Five years since their Time Never Lasts EP and a full nine since their last full-length, Mithras are back and still trying to fire death metal into orbit. If this band – mastermind Leon Macey and exiting bassist/vocalist Rayner Coss – have been guilty of anything in the past, it’s an understandable but occasionally distracting devotion to Morbid Angel.
On Strange Loops could hardly pretend to owe nothing to Trey Azagthoth’s crew, but beyond being an epic, brutal and imperious-sounding death metal album, this is a more distinctive and defining statement from a band that promised so much.
Macey’s way with an ominous, downtempo riff remains intact, and it’s those shifts in pace that enable the frenzied blasting that drives When The Stars Align and Inside The Godmind along without sacrificing atmosphere or intrigue. It reaches a peak of haughty power on Odyssey’s End, a grandiose sonic tank swarm through hostile wastes that confirms how focused and formidable Mithras now appear to be. The break clearly did them good.