Most modern tales of band life include a back story similar to that of Sheffield’s melodic death metallers Myth of a Life. Personnel changes, members dropping out because they are unable to commit the amount of time and effort it takes in these times to stand out from the crowd… What these changes and intense shifts can do though is metamorphose a project into something else entirely and often with staggering results.
Myth of a Life has had a revolving door of personnel in their relatively short life but vocalist Phil ‘Core’ Dellas is the ever-present and it is his personality and sound that is apparent throughout the whole of She Who Invites. Dellas is joined on this record by Liam Banks (Ex- Lacrota), William Price (Psython) and Alexander Bond. They describe themselves as a melodic death metal band but you can expand beyond this and add a little extreme, black and thrash into the mix as well.
What struck me as soon as I got a first listen to She Who Invites is that this has a classic death metal feel to it. It reminds me very much of the emerging scene in West Yorkshire in the early 90’s when a whole host of bands were creating a movement that was led by the likes of My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. It’s not just in Dellas’ delivery, which is very reminiscent of that time, or in the speed of the playing combined with that atmosphere but is almost something more organic than that. It’s in the feel of the music, in the intensity and darkness, it’s almost something very Northern England. The sound of the long winter nights, cooped up in cold abandoned mills, expressing yourself in the only way you know.
What may be surprising is that none of the members originate from that area but somehow the industrialness of Sheffield, the rhythm of the steel works and persistent rain, still impregnates the record. It takes me back to that time but do not be mistaken – Myth of a Life are very much here and now, in your face, full of vitality.
What I also like about this release is that every song has come with a lyric sheet and that is something you do not see so much of these days in the electronic age. On a release like this it’s great to get into the head of Dellas. The topics, as you can imagine, are of a dark nature. We get everything from a detailed description of a lobotomy in “Lobotomized” to what is a quite a thoughtful and first person account of going over the top of the trenches in “Pull the Trigger”. Well worth taking the time to delve through.
There are several standout tracks on this album and I am just going to mention a few. The first track that jumped out for me was the aforementioned “Lobotimized”. It is the combination of the guitars’ riffs, which have a really classic metal feel to them, keeping the structure of the song so when the quite frankly frightening and demented lyrics and vocals are placed over the top it creates one hell of an exciting track.
On the following track “Erinyes” we are introduced to slower and deeper, more melodic guitar and riffs. This is the type of track that reminds me of that earlier scene. It’s a little bit more organic and atmospheric, it has a steady but very heavy rhythm to it that remains constant throughout but what Myth of a Life do here is allow the song to breathe a little more. This slower pace on the vocals allows the lead riff to shine through. There are drum breaks and other moments of reflection generally allowing the shadows into the forefront.
Part way through we are treated to the way too short “Through the River”. I am sure this will become an anthem for the band. It’s melodic metal, it has a pace and suspense and build-up that is beguiling. It reminds me of a heavier Judas Priest or even early Maiden. This leads well then into title track “She Who Invites”. Again, classic metal in its music and delivery but Dellas is forever adding a dimension above and beyond this. He is equally frightening in his intensity of delivery as he is exciting. When all of these elements come together it is blistering.
This is simply a great debut album and promises even more in the future. What is exciting about Myth of a Life is that they have the intensity, vitality, and extremeness of a new band but have based this on a really classic sound. It is dark, and will take you to places you don’t want to go but at the same time you want to see where this is leading. They are like the pied pipers of death metal leading one way and then another. Myth of a Life leave the listener not knowing where they may go next but promising it will be dark, majestic and perhaps even more melodic but most certainly intense.
She Who Invites is out now