Band: Myth of I
Album: Self Titled
Genre: Progressive Metal / Death Metal
Label: The Artisan Era
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
FFO: Animals As Leaders, Angel Vivaldi, Scale The Summit
Myth of I opens this self titled album instantly with a lot of promise. Sounds of running water, nature, and light guitar is all that’s needed to show off the quality of production. As I got further on, I confirmed that the intro was no deceiver - the production is very good. As I’d hoped for an instrumental act. Everything can be heard clearly while being brought together in a great mix. Only complaints are very small such as the piano on ‘Cherophobia’ could be a little more quiet. The smoother, clean guitar tone always was highlighted in my ears as a beautiful moment whenever it appeared.
Once the intro is coming to an end, it cuts, and the first full song begins. From this song on, there’s a couple “rules” broken that makes this album what it is. There’s no dedicated formula. Everything is very much controlled but there’s no chorus/verse/chorus,ex type of structure. This allows things to flow so much more smooth from within each song and when moving on to the next. It’s also lenient on the whole death metal vibe it can at times radiate. That’s something that vocals can often hold back too. If you have someone who only does low growls, it’s going to sound very strange over a more melodic, soft instrumental. But when you take away the limits of a 1 or even 2, 3 dimensional vocalist, the instruments all the sudden become so much more free to be a hundred different voices in placement on that vocalist element. Myth of I uses this to their benefit in almost every way they can. I do not think this is a perfect instrumental album but they without a doubt have become much more comfortable and creative with their sound. There’s different tones, sounds, and effects being utilized. Tempo and rhythm changes. They also held back on too many breakdown/super heavy moments which is great because those can often be a little boring if not done right in an instrumental only song. But when they did take on those breakdown moments, they were always super well done. Arguably the best part though, no two songs sound the same. There’s always different turns being taken to keep things very entertaining. The guitars are very much carrying the weight of this group. Sure, as they should I suppose, but I would appreciate the drummer to be more outgoing in a sense. I feel like he is mostly just keeping rhythm and following along. When given these down moments as the guitars play softer, he doesn’t take his chance to show off in a way. He tends to keep it more simple. That is not to downplay what there is here though, he is in no way boring, it’d just be cool to go more off the beaten path instead of sticking to the trail.
As an added side note: One of my favorite little aspects of this album is on the song ‘The Maze’ towards the end when we get this very raw acoustic picking on top of that water we heard in the beginning, and the scrape of his fingers on the strings turns into this very atmospheric noise that just adds to the feeling of the whole thing.
Their EP, ‘S.T.E.M.’ was lackluster to me a lot of the time. For an instrumental piece to keep someone attention, it has to keep hold of you in some way. Especially when you don’t have vocals or lyrics to fall back onto. You can do this through the atmosphere, crazy licks, switch ups, new noises (all in which is incorporated on the LP.), ex. But the EP often had just bland breakdown type of riffs and open note rhythms that easily let me slip out of its grasp. If you’re going to be an instrumental band, you can’t make a song like it is prepared for a vocal track. You have to fill in that vocal gap with another guitar or just overall kick it up a few notches on the instrumental writing. That first time attempt went just alright on the EP, but had much more it could have done. Not all, but most of what was wrong was done right on the LP. Everything sounds upgraded. They took that idea they had in the EP and expanded it tenfold, hundredfold. Introducing new sounds, approaches, and overall better playing. The guitarists are pounding out more diverse, not so flat riffs, killer leads, and those drums are popping in a much more satisfying way. There’s no way you can’t dive back into this record over and over again to not only experience it again but also pick out new things you may have missed.
Myth of I have officially put themselves on my radar, especially as a fan already of instrumental acts/artists. This group deserves more recognition for the hard work and talent presented in their debut self titled. They have done a fantastic job at putting together a unique piece of music front to back for any fan of metal and more to enjoy.
Strongest Song: Cherophobia, The Maze