Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Mythra is by all accounts considered a minor NWOBHM act. For all intensive purposes the band never achieved much success and there is not too much of a catalog from which you can pull from. And yet this NWOBHM band (who were formed in South Shields, UK around 1975 by a few school mates) had far reaching influence. They were name-checked by Lars Ulrich though for a reason. When Lars was doing his best to hype the NWOBHM scene for all who would listen it must have been interesting to put on "Death and Destiny" side by side with "Kill 'Em All". Those early works of supposed metal magic reek of Mythra. As I listened to the "Death and Destiny" LP over the past few days (in anticipation of this review) I was amazed by how much Metallica owed to this band. The fact is this South Shields band was the best of what British heavy metal had to offer. Yes, Mythra themselves borrowed from Black Sabbath and Motorhead. The band was one of those groups that should have made better for themselves though because the sound here is varied and quite exceptional. After releasing the excellent "Death & Destiny" EP the first time around (1979 to be exact and yes, for 1979 this is some fast, heavy and crazy shit let me tell you!) that should have been enough to knock these guys up the ladder to success. Why it didn't happen is a real cluster f**k all in all. The EP feature such killer works of Britsh steel as "Death and Destiny" (nice), "Killer" (which does sound a bit like "Breadfan" by Budgie", "Overlord" and "U.F.O." (which both should be of great interest to Diamond Head fans and Holocaust Fans). Sadly it didn't happen for the group. Instead of going too far into the how and why of it all I am instead going to suggest you just go pick up a copy of the 1998 re-release of this EP. Also called "Death and Destiny" it is a collection of all of the music they recorded in their way too short career. You get the EP, a single and various demo cuts. It is 13 tracks of epic NWOBHM that has been remastered and given a new life. Other then the fact that the song titles are wrong (I pulled this directly from the Metal Archives page):
"Due to the band's inactivity at the time of the release of The Death And Destiny LP some songs have been given the wrong name on the album.
Track 1, titled "Paradise" on the CD is actually called "New Life".
Track 4, titled "Vicious Bastard" on the CD is actually called "Vicious Bastards".
Track 6, titled "At Least They Tried" on the CD is actually called "At Least I Tried".
Track 7, titled "The Death Of A Loved One" on the CD is actually called "Together Forever".
LP released by Buried By Time And Dust 2012 as "Death & Destiny" The track list is as follows and, as I stated, this is a must have for NWOBHM fanatics!
01. Death & Destiny
02. Killer
03. Overlord
04. U.F.O.
05. Warrior of Time
06. Heaven Lies Above
07. At Least I Tried
08. Together Forever
09. New Life
10. England
11. Vicious Bastard
12. The Age of Machine
13. W.A.S.A.

To put it mildly this is one of the best albums/collections I have heard in a LONG TIME. Starting with "Paradise" (a cut that would make Lemmy proud!) the album moves between Diamond Head/Black Sabbath numbers, then to Hollow Ground/Holocaust or A II Z before it moves back to more Motorhead love and so on. To the extent that I don't want to over hype this this excellent collection I will just say it has to be heard to fully appreciate it's strengths. Listening to it again, as I type this morning, I pick up not only the above masterful moments but some AC/DC appreciation and Tygers Of Pan Tang love. Who came first is beside the point really. All that matters in the end is how well everything comes together for the band. Now, Mythra did release "The Darkener" in 2003 although I have yet to hear it. As far as I know they are no more, but as it seems that all good NWOBHM acts eventually get back together there might still be hope for this classic underground act. Whether it was melodic numbers, slower doom-like cuts or fast and aggressive heavy metal it all sounded good. Mythra is a highly recommended outfit to check out.

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