Album Review: Mynas | Dead to the Unknown
We made it #IntoThePit Universe! 2019 is here and we survived it without any celeb deaths or “End of the World” scares, and it’s time to pick up right where we left off. Our first album review of the year is the unreleased sophomore album of Las Vegas based metal band, Mynas. Unheard to the rest of the world, their latest project is gearing up for a late January release date, starting the year on a good note for metal fans. Independently distributed by the band, their “Dead to the Unknown” LP has been crafted by the minds and talents of Miles Lanham (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Jeff Pritz (Lead Guitar), Mark Bazar (Bass), and Mauricio Silva (Drums). The collective has provided the #IntoThePitUniverse with a Listening Party – Preview of their unreleased project and we’re stoked to provide our take on the album before the rest of the world gets to partake. Here is the album review for Mynas’s sophomore album, Dead to the Unknown.
Let’s dive in.
Dead to the Unknown ranks fairly well for a sophomore album on the production meter. It’s apparent that the group’s members have had prior band and performance experience which usually weighs in favor for newer groups. Listening for the first time, there was an effortless immersion into the project. Starting with a melodic guitar riff laced in the intro track, the stage was set for an epic performance to unfold. Immediately to follow were catchy metallic motifs and scream tracks to convey the lyrically vulnerable emotion of the project. The aspects of Lanham’s vocals that caught my attention the most were the tone and clarity of his annunciation. Newer metal listeners often become discouraged with the lack of intelligibility of the words being growled or screamed. If you’re a person who’s recently diving into the metal genre, I’d recommend listening to this project solely based on the fact it posses a great scream performance that allows you to thoroughly understand the lyrics.
Instrumentation for the project was primarily analogue avoiding the utilization of synthetic elements. In my opinion, this was a good call for the production platform. Creating a record without keyboard or synthetic instruments gives it an incredibly raw performance that makes listening to the album feel live and in person.
Lead guitarist, Jeff Pritz was methodical in his approach allowing for the performance of accompanying instruments to follow suit in their delivery. At times it felt as though a duet was being performed between the lead guitar and Miles Lanham on vocals. Pritz seamlessly led the musical charge for segments of melodic ascension and adequately removed himself from the forefront to return as a role player when deemed necessary.
Mark Bazar on bass kept up with his bandmates from top to bottom providing the necessary low end support for Mynas’s melodic elements. Bazar transitioned throughout musical phrases proficiently and held his own for the length of the album. Drummer, Mauricio Silva placed the rhythmic responsibility on his shoulders and handled it in stride. Silva’s performance made it known the he was the glue that kept everything in the pocket as the record unfolded. With all this being said, Dead to the Unknown is an impressive collaborative effort in the production category, especially for a sophomore album.
Production Score: 4.4/5
Into The Mix:
The mix for Mynas’s, “Dead to the Unknown” resonated well from top to bottom. I described the energy of the production as “raw” in the previous section, and it seems fitting to describe the mix in the same light. Typically, I’m a strong advocator for automated throws of a delayed reverb and charming filter effects. If you’re familiar with some of my previous reviews, often mentioned are the proper utilization of tools in the mixing engineer’s tool box, or the lack there of. In some cases, a band or artist records a performance well enough that there’s very little to be done as a mixing engineer. Ever heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it?”. That’s kind of where I’m getting at with this mix. Of course the competent work at the actual recording session matters a great deal to ensure all aspects were recorded without a hitch and every engineer involved in the recording and editing process deserve their proper kudos. The simplistic mix treatment on this record is in my opinion conducive towards the overall quality it upholds. For an engineer to simply be able to equalize, pan, compress, and level out individual volumes with a great sounding outcome, it makes a mixing engineer feel as though the stars have aligned. Mariah Carey or Britany Spears’s engineers would be in complete paradise if all they needed were those 4 tools to make a record sound great. Instead, they’re stacking layers of plug-in treatment and effects to achieve that shimmery “pop” sound that major label execs get a hard on for. Of course the use of reverb and delays are prevalent on this record, they’re just primarily used to provide atmosphere. Taking this “raw” approach not only showcases as well as exposes musicality on the production side, but when applied to the mix, it enhances the addictive live energy that fuels you on those gruesome days of dealing with life’s bullshit. Sometimes, you just need to let loose and rock your brains out, and the mix of “Dead to the Unknown” will enable you to do so.
Mix Score: 4.1/5
A Mastered Experience:
Having been on both ends of the mastering process, there’s one thing that I look for when critiquing a mastered record or project..
Can I listen to this project from top to bottom and it sound cohesive all the way through?
The mastering portion of this record was competently accomplished in all respects. Have I heard better masters, sure. Better in this sense would be referring to the likes of Metallica, Slayer, and other internationally treasured metal groups. For an underground metal collective digging itself out of the trenches formally known as the local metal scene of Las Vegas, this is a great friggin master on this record. The stereo-field remains full and present for the duration of the project, even during softer dynamic phrases. The low – mid frequency band maintains the optimal weight and pressure to drive the subs of your car or a live thrashing venue. Higher frequencies are brought out enough to nicely elevate the percussive elements while remaining tamed to prevent scratchy or piercing highs. Any band on their sophomore album with a master of this level should feel confident in fans receiving their product.
Master Score: 4.0/5
Mynas has surpassed their previous project on all fronts with this latest release. We’re proud here at #IntoThePitWithAnnie to showcase a band residing in our own backyard with some serious musical ability. At times it can seem as though the metal scene of Vegas resembles it’s surrounding desert. The release of “Dead to the Unknown” will be the oasis that we’re looking for in 2019 to quench our dry mouth. The #IntoThePitUniverse was given brief access to the project before hand, but January 25th you’ll be able to check out this thirst quencher for yourself to ensure it’s is not just a mirage. Mynas still being early in their career has set a respectably firm platform with it’s first two LPs. For a true metal fan, this release will provide much anticipation for witnessing their future projects manifest themselves. We at #IntoThePitWithAnnie are always down to support the music, especially if it’s good. Congrats to Mynas on it’s upcoming release of “Dead to the Unknown” and Happy 2019 #IntoThePitUniverse.
Into The Pit Score: 4.2/5
To follow Mynas on Facebook, Click: Here
To dig into their previous interview with Savage Annie: Here
Don’t forget to check out their live debut on February 1st during the Killpop Awards After Party