scythia tunes. As usual, Scythia’s new pieces combine interesting folk tales with extremely cool and highly engaging folk metal.
For the very first time Scythia is venturing out to sea, on “Sailor’s Accolade.” Like the explorers in the song, Scythia seems to be looking for new territory – writing tales about the life on the seven seas in days long past. This works really well for the band, and a personal hope is that this is merely a prelude to another full-length album from the band. Scythia, how about calling it “… Of The Sea”?
On the previous Scythia albums, you’ll find some great mood-setting instrumental tracks, and fans will not be cheated for just such a track on “For The Bear.” In contrast to the previous instrumental Scythia tracks, the drums and heavily distorted guitar is in the forefront on “Mattawa Reel.” This outlines the main difference between “For The Bear” and Scythia’s previous work. All the way through, from track one through seven, “For The Bear” is more up tempo than the band’s full-length albums. You are almost tempted to think that Scythia produced this 26-27 minute EP to make an work-out compilation for fantasy nerds, folk tale enthusiasts and gamers. “For The Bear” is the perfect energizer for a 5K run – and this Metal Music Examiner knows so from experience.
The second instrumental track on “For The Bear” is a medley of video game melodies, and fittingly titled “Video Game Medley.” Although this might sound a little lame – haven’t so many others been there and done that – this track is pretty darn tight. Moreover, Scythia manages to pull this together and still maintain their unique folk metal sound.
Finally, the fourth newish tune on the album is the title track “For The Bear.” “For The Bear” is basically a shortened and more intense version of “For The King” from the album “…Of Exile.” However, while “For The King” had a whiff melancholy over it, “For The Bear” can better be characterized as a great and cheery drinking song. Example: The lyrics have been changed from “For the King we ride tonight. For the King we fight. For the King we will die tonight, and we are not afraid” to “For the bear we ride tonight. For the bear drink tonight. For the bear we dance tonight, and dance the night away.”
In conclusion, “For The Bear” is a great folk metal treat – especially for existing Scythia. However, if you haven’t ever heard of Scythia before, you are most likely better served checking out one of the band’s previous full-length albums, which will have you fully appreciate Scythia’s great ability to put together a cohesive and extremely engaging folk metal album.
To learn more about Scythia, visit the band on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scythiametal
Moreover, visit Toronto Metal Music’s Free Stuff section to find a handful of free Scythia tracks – including “Sailor’s Accolade” off “For The Bear”: http://www.torontometalmusic.com/free-stuff/