Time Never Lasts
posted on 9/2011 By:
With over four years passing since the release of a new Mithras recording, any new material is a good thing, even if its only in the form of a stop-gap EP like Time Never Lasts. As Behind the Shadows Lie Madness showed, the British duo has their sights set on a more streamlined, accessible sound following the brilliant but often overly-obscure sound of their magnum opus Worlds Beyond the Veil. The new material on this EP continues this trend, but also hints at a few interesting deviations that make the wait for the upcoming full-length all the more agonizing.
Kicking things off is the epic title track, which was posted in demo form on the band’s YouTube page earlier this year (with Leon Macey himself handling vocals). This version sounds way more polished and also features Rayner Coss’s outstanding vocals and bass work, and for those yet to hear this song, it's one of the strongest in the band’s catalogue. Sure, the opening riff is kind of goofy, but it quickly transitions into a beautiful sequence of epic, spacey melodies and solos that’s nothing less than breathtaking. This song primarily shies away from the band’s brutal side, but the second new cut “Inside the Godmind” more than compensates in this regard, bursting out as one of the heaviest and most devastating tracks the band has penned to date. A blistering, ominous riff and lead tandem clears the path for a truly monolithic slam, akin to the more fist-pumping moments on Behind the Shadows but with a much more sinister undercurrent. There’s a sense of disorienting darkness flowing through this song that sounds quite removed from most of the band’s existing material, which makes it a great contrast to the ethereal intensity of the title track.
The remaining three tracks of this EP consist of live recordings from the last show played with Rayner Coss before his temporary departure from the project. The sound quality is decent, but I was a bit disappointed in the choice of material. Sure, “Wrath of God” and “Tomb of Kings” are classic Mithras songs, but they also represent a more formative era of the band and are more clearly derivative of other outfits than the project’s later material. The sweeping “Beyond the Eyes of Man” was a much better choice, and its live rendition makes for a fantastic close to the EP. In fact, hearing it in this more energized form gave me a new appreciation for the complete version on Worlds Beyond the Veil.
Time Never Lasts is obviously a mere teaser for things to come, and to this end, it’s a tantalizing listen for Mithras fans. The quality of the new material is seriously exciting, particularly in the wake of the tumultuous period following the release of Behind the Shadows Lie Madness, and the live tracks make for a fun bonus. With that said, this EP is obviously going to appeal more to hardcore Mithras junkies than to casual appreciators, so if you fall into the latter camp, you may just want to wait until the new full length is released in proper. (It's currently slated for early next year.) But if you’re like me and have been eagerly awaiting a concrete sign of life from this excellent band, buy this and commence salivating.
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Behind The Shadows Lie Madness
Forever Advancing Legions (Re-Released)
Worlds Beyond the Veil