Pythia - The Solace or Ancient Earth



Golden Axe Records

Released: 17th May 2019


After half a decade, the symphonic power metallers of London, Pythia, have finally released their 4th studio album “The Solace of Ancient Earth”. I was first introduced to this band with their sophomore album “The Serpent’s Curse” around 2013 and really was in awe of the sounds of heavy metal and the strong operatic vocals of singer Emily Alice Ovenden, back when I was really interested in finding new bands to add to my playlist that had a similar style to the Nightwish years with Tarja.


Having been out of the loop with this band, I found out that in 2015, Emily had departed from the band and since then recruited Sophie Dorman, who turns out to be a suitable fit for the band and is capable of doing operatic vocals like Emily, and carries a more rockin' voice as displayed her audition for Pythia which made me excited to look forward to how this album will sound with their new voice.



An Earthen Lament

Spirit of the Trees

Ancient Soul

Black Wings

Your Dark Reign

Dawn Will Come

Hold of Winter

Ghost in the Woods

Crumble to Dust

Soul to the Sea

 The band wastes no time in “An Earthly Lament” as the rhythm guitar lays the foundation for the opening track as the thunderous lead guitar and the clashing cymbals unravels the band’s heaviness. The wirily bass that follows speeds thing up in a funky pace while Dorman, who has a much more accessible voice due to her higher range than the previous frontwoman, strikes those soaring  vocal melodies in the chorus line with beautiful tones of heroism through the barrage of heavy metal drumming. Up next is the single “Spirit of the Trees”, goes mid-tempo to bring in that more fully-polished sounds of the band, beautifully mixed by the mastering god, Jacob Hansen. A fine song of catchy and heavier riffs with fine instrumentals that perfectly compliments the voice, and also engaging as we get that duo of melodic keyboard and electrifying guitars solo. “Ancient Soul” is more technical and pretty straightforward as the main focus was on the speed, with the power elements, it sounds like a DragonForce song. “Black Wings” and “Your Dark Reign” screams Within Temptation to me as these two back to back tracks carries that similar epic flow in a darker sounds that the latter displayed in “The Silent Force” and “The Heart of Everything”, and the vocal performance in this gothic-like atmosphere feels like it carries the listeners up in sorrowful tones in a similar fashion that I feel with Sharon den Adel's, but it does have Pythia’s own heavier style and surging riffs. This could be the nostalgia talking, but whether it was inspired by them, homage, or a coincidence, it was definitely brought memories of good symphonic metal music.

Returning to the mid-tempo pace, here comes the power ballad track “Dawn Will Come”, a solid song with progressive tendencies. The thrashy track “Hold of Winter” blasts in with death-metal drumming in an exhilarating rush as the band amazingly transitions with power metal. Next, “Ghost in the Woods” has a great aggressive pacing that grows into this heroic song with Dorman’s bewitching vocals who does a great job keeping up with the songs tempo without showing any signs of restraints, her great use of lower notes in the following “Crumble to Dust”, where we get those sweet electric licks surrounded in power metal goodness. The album’s closer, “Soul to the Sea” is a 7 minute track that finishes the album with a display of the band’s theatrical capabilities at a slow tempo with the atmosphere and the vocal performance that was the golden piece of this complex puzzle and the instrumental will definitely blow you away.

Overall, this is a pretty much a non-linear album and hearing this, I don’t think I would include the symphonic label, just power metal or heavy metal would be the better term since the symphonic metal nowadays is not what it use to be and seems to be scaring away potential fans due to it’s cheesiness, but regardless, Pythia still managed to bring up great solid music up to the table.


“The Solace of Ancient Earth” gets a nice 9 out of 10 from me.



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By Joshua



Marc Dyos – drums

Ross White – guitars

Marcus Matusiak – keyboards

Sophie Dorman – vocals

Ash Porter – bass

Jamie Hunt - guitars

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