I would venture to say that a lot of North Americans have not before heard the name Mythra. I was among this facet of the population until planning my adventure to Newcastle UK for the fifth annual Brofest Festival. As per my pre-festival ritual, I scouted out many of the unfamiliar band names that were nestled in the roster of the event thanks to YouTube and the internet. Apparently, Mythra was quite the big thing.
A LITTLE MYTHRA HISTORY
Hailed as one of the first NWOBHM bands, Mythra is a mystical entity for which information was scarce for the longest time. Still, there is not a total abundance of back story. The band from South Shields UK self-released Death & Destiny EP in 1979, a record that stayed on the Alternative chart for 12 weeks. The EP was re-pressed a year later by another label and combined sales of both were rumored to have topped 20,000 copies! After that, they basically disappeared in 1981.
1998 saw the issuing of The Death & Destiny LP which included the original four EP tracks and 9 others. The release was compiled without the band’s input or even knowledge, resulting in some tracks with incorrect titles on the CD. Five years later in 2003, The Darkener was released independently in small limited quantities. It was actually a demo, not recorded professionally and probably never meant for release. For Brofest #3 in 2015, Mythra reunited most of the original band to overwhelming response! And as a result, 2015 saw the issuing of compilation Warriors of Time: The Anthology.
MYTHRA AND THE MEISTER
Knowing a little, having purchased Warriors of Time: The Anthology as a part of my pre-Brofest education, Mythra were excellent on stage. I also experienced the extreme pleasure to not only meet with vocalist Vince High but enjoyed an extensive chat. We conversed about many things and Vince genuinely appreciated my accolades and seemed surprised that I had traveled from Canada for this festival.
Now Mythra has prepared the next segment of the mystical legacy in the full-length Still Burning featuring production from Bart Gabriel. Effectively their debut album, Still Burning will be available on April 28 thanks to High Roller Records, but The Meister has an advance stream for this review!
MYTHRA’S STILL BURNING
Things blast off immediately with the veritable thunder of the release’s title track. A rampaging crashing NWOBHM styled delight in the truest sense. Following in short order we find “A Call to All”, another composition featuring all the prerequisites. Even though it’s under 3 minutes, “A Call to All” is a total anthem of traditional metal glory and an identifiable high mark in Still Burning. Track three “That Special Feeling”, is like a personal mantra. Has Vince read my thoughts here? Lyrics such as “…music’s got me once again, that special feeling back again…” are ripped right from my own subconscious. I fully understand the rush of “That Special Feeling” when the music grabs hold of me! This is a daily occurrence in my life, inciting head banging, foot stomping and even spawning across globe adventures. Hey, Vince….Mythra‘s got me this time, see you at Frost and Fire Festival in L.A.!
Mythra‘s Still Burning continues on in the vein started with these first three compositions. Tracks are chock full of raw riffs, thundering beats, catchy verses, vocal melodies, grooving solos and deep setting hooks. Some clear standouts from the 11 choices are the piss and vinegar snarl of “Survival”, the build and charge of “Silence the Sirens” and the brow-beating closer of “Fundamental Extreme”. And let’s not forget the aforementioned “Call to All”, “Still Burning” and “That Special Feeling”. Hell, the whole damn thing is a highlight! If you’re a NWOBHM fan then you’d do well to check out Mythra and Still Burning.