without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Before I get into the actual content of this EP, I would like to clarify a few things. First of all, I genuinely feel like most people that listen to this group, feel like it deserves a less harsh degree of criticism, or that it is entitled to some kind of special prize for being an all-women band. I am going to review this album disregarding that fact, as a fan of death and doom metal, and that only.
Now, with that out of the way, I found this album kind of generic. Not that it is terrible, it was just very boring. All the songs basically sounded the same. Most people people will say, "but wait, it's doom metal! You have to have patience and listen carefully to enjoy it!" Well, although that is true, doom metal generally contains riffs that will hook you, or in other words, make the song or interesting. They will contain something that is memorable compared to the rest of the bands in the genre. Well, this band does not do that at all.
So here is why: The bass lines and guitar riffs are lame, and the whole EP has almost no solos at all. The vocalist is alright, but her voice and the music do not flow together at all. This EP reminds me of a faster, watered-down version of Winter's "into darkness". However, there are a few good things I have to say about it. The drums where very good, and I enjoyed the fast paced, thrash influence present throughout the songs that isn't very common in death/doom. The vocals weren't terrible either, i wouldn't be able to tell the difference if it were a male vocalist.
But that being said, this EP brings nothing new to the table of the genre, and will probably be remembered as that female death metal band people talk about sometimes.
I think, but I’m not certain, that Mythic were the first all female death metal act to commit their music to wax. And if they weren’t who cares, because whether that fact is true or not, it’s completely subservient to the fact that this band cranked out some seriously dark and doom-ridden material. In fact, this mini-CD has visited my deck more times than material by far more well known bands in the years that have followed it’s release. An extra thick and low slung guitar tone dominates the affairs, and the generally foreboding tempos are a joy to behold, especially on “Lament Configuration,” on which Dana Duffey really delivers the subsonic riffs (and vocals) with serious venom. Okay so the drumming could be a lot better, but it’s certainly gets the job done, and the overall mood is pleasingly morbid through and through. Duffey herself would go on to present us with the superior black metal outfit Demonic Christ, as well as reissue and rescue the totality of Mythic’s music in the years to come, demo tapes, rehearsal room scraps and all.
This is incredible music. Not just "incredible music for an all female band" or any of that. It is incredible on its own merits, without any of that pretense. The fact that this is an all female band, just as their much-too-soon departure as a band, adds the overall mystique.
"Mourning In Winter Solstice" is a crushingly thick album, which starts slowly, and builds up to a nice plodding style, just before crashing back down to the depths from which it was spawned. All the while, Mary Bielich's rubbery bass, coupled with Terri Heggen's tight drumming and Dana Duffey's guitar work are whipped about by Dana's stellar vocal assault. Backed up by T.J.Frost's vocal, and yet...hearing a bootlegged copy of Mythic in concert, I can't see what Frost offers here at all. Dana seems to do just fine on her own, and has a perfect voice for this style. Managing to really go quite deep with the growls, pulling off a ballsy performance not known sense the old days of death metal's "golden age". Guys like Chris Barnes (before he disgraced himself in Six Feet Under) come to mind instantly. This three piece really locks in together very well, the chemistry is here for certian. It's something special. Something memorable. "Winter Solstice" is just that...and it is as crushingly brutal and devastating as it is sombre and melancholic.
From the start, it is obvious what kind of music this is. Death/grind in the old tradition, using more than a little influence from the masters and innovators of the genre, Hellhammer. Fuse this with some old school death, along the lines of Cianide, and you have Mythic. Searing riffage, with plenty of double bass kick drum underneath. Not quite black metal. Not quite melodic either. Though it grazes both of these, with simple riffs that do their job with an eerie efficiency. The intro ("Tubular Bells" as found on Possessed's monumental "Seven Churches" debut) for "The Spawn of Absu" is an excellent segue into the final track. Leaving off at just under fourteen minutes, and keeping the listener wanting more of this incredible band's sound. Sadly, there would be nothing after this, as Mythic would break-up soon after the completion of this album.
Within the spectrum of metal, there is always the cult black metal horde, such as France's Vlad Tepes, and herein lays Mythic's slot...an influential cult death/grind band. Sad, because this album showcases an extreme style that very few have been able to accomplish. Factor in that Mythic was a three piece all female band, and you have the rarest of the rare. An excellent find, if you can indeed get your hands on it, and well worth the search at that.