Monday, October 6, 2008

Mythra - The Death and Destiny (EP) (224)

line-up :

Vince High - vocals
Maurice "Mo" Bates - rhythm guitars
Alex Perry - lead guitars
Pete Melson - bass
Barry Hopper - drums (ex-Hellanbach)

Review :

In '80, tens of bands, mostly from England, took their first wobbly, ambiguous baby steps into a part of the hard rock woods that was mostly undiscovered. It groaned with wicked-looking trees, teemed with predatory animal sounds, but with the courage of true explorers they plunged deeper. And leading the caravan...first band to leap to mind - Maiden, right? Okay, beside Sabbath (with Heaven and Hell). Judas Priest? Stuck in the quagmire that is the mid/late-seventies, though marshlighting it nicely into the next decade. Of course, these are all big names, Magellans and Cortezes. What about your little pub-filler bands? As leaders? Nah, we'd have heard of them if they were that important. Well yeah, you have, Saxon probably being the biggest, then Samson and Accept (German, but got their boots muddy) to a lesser affair, and there are tons of articles on the blessed event of NWOBHM that have beknighted all of these names eight ways til doomsday. So then, you say, there you have it. Then a deadpan voice coming from the far edge of the calvacade yells, "yeah, and Mythra"! Confused murmurs ripple silence until an annoyed "oh will you shut up, Harvey" dissolves the threat of uncertainty, and Harvey never gets his due credit.

And what of this near-extinct five-piece and why do they need a shoehorn to get a bit of room in these discussions? One ep when it mattered, that's why. Often cited as a 'holy grail' to the movement, a lot of people think the ep's collectibility (that is slowly waning for some reason) has supplied this honor. More over, two of these four tracks possess many of the benchmarks of the soon-overflowing British style without even seeing the initial snow drift of 1980, but unlike all the bands listed above that share that gift of chronology, they remain(ed) cruelly anonymous despite apparently selling a startling 15,000 copies in less than a month. Destiny?

The title cut, a fairly simple rocker thinned by Vince High's puerile, teenagery vocal tone that impresses Loverboy fans, won't give you what you're looking for, but "Killer" will. Fleet-fingered, confident, and feverish, riffs agile as anything Maiden launch the track into a style-wide glory that in time will become long-lived and 'old school'. "Overlord" rules somewhere between the two a-sides, still fairly fast and energetic, yet incomplex in a, dare I say, punk sorta way, but still not really confusable with hard rock. By the somewhat flat and unmoving "U.F.O.", it may be said High's high-end, adolescent vocals stunt the band's soundwaves, but honestly their flow as a whole is much more dynamic when barrelling along, Vince or no.

2 for 4 may be a hell of a day in baseball, but for an ep it's a bit wasteful (but since the original non-Street Beat reissue, non-picture sleeve Guardian release was being sold for 1 GBP, it's not worth complaining). Mythra didn't stride up to music's unsettled boondocks and stop at the line thinking 'boy, if only our mothers could see us now'. They sailed right past it running, then fell into a pit for about nineteen years. Destiny?

1.Paradise03:08[view lyrics]
2.England03:01[view lyrics]
3.Warrior of Time03:22[view lyrics]
4.Vicious Bastard03:22[view lyrics]
5.Heaven Lies Above02:42[view lyrics]
6.At Least They Tried02:27[view lyrics]
7.The Death of a Loved One04:46[view lyrics]
8.The Age of Machine05:24[view lyrics]
9.Death and Destiny03:52[view lyrics]
10.Killer03:17[view lyrics]
11.Overload02:03[view lyrics]
12.U.F.O.03:13[view lyrics]
13.Blue Acid03:15
Total playing time40:37

Download Link

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