Review: Scythian Fate - Matrimony in Madness

Trying to categorise Sydney's Scythia Fate into a neat and tidy genre for the purposes of giving the band a home would do Matrimony in Madness, the band’s debut full-length album, a total disservice. It would also prove to be nigh on the impossible, as this trio incorporates a plethora of musical influences which touch upon various sonic signifiers to create what is ultimately an expansive metal record.

Matrimony in Madness isn’t welcoming by any stretch of the imagination, as its cross-colonisation of genres would suggest. It doesn’t speak upon first listen, and in order to admire the scope of this record, attentiveness is crucial to the listener’s understanding. Beginning with a below one minute intro “Borisov 1812,” Scythian Fate separate those who enjoy metal for its immediacy from those who are willing to sacrifice their time for a slow-burning, but no less satisfying, reward.

Sonically, “Crimson Snow” hauls slabs of atmospheric doom across the razor-sharp thrash metal, and does so without jarring the two dominating genres together. “Lady Macbeth” is the longest piece on the album that really pounds you into sumbission. There is also an interesting contrast at play here between the austere atmosphere created by these suffocating songs when compared to the more straightforward “Balkan Ghosts” and “Vitriol.” The inclusion of these two songs in the overall dynamic sequencing of Matrimony in Madness increases the cinematic value of the album.

“Muted Witness,” which finishes the album, happens to be just as engaging as its preceding pieces: a short encapsulation of each of the ideas explored during the songs that preceded it Each song on Matrimony in Madness moves into the next to establish a sense of completeness.

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