Review: Myth of a Life – She Who Invites

With the pioneering Swedish bands of the 90s a little way out of the melodic death metal limelight in recent times, this somewhat overpopulated subgenre could really do with some rejuvenation in order to keep up with the rest of ever-evolving world of heavy music. Sheffield’s Myth of a Life already have an advantage in this regard, not only in being based in the UK but also with members and ex-members originating from both Greece and Japan; none of these places are anywhere near as synonymous with so-called ‘melodeath’ as the icy climes of Scandinavia, so if a shot in the arm is needed, then this one would be something of a surprising one.

The band certainly have the hallmarks of the more brutal end of the melodeath template firmly and aggressively nailed down. The harmonised guitar riffs which underpin the majority of the songwriting are tightly wound together, consistently hammering their deathly influences to the mast. The tempo shifts between flurries of thrashing anger, mid-tempo grooves and even the occasional beatdown chug come at all the right places to keep the head nodding throughout. Most notably, Phil Dellas’ vocal performance is top drawer, his beefy roars sounding as though they come from a chasm within his very being.

Production-wise, these cavernous vocals do cause a little bit of a balance issue, with the mix so dominated by growling that at times the trademark twin guitars are left a little in the background, perhaps owing to a lack of bottom-end in their tone. Additionally, the precision of Myth of a Life’s assault is very occasionally shaken by some brief timing issues.

She Who Invites has the strongly dark and deathly atmosphere that is now standard in this modern style of death metal, enhanced by some suitably sombre acoustic intros and auditory references to the darker edge of the metalcore sound. Myth of a Life are not bringing anything radically new to the table, and therefore may not be the saviour that this aging niche may require to bring it back to the attention of the mainstream metal press. That said, it is unlikely that the band will not find a solid fanbase with a core sound such as theirs, and though their craft may be one which has been rehashed many a time, they certainly knowhow to execute it with prowess.

Richard Spencer

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