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Pythia - The Solace of Ancient Earth

The Solace of Ancient Earth
by John Paul Romero at 10 June 2019, 4:40 AM

Symphonic Metal is one of the most underrated genres in Metal. But behind this sub-genre lies two female fronted titanic bands, namely EPICA and WITHIN TEMPTATION. Just imagine combining these two bands – get EPICA’s operatic style and combine that with WITHIN TEMPTATION’s nature-inspired “Mother Earth” era style. PYTHIA’s release “The Solace of Ancient Earth” looks to do just that. Comprising of ten songs with a total play time of 54 minutes, the album will take you to a Gothic themed trip back to the ancient plains of planet Earth.

“An Earthly Lament” gives justice to that EPICA-WITHIN TEMPTATION crossover which I have proposed. It has great riffs and strong bass parts, catchy power metal-esque choruses a la WITHIN TEMPTATION, and also possesses that certain operatic atmosphere that EPICA has always been known for. Not only that, the song has an awesome purely power metal fashioned solo. Sophie’s voice is also not too far away to that of Sharon in terms of range, and she displays that forth with the high-soaring track “Spirits of the Trees”. Unlike the first track that has a high-octane pace, this one is done with a very moderate tempo which also emphasizes the emotion behind Sophie’s singing.

Even if the album is undeniably a mixture of Gothic and Symphonic metal, it is so dynamic that it reaches some thrashy levels of aggressiveness in some parts like “Hold of Winter”. The blast beats in the intro is unleashed upon you like a surprise and it can definitely blow you away. Another heavy song is “Ghost in the Woods”, which is very reminiscent of WITHIN TEMPTATION’s “The Heart of Everything” and “The Silent Force” albums. Meanwhile, with the longest song “Soul to the Sea”, they went all-out EPICA mode. It has a considerably slow tempo, and it is the most atmospheric, most emotional and heaviest song in the album.

Aside for heaviness, the album also contains huge power metal influences. The guitar works especially in the solos are largely influenced by STRATOVARIUS, while the keys are very comparable to that of SONATA ARCTICA. It has shared some epic moments with “Ancient Soul”, “Black Wings” and “Hold of Winter”.

This album is a very good culmination of beloved classics in its genre. Although the lack of originality might be a concern, there is definitely a huge talent behind the band. They have an excellent singer, very talented guitarists and they are made of gifted songwriters. In a genre where almost every idea was already written by the pioneers, it is really difficult to further till the soil and create something big and unique – and if that’s what you are looking for, you will not find that in this album. However, if you love listening to the classic sounds but from a different artist in a different era, this album will surely please you.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. An Earthen Lament
2. Spirits of the Trees
3. Ancient Soul
4. Black Wings
5. Your Dark Reign
6. Dawn Will Come
7. Hold of Winter
8. Ghost in the Woods
9. Crumble to Dust
10. Soul to the Sea
Jamie Hunt – Guitars
Marc Dyos – Drums
Ross White – Guitars
Sophie Dorman – Vocals
Ash Porter – Bass
Asmodai – Keyboards
Record Label: Golden Axe Records


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