Ξ January 6th, 2011 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Album Reviews |
Mithras are a strange beast. Their metal-archives listing list them as brutal death metal with an experimental edge, whereas ‘Behind the Shadows Lie Madness’ is further away from brutal and more toward experimental. They possess similar ideas of progression as Cynic or Atheist, keeping an ethereal, otherworldly vibe a constant behind riffs and blastbeats.
Their particular brand of progressive death metal is not your expected slow pace, drenched in odd effects, but a fast paced, brutal affair. In fact, the album is a welcome blast from most progressive death, which can have a tendency to disappear under its own weight. Mithras are clearly influenced by Morbid Angel; the atmospheric solos and ambient sections recall ‘Formulas Fatal to the Flesh’ or ‘Domination’. But they’re no mere copycats; the material here is top notch, well written and immersive. That is what really sets it apart from many bands who do this kind of thing, they have the songs to back up the ability and ideas. I’d not heard any of their stuff before this, but have read reviews saying that some of their previous work had a tendency to wander aimlessly. ‘Behind the Shadows…’ doesn’t. It’s a thick, streamlined piece of progressive death metal, punctuated by instrumental segues that only enhance the overall product.
‘To Fall from the Heavens’ is a tremendous opener proper, after the swaying instrumental. The vocals are reminiscent of Vader, while spiralling solos lead into a spacey bridge section that adapts well to the apocalyptic warp of the front cover. ‘Under the Three Spheres’ is probably the most accessible track here, but its melody is nothing short of beautiful, a weaving atonal guitar line draws all the attention of the listener. ‘In Black Holes of Oblivion’ returns to the brutal, interspersed with another wildly original solo. Guitarist Leon Macey coaxes some amazing guitar melodies from his axe, and after a song or two it becomes instantly recognisable as him.
It may be back in 2007 when this was released, but thats no reason not to seek it out if you enjoy music like this. Mithras have created something rather unique here, and its a shame if that isn’t valued. ‘Behind the Shadows Lie Madness’ is my first record of the new year, and it’s going to be hard to top!