Recommended Aussie Tunes:Psycroptic | The new single "A Fragile Existence" | Listen

Album Reviews : Myraeth – Retribution

By on September 9, 2010

Gothic/Doom metal isn’t quite my thing. I used to like Paradise Lost, but never personally bought any of their albums. In April I caught Lycanthia playing at The Lansdowne and was quite captivated, so when I found out that Myraeth contained members (ex?) of Lycanthia, I was keen to hear what they had come up with for this new project.

One of the first things I noticed was that Retribution was recorded & produced at The Brain Studios in Sydney, who are more than capable of showing that you don’t need to go overseas to make a damn good sounding metal album.

The first song on this 4 track EP, entitled ‘Armour’, starts off with a drum march and some harmonised guitars which fade in. The death vocals are delivered perfectly by vocalist/ guitarist Ryan Casey with an almost Opeth feel. The keyboards bring an atmosphere that pushes the song forward into an epic soundscape, and with the addition of Samantha Kempster’s vocals, the song almost opens up and swallows you. The drum tracking is great, and played to perfection by Christian Raw. They are never overplayed and do a little more than simply serve the song.

Myraeth use a lot of soft/heavy section changes throughout Retribution, especially in ‘Armour’, and the acoustic interludes are very well written and performed. The violin during the second half of the song is a nice touch, adding more character and atmosphere. The only thing that disappointed me about ‘Armour’, was the bass. Or lack thereof. The bass is barely audible, and is such a shame as there is so much potential for it to shine, think Martin Mendez style. I was even running bass lines in my head where I could hear none on the cd. The booklet tells me that bass was recorded by both guitarists, so I look forward to what new bass player Karl Ebing can add to future releases.

Track 2, ‘Alone in Purgatory’ starts off as a slower ballad type song with Samantha providing the main vocals. There is intricate acoustic work later teamed up with some great melody from the electric. The song remains fairly slow paced until some awesome speedy thrash riffs and solo around the 4 minute mark. Overall it lacks the atmosphere and impact of the first track.

The third track is an acoustic instrumental, and shares the title of the EP ‘Retribution’.  It has a fantastic finger picked melody at the 55 second mark, almost reminiscent of …And justice For All’s’ ‘Dyers Eve’. The following pattern is a smooth flowing passage and I am bitterly disappointed when it simply ends, the whole thing running a little over 2 minutes. To me it feels like this great acoustic part has been wasted, and should have been made into an intro to an epic song with a great big drum build-up, or at least have the next song come in hard and heavy to counter balance it.

The last track, ‘Miscreant’, starts off much like ‘Alone in Purgatory’; with a soft guitar rhythm, a sombre tune with violin making another welcome appearance. The keys are fairly prominent in this song, and while at times they feel a bit awkward fitting in with the music, they do remind me of the eerie piano music from the first Resident Evil videogame. The guitars are brooding and heavy, and there are some decent melodies and excellent solo work. There is the definite Myraeth doom atmosphere in this song, but realistically it is not as strong as the opening track.

Overall there are a few very impressive and immersive moments during this EP, and it is an enjoyable listen. The heavier playing suits the mood, but safely treads traditional ground without straying into anything experimental. ‘Armour’ is a great opening track; however the quality of the following tracks tends to drop off when compared. Along with my above mentioned complaint about the acoustic track ‘Retribution’ being too short, the EP feels more like a single with bonus tracks or a demo. There is definite talent within the band and I think Myraeth will only progress further and their music will grow as they develop and fine tune the cohesiveness within their broad range of instruments. Well worth a listen for Goth/Doom metal fans.

Band: Myraeth
Album: Retribution EP
Year: 2010
Genre: Gothic Doom Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Sydney, Australia

Track listing:
1. Armour
2. Alone in Purgatory
3. Retribution
4. Miscreant


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.