Pain Amplifier (Reissue)


Bands come and go on a consistent basis.  It's always an unfortunate event when a […]
June 26, 2023
Mythos - Pain Amplifier (Reissue) album cover

Bands come and go on a consistent basis.  It's always an unfortunate event when a band announces that they've split up, but it's not too uncommon in Heavy Metal.  One of these many bands is MYTHOS, a Blackened Death Metal that formed in Finland in 1992.  The band only released three demos in 1993, 1998, and 1999, in addition to a 4-track EP titled "Dark Material" in 1996.  MYTHOS eventually split up in 2000, and it doesn't seem that there have been any plans for a reunion or revival of the group.  Along with their three demos and one EP, they also released only one full-length album called "Pain Amplifier" in 1995.  Although the Black/Death Metal band has not released any new music since their disbandment, it was announced a few months ago that a reissued version of "Pain Amplifier" would be released through the Dutch record label VIC Records.  The reissue of the 1995 album was released on June 23rd, and while the tracks remain the same in terms of lyrics and instrumentation, the production on the reissue is more refined than on the original version.  As for the lyrics and instruments, they combine beautifully to create a great album from a long-forgotten group in Extreme Metal.

Blackened Death-also referred to as Black-Death-is a fusion of elements from both Black Metal and Death Metal, as shown from bands such as BEHEMOTH and BELPHEGOR.  This fusion genre often includes frequent blast beats, tremolo picking, growled vocals, muted bass, and Satanic lyrics/imagery.  With the exception of Satanic themes, MYTHOS successfully incorporates all of these elements of Black-Death Metal into their album "Pain Amplifier."  After a 72-second instrumental track titled "In the Beginning... (of the Intro)," which is nothing too unusual, the band gets straight to business with "Hung on the Wings." In this track, we get an idea of the vocals that will be heard on the rest of the album from Mikko Laurila: a raspy growl that somewhat falls between the shrieks of Black Metal vocalists and guttural growls of Death Metal vocalists.  The drummer of MYTHOS, Teemu Hautaniemi, also gifts us with a stunning series of fluid blast beats.  However, spoiler alert: the blast beats are a bit overused throughout the recording and thus become a little monotonous over time.

Eventually, after about ⅓ of the album has been finished, you'll find yourself listening to the fifth/title track "The Pain Amplifier."  Amidst the unsurprisingly frequent blast beats and heavy guitar riffs from Toni Pekkala and Jukka Valppu, the lyrics are quite haunting when you make them out.  Based on my analysis, Laurila menacingly sings about being an unwelcome presence in someone's life and promising to increase (amplify) whatever pain they're already inflicting.  Moving onward, "Verses in the Fire" seems to be the slowest track of all.  Even fast-paced albums need a break in between.  Teemu Hautaniemi doesn't use nearly as many blast beats as he did in previous tracks, and the tremolo picking is more obvious to the ears.  The song even ends with the sound of an actual crackling flame, which fits in quite well with the title and theme of the track.  "The Last Orgy" is quite interesting to say the least, and not just because of its suggestive name.  For the first time, Mikko Laurila uses mostly unintelligible shrieking amongst shredding guitars and a nonstop blast beat, for a little over a minute.  It's arguably an acceptable change from the overall sound of the previous 7 songs.

To finally bring "Pain Amplifier" to a close, MYTHOS presents their own version of the song "Reek of Putrefaction" from English extreme band CARCASS's 1989 album "Symphonies of Sickness." A cover song is considered good when it simultaneously sounds similar to the original version and has the style of the band/artist covering it.  This definitely applies to MYTHOS's cover of "Reek of Putrefaction." While there are similarities between their cover and CARCASS's original version, it still has a Blackened Death Metal sound to remain in cohesion with the rest of the album.  Needless to say, the cover song is quite a unique way to go out with a bang on "Pain Amplifier."

In conclusion, "Pain Amplifier" is an amazing piece of Blackened Death Metal by MYTHOS.  The instrumentation does become repetitive at times, but when paired with the dark lyrics brought to life by Mikko Laurila's harsh vocals, the album should not be overlooked for any reason.  As I stated, it's unfortunate that MYTHOS has been split up for over 20 years, so we won't be hearing any more material from the four-piece group.  However, this will do for the time being.

8 / 10









"Pain Amplifier (Reissue)" Track-listing:

1.  In the Beginning... (of the Intro)
2.  Hung on the Wings
3.  Unreal Moon
4.  In Veiled Language (true version)
5.  The Pain Amplifier
6.  A Song by the Way
7.  Verses in the Fire (heavy version)
8.  The Last Orgy
9.  Strange Things Happen at Night
10.  ...the End (of the Outro)
11.  Reek of Putrefaction (Carcass Cover)

Mythos Lineup:

Mikko Laurila - Lead Vocals, Bass
Toni Pekkala - Guitars
Jukka Valppu - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Teemu Hautaniemi - Drums, Keyboards, Bass (Track 1), Guitars (Track 11)

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram