Myth of I are a three-piece, instrumental Progressive Metal band from Boston, MA, USA. Forging new paths, they are a technical band that weaves together intricate tones and textures to create a tapestry of sound made up of distinct melodies fused together into a vibrant piece of art. Whether the instruments are working together in harmony or creating an almost sonic dissonance, there is a lot to hear in every song.
- Jennings Smith – Guitar
- Tyler Fritzel – Guitar
- Matt Lippa – Drums
- Aodán Collins – Bass
Myth of I released their debut, self-titled album on April 10, 2020, on The Artisan Era label. It is 11 songs and 49 minutes of everything from light and uplifting to brutal and punishing melodies that can lull you into a dream state or make you fear your face is going to melt.
- The Illustrator
- Obsidian Vale
- Glass Castles
- The Maze
- Felix Culpa
The disc opens with “Pandora,” an ethereal piece with gentle tones covering darker undercurrents. The tempo is slow and relaxing, lulling you into an almost trance-like state. “Pandora” gently carries you to the next track, “The Illustrator.” This one is very different, opening with a piano run leading to a HEAVY guitar riff. The lead fills over the riff are an exciting contrast, giving a lighter feel to a really heavy song. The bottom end tones are almost sludgy, and the keyboards layered in give a very different twist to the song. The piece is complex, painting a wild picture on the sonic canvas.
I hear a lot of different bands’ influences in the various songs. I get snatches of Fates Warning in “Cherophobia” and Dream Theater in “Obsidian Vale.” Those exist in small measures in certain parts of the songs, not the whole song. There is a lot of work in those songs that sound like nothing I’ve heard before. The compositions are so intricate and complex and layered that I start the songs over again and again just so I can listen to the various parts and focus on each individually. There is a lot to hear and love in these tracks.
Pieces like the electronic lead-in for “Glass Castles” add a bit of techno/industrial metal to the mix, creating even more space for Myth of I to work. The additional keyboards on this song help define the tune’s breadth. None of these songs fit in neat little boxes. The intro for “Needlepoint” is another prime example. The gentle piano melody before the drum count-in is brilliant writing. Then the song kicks into overdrive. This is what sets Myth of I apart from the average song you hear on the radio today.
“The Maze” begins with light keyboard tones and an acoustic guitar, slowly making its’ way up in tempo before going heavier. This song oscillates between light and heavy, airy and dramatic. The pounding bassline partway through (with that random cat meow) is an interesting contrast that was not expected. For the song to then go full-on sludgy for a few measures and then take off again was a pretty stunning trick to pull off. The sheer audacity to write something that divergent is bold and daring. It works well. This is my favorite song on the album just for its’ wide range and fusion of different elements.
“Kodama” and “妖怪(ようかい)” both start gently but using different instruments, showing how even something as simple as the instrument choice can have a considerable impact on the tone, sound, and feel of a song. Further differences are found in the body of each song. “Kodama” gets jazz-infused. “妖怪(ようかい)” has a classic rock feel throughout. This might be a soundtrack to an 80s movie in an alternate universe.
Back to the heavy, “Felix Culpa” delivers an onslaught of notes and tones that excite the senses. There is a lot of progressive tempo shifting in this tune, and it is fun to follow. Fans of Prog Metal will surely fall for this one, especially that almost bluesy rock/classical piano section in the middle. That is an awesome interlude that makes the song feel unique and new.
Finishing off this record is “Panzer,” four and a half minutes of music that goes from really heavy to ethereal and back. The shifts are beautiful. This could have gotten really choppy without timing those changes just right, and they pulled it off masterfully.
Compositionally, these guys are ahead of most of the pack in the Progressive Metal genre. They seem to be able to shift and change at will and never miss a beat or get out of tune with the song or each other. Some progressive metal bands feel forced like they are trying to make something happen that is not possible. Myth of I makes even those complex shifts sound natural. This is a very good record. Give it a chance; listen a few times through back-to-back. Let it really sink in and take root in your mind. That will give you a better appreciation for how good this album really sounds.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – N/A
- Songwriting – 10
- Production – 9
- Overall – 9.25