Mythra were originally formed in South Shields in county Durham in 1978. In contrast to other groups from the North East active around the same time, for example Axe, who later turned into Fist and whose “Name, Rank & Serial” number was covered by Mythra in the very early days, Vince High and his boys did show precious few similarities with seventies bands like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. Mythra’s sound was geared towards the future of metal, not re-visiting past hard rock glories. Along with other acts such as Raven, Satan, Jaguar and Blitzkrieg, Mythra might as well bee seen as indirect forerunners of American speed metal outfits such as Exodus, Metallica and Slayer.
Vocalist Vince High explains how Mythra were originally formed: “We got together in 1978 having all been in previous local bands as young teenagers. The nucleus of the band at that time included John, Maurice and Peter (Melsom) who were known as Zarathustra. When Barry (Hopper) and I hooked up with them we became Mythra. We immediately built up a great following on the regional music scene with up to three gigs a week. Our sets were made up of covers by amongst others Black Sabbath, UFO and Scorpions plus our own original material which went down a storm and led to us entering the studio to record our first EP.”
The mentioned »Death And Destiny« EP was originally issued in 1979 by Guardian Records (based in Pity-Me near Durham), and re-pressed by Street Beat Records a year later. Combined sales were rumoured to have reached the incredible mark of 20,000 copies. So why didn’t Guardian Records actually release a Mythra album back in 1980? “Great question,” muses Vince High. “The record deal with Street Beat should have led to the release of follow-up singles and a Mythra album back then but sadly it didn't happen. The success of our EP enabled us to establish a great following, we signed with a major London agent, were gigging nationwide including performing at the legendary ‘Heavy Metal Barn Dance’ with Motörhead, Saxon, Girlschool and others. It is unbelievable that the commercial success of our first EP was not capitalized upon through follow-up releases but that's the situation we found ourselves in. Following the success of the initial pressing of our first EP, which sold out in days, we signed with a company called Street Beat who re-issued the EP. This recording went on to spend twelve weeks on the UK Independent Record Charts in 1980 peaking at #2. The original intention was to release two further singles plus an album but for reasons unknown to the band, as mentioned earlier, no follow-up recordings were issued despite the fact the studio recordings had been completed and were available. There were mutterings of alleged disputes between our management and the record company but we as a band were never party to any of those dealings all we cared about was our music. It was an extremely frustrating time for us as young musicians for the absence of follow-up recordings led to the tailing off of live work opportunities as our agent had no new music with which to promote the band.”
Out of the thirteen songs present on »Death And Destiny – 40th Anniversary LP« (including the four tracks from the popular EP), featuring the entire catalogue of the band’s studio recordings between 1979 and 1981, Mythra would have most probably chosen the material for a possible debut album, which unfortunately never saw the light of day during the heydays of the glorious New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in the early 1980s.