SCYTHE OF ORION - review added 6th June 2012
Album Review: Sun-Dial (2012)
For fans of: Prog Rock
Finnish band Scythe Of Orion featured on these pages back in 2009 with their "X-Lives" EP. It was an odd beast, boasting progressive metal mixed with folk rock, all overlaid by impossibly interesting/insane (delete as appropriate) female vocals. New release "Sun-Dial" offers more of the same, which is either a good or bad thing depending on your opinion of that EP.
This band's sound really is unlike anything I've heard. The folksy prog combo of thumping drums, guitars and violin mostly work well. At the very least they give the album depth and, combined with layered keyboards, there are several facets of sound to focus on at any given moment.
Just as with the EP, the big point of debate on "Sun-Dial" will be the vocals. Singer Anu Kaunisto sounds like Deborah Harry mixed with Kirsty MacColl, Edith Piaf and a fairly tuneful foghorn. When she gets it right she's amazing. When she doesn't she isn't at all great, but there's still something there that makes it hard to stop listening. I think she's like a cheap cult horror movie; the flashes of genius and moments of abject terror conspire to create something way beyond the sum of its parts.
Of the songs, 'Power Invested In Money' is my favourite, but 'Listen My Friend' isn't far behind.
Equal parts genius and nightmare, this album will probably frighten a lot more people than it delights. However, there is something indescribable that makes it worth checking out.
Overall (Not An Average Of The Above):
02. Ice Soldiers
03. Perfect Silence
04. Catch My Dreams
05. From The Beyond
06. Power Invested In Money
07. The Town
08. Listen My Friend
09. Now And Forever
10. The Storm
11. The Day Of Scythe Of Orion