Mithras
Behind the Shadows Lie Madness

After the more earthy debut, Forever Advancing…..Legions, the follow up, Worlds Beyond the Veil, cemented Mithras as an upcoming English death metal act that might be the new hope for the Uk’s extreme metal scene, and now with Behind the Shadows Lie Madness, the band appears ready to join death metal’s elite.

Continuing the ethereal, otherwordly, almost cosmic tones of Worlds Beyond the Veil, Behind the Shadows Lie Madness fleshes out the band’s Morbid Angel/Immolation tones with an album simply chock full of twisted, serpentine, complex swirling riffage enhanced by the band’s now trademark echo filled solos.

After the intro “Journey and the Forsaken”, I was initially a bit perturbed by the clean vocals that littered “To Fall from the Heavens”, but they only appear once and ended up giving the track an intelligent menace amid the band’s seething intricacy that’s cemented by drummer extraordinaire Leon Macey. Other than the three appropriately placed and atmospheric interludes, the album is a cascading, shimmering display of intellectually savage, labyrinthine riffs and cavernous solos. I’m not kidding, the solos actually sound like they were recorded in a cave or in the depths of space (i.e. “Under the Three Spheres”, but pretty much all the track at some point), and overall I’m still not in love with the slightly clinical production, but it sort of aids the band’s overall themes and is a rather unique sound, giving the band somewhat of an identity along with Rayner Coss’s less deep than standard growl.

Solos aside, I prefer it when the band jackhammers their way through space and time with tracks like “Black Holes of Oblivion”, the heaving “Behind The Shadows”, blistering “Awaken Man and Stone” and standouts “The Twisted Tower” and “To Where the Sun Never Leaves” as well as the hypnotically visceral “Thrown Upon the Waves”. But when taken as a whole, the entire album is just a mesmerizing journey into dreamy yet brutal cosmic escapism that needs to be taken over and over again to fully appreciate.

When folks start talking about the technical death metal hierarchy, Mithras now deserve to be mentioned along the likes of Decapitated and Anata, as they bring a unique and memorable element to the genre.

Essential death metal listening.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 31st, 2007

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