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Mythodea - Mythodea CD (album) cover

MYTHODEA

Mythodea

 

Progressive Metal

3.41 | 4 ratings

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Lygophile
4 stars "Originality to a notable extent" was the first phrase that came to my mind, after I gave this record two major spins. If you think that Myrath brought a fresh air into progressive metal genre, you'll probably feel the same for Mythodea. Of course Myrath was more lucky, as influential metal bands combining metal music with oriental influences are not great in number, at least not as many as the bands that are more focused on melting metal and western style symphonic music in the same pot, as Mythodea has done. Mythodea's music in this debut album can somewhat be likened to that of Adagio's, in that they both include instant chops, melodic transitions that may feel like incoherent and disjointed on the first listen; which comes to mean that this album is a grower. Some songs such as Another World and Asia strike you on the first listen, and there are many catchy parts in the album; but the "not-perfect yet coherent" sound of the album may take some time to warm to the album.

The record begins with a magically beautiful symphonic intro, and goes on with the catchy Another World. Apart from the touchy ballad: Nostalgia, massively symphonic, operatic yet still heavy song: Sailing on a Stormy Sea, and the oriental influenced, striking and powerful song Asia; the album can be said to contain music especially for the taste of symphonic progressive music listeners, that are not "allergic" to some neo-classical and power metal touches. Yet, the richness of melodies and harmonies in the work is so abundant, and the rhythmic structures in the album include so much variation, that it gets a little hard to classify its genre.

Christos Nikolaou is the "mastermind" of the project, yet it would be impossible not to say "Wow!" when one sees the line-up: The ever-godly and over-productive, Steve DiGiorgio; physically a beast, technically a "Master of the drum Styx", Charlie Zeleny. And John West, simply the best! To delve into some details about the instrumentation, one can see that they are flawlessly played & recorded. The record is quite multi-layered, and rich. Even in the parts when distortion guitars are dominant, you can hear DiGiorgio's tasty and awe- inspiring bassing. There are "more than several" moments when drums and bass completely shine, and the album closer Ultimate Pain is the song they constantly shine in. Christos' guitarwork is also quite good, especially on the solos. I can say that the tone of his guitars fit well to the overall sound, but it will be better if improved on the following releases.

As the fans of John West already know, lyrics of the songs such as Another World and Asia perfectly reflect his freedom loving, and at times dreamer and escapist side; with the great help of his giftedness to convey his inner-self through his voice chords. I believe that almost nobody can argue John West's technical abilities, yet how his colour of voice can shift from reflecting a child-like enthusiasm on his most high-pitched parts, to an utterly masculine air as he does here on the song Sailing on a Stormy Sea, has always been a great mystery to me. The vocals are also recorded good, not too much reverbed. Thus you'll hear a John like you did/can do on his solo albums or ARTENSION; not like ROYAL HUNT's overtly reverbed recordings.

And when we look at the quality of the sound-production, there are some -if not major- flaws. First of all, the overall sound seems to be mastered a bit too loud, and a little over- compressed. This situation is totally relative to one's taste, and this type of compression is somewhat common in modern metal productions; thus this should not be a disturbance to the very majority of people. Also, the quite acoustic resonance of the drum sound compensates for the situation, which otherwise may have caused a piercing effect on some ears.

To sum up, the compression thing seems to be my only complaint about the record. Keeping in mind that this album is a debut, I can say that I'm quite eager to hear what Christos can do on the following releases. All songs are either good or great on the album, that will attract the attention of a symphonic metal listener; and there are a bunch of songs on it that display a quite original and strong character. I always like and admire sincere and "intricate yet coherent" works.

Lygophile | 4/5 |

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