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This stream is presented as part of our Road To Hell’s Headbash series; one new song from Hells Headbangers Records every Monday until Hells Headbash, this Labor Day weekend in Cleveland, OH.

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Metal bands don’t often choose their names with an eye towards specificity. For every band with a thoughtful name that rings true thematically, musically or otherwise—see Ulver, who derive their name from the Norwegian word for “wolves” and have released records with titles like Lyckantropen Themes—a quick Metal Archives search reveals hundreds with names that could fit just about any heavy act.

London, England’s Scythian adhere to the former category. Their name references an archaic tribe of Iranian nomads known for their violent principles and early mastery of mounted battle; though ostensibly a death metal band, Scythian’s aggressive style recalls the bellicose sound of certain first-wave black metallers.

Scythian’s first LP, 2009’s To Those Who Stand Against Us…, likewise impressed me with expert concoction of breakneck riffs, thrashy grooves and disturbing vocals did at least as much to catch my attention as well as the unity of the band’s name with their music, lyrics and artwork..

Hubris in Excelsis, Scythian’s newest effort, may have a more typically heathenistic name than the band itself, but the album does everything but stick to convention. A heightened emphasis on atmosphere, implementation of acoustic instruments and other innovations set it apart. However, as shown by mosh-ready the title track, Scythian fans need not fret: the warlike spirit echoed in the band’s name is not in short supply here.

Stream “Beyond the Dust” below.

— Danny Evans

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Hubris in Excelsis is available on August 21st via Hells Headbangers.

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