As the debut album from Maltese melodic death metal band Myopic Destiny introduced itself, first thoughts are tinged with doubts but upon emerging from the last dramatic note of the final track, those uncertainties evolved into strong respect and pleasure. Though not a perfect album in any way, then is there such a thing, The Harsh Cold Reality is a captivating and intriguing release which is fresh and original and always saves itself when things are not quite on course.
Myopic Destiny were formed mid 2009 by drummer Ehren Fenech and guitarist Daniel Aquilina after leaving their previous project. They soon added bassist Clyde Farrugia and guitarist Daniel Sammut to the line-up before completing the unit with vocalist Marc Tanti early in 2010. Spending the following months writing and honing material, the band played their first gig in February of the following year to good responses from a sizeable crowd. Impressively their second show was as the opener for the Xtreme Metal Assault 2011 Festival that August to be followed two weeks later by the sharing of a stage with Insurgence. Further festival performances followed as the band ended the year on a high.
From entering the studio in January to record The Harsh Cold Reality, the band has created a release which straddles many genres though it is still a core death metal/metalcore driven beast. With elements of groove, thrash, and classic metal infused through its heart, the album is a surprising and unpredictable treat which is perpetually enterprising and satisfying.
As mentioned the initial making of acquaintances with the album was not particularly inspiring and even after multiple meets the opening title track still does not hit the spot. It is a well presented track but feels like a series of sounds and ideas latched together rather than organically evolved, though it has to be said eventually it becomes quite contagious with its tight melodic groove and challenging grumpily riffed breath. The spoken narrative of Tanti though always escapes pinning down and though a decent start the song does not trigger any extended excitement.
The album seems to reach its heights in steps, the following Solitary Confinement with its bulging beats and muscular riffage building upon the opener but still a little way off the subsequent glories ahead. There is a punk attack from the vocals to spear the forceful sounds enjoyably but it is with next song Voice From The Abyss that things really boil up. A thrash toned assault with a slight Testament feel to it, the track finds a swagger and grooved swing to its presence which lights up the senses. The track has multiple energies and sounds within its body which thrill at every unexpected and welcomed turn. To be honest the album starts here and does not look back from here on in.
The excellent Tyrannical Downfall follows the blackened Inherent Delusions, and again has one fully connected with its rampaging attack and full on intensity. It is veined by great melodic invention which though one thinks it should not fit does, even if at times it is a little borderline, and adds to the wonderful discordant an bedlam which makes the song unique. The musicianship of the band is impressive throughout the album and here the guitars leave scorched air in their wake whilst the bass which is immense throughout The Harsh Cold Reality, carries a pissed off snarl.
Best track on the album is easily The Wolf, a song to produce whiplash and sprained muscles yet the bringer of some fine addict forming melodic grooves and a serpentine black metal breath to scar the ear. The song chops and surges throughout to again enjoyably leave expectations at the door.
The likes of the ear lashing I Will Rise, the barbed Your God, and the excellent closing predator that is A View Upon The End, ensure the album leaves only good reactions behind. It has moments where an understanding of things is lost or things evade personal preferences. At times the band seem to try too many things to end up unbalancing a track or odd songs feel undecided whether to be a bone crushing rage or an intricate progressive danger but to be honest a band which tries unique ideas is always preferable to one without adventure in their heart.
Myopic Destiny has stepped into the world with an album which makes many similar styled releases sound ordinary and marks the band as one of the more promising death metal newcomers and ones to watch.
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