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Myriads - Introspective

Myriads -  CD Review
CD Info
Napalm Records
9 Tracks
English lyrics

Welcome to the musical project of what seems to be not one band as a unit, but of one man, Alexander Twiss. This ensemble shouldn’t really be called Myriads, but ‘The Amazing Alexander and his band’. Mr Twiss is responsible for most of the effort that’s been put into this album. He sings, he grunts, he plays guitar [not just one, but three!], he plays piano, he writes the songs. Wow. Is there no end to this man’s talent.

Unfortunately, and predictably, the answer is yes. And it’s apparent quite early on. Myriads is one of those bands that thinks their music is original enough to defy definition. Sorry guys, far from it. And I’ll quote if I may – "although Myriads’ music defies categorizing, the group would describe their music as a fusion between metal and classical sounds. It also contains some elements of folk music and has some industrial parts." Bollocks it does. OK, let’s get one thing straight, you guys are nothing special and nothing different. Classical sounds? Really? And I think the assumption of ‘industrial’ is a little arrogant. There’s nothing industrial in this album at all, I don’t know where they got that idea from. This music does not defy definition, it’s BnB. Pure and simple. Grunts, clean vocals, heavy guitars, female soprano. Sounds familiar to anyone? Yes? We can move on, then. Good. Or is it?

There are various things I like about this album – the first thing is the cover. I don’t normally talk a lot about artwork, but it’s nice to see something different on the front of a BnB album. It’s alluring, it not clichéd and it relates to the [supposed] depth of the music. Also, the clean guitars on this album are beautiful, the beginning of Falling In The Equinox has a marvellously simple but effective rhythm, and The Sanctum of My Soul has a very impressive verse structure, just showing what this band can achieve when they put their minds to it. As well as that, Mona Undheim Skottene [yes, I copied and pasted that] has a beautiful soprano voice – though not to everyone’s tastes, certainly. Though she’s a composite vocalist and a great talent, confidently singing and never coming off the notes, her voice has moments of being too shrill and there must be a few vocal lines on this album which I’m sure only dogs can hear. Her last note on The Sanctum Of My Soul should set burglar alarms off and break a couple of windows if played loudly enough. Also, Twiss’s clean vocals are interesting. He sounds like a nerdy choirboy rather than the thoughtful, deep musician he seems like he’s trying to come across as.
However, good moments such as those mentioned are scarce. Most of this should just scream mediocrity at you. For one thing, the songs go on for too long. Long numbers are fine if you’re a BnB band that has the talent to write and carry a good song for eight or more minutes, but Myriads’ strength does not lie in their song-writing. In fact, it’s hard to tell where it lies. Some of the songs have beautiful and very striking moments, so the band certainly has potential, but these incidences are rare. After five minutes of listening to Enigmatic Colours Of The Night, it’s clear that it should have finished ages ago, but it just keeps going, the same guitar and vocal lines repeating over and over again with a couple of rhythm changes thrown in for good measure. The same goes for Portal To The Mind, which is nearly fifteen minutes long. Why?! This song just isn’t good enough or diverse enough to have the right to remove fifteen minutes from our lives. Guys, think of everything you could have done musically with that time - and it’s a lot of scope to work with - and you come out with this, a bland, lukewarm, low-roller of a track. And this is the problem for most of the album. It is just so boring.

I get the impression that Myriads really rank themselves as musicians, but given a little more time I can’t see anything too different coming from them. This album shows a tinge of promise, but it’s not enough. They could set the metal world alight, but only with a huge amount of effort. I have no idea why Napalm took it upon themselves to sign this band, because they only seem to sign people with potential and promise, and Myriads have neither. Their music is too repetitive and mild. I’ve listened to this over and over, trying to find some glint of hope shining from the musical rubble, but each time I’ve been bored morose. There might be worthwhile moments here, but trying to find them is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Or ‘an interesting bit on a Myriads album’ as the phrase might aptly be changed to in the future.