Published Aug 19, 2015UK-based death metal troupe Scythian's second full-length, Hubris in Excelsis, follows up their pulverising debut effort …To Those Who Stand Against Us, which gave the world an intro to the depth and variation of Scythian's playing ability. Those who miss the days when death metal meant a band that could seamlessly blend black metal anger, melodic leanings, groove, brutality and even a bit of doom will rejoice — in the vein of greats like Kreator, Death, At the Gates and early Opeth, these guys have made an album that is as varied and textured as it is heavy as hell.
Almost all the songs on this release are stellar, but there are a couple of tracks that hammer the point home: the title track has a distinct Bathory feel to it, from the Nordic-sounding vocal lead-in to the extremely catchy and galloping chorus; "The Laws…" is straightforwardly blasting and brutal; and "Three Stigmas" is an instant thrash classic. The album could probably do without penultimate track "War Graves…," which interrupts the flow of the album with chanted and spoken vocals that mingle with acoustic guitar, but it's a small flaw on an otherwise excellent record.
Death metal works best when it's able to keep its melody and mystery while also maintain a pervasive heaviness. This rare and gorgeous balance is exactly what Scythian have achieved on Hubris in Excelsis. (Hells Headbangers)