My journey (no pun intended) with Mythos began well over 15 years ago, when my interest in New Age and New Classical works was only just beginning. I stumbled upon the self titled 1998 album quite unexpectedly while browsing the local music stores looking for sustenance within my new obsession. The first listen was quite telling: I loved this fusion of beautiful sounds, voices, and layered synths. I was hooked. As much as I loved that first album, my love for this project only grew with 2002’s release of ‘Eternity‘. The cover artwork was something from a lucid dream, and tracks like “Unity“, “Orca“, “Paradise“, and “Kyrie” stoked my imaginative fires and walked with me within my dreams.
I have always been appreciative of Bob D’Eith‘s use of layered styles in his compositions. Take “Kyrie”, for example: The lush synth pads blended with jazzy overtones, and mixed with heavenly choirs speaks of a mind that seeks to find independence and substance in a genre that, for all it’s good deeds. seemed to be falling away with repetition and overproduction. There was (and is) a feeling of honesty to this work, a human touch, a sense of the real within the unreal.
And so, on to the newest offering from this Canadian project. 2013 saw the release of “Journey“, the 7th full-length album in their discography.
It’s been 7 years since their last full-length, and time has certainly not diminished the breadth, vision, or recording clarity of D’Eith, nor his collaborator/right hand Paul Schmidt. Immediately within the first track, the album evokes that timeless Mythos feel; at once familiar, yet in itself a new adventure across time and space. It’s true what they say: Good artists/bands/projects have that ever-present “sound” that is all their own. Mythos certainly falls well within this adage. The sounds are reminiscent of earlier works, but seemingly with a breath of fresh energy and purpose. If anything, this album is even more ambitious than prior efforts, which is refreshing to see. Certainly an established project like Mythos has already proven themselves as a top-shelf act. Their ability to build upon past successes while keeping the vibes of the past is encouraging, as well as appreciated.
I really like how the tracks with specific locations, “Tokyo“, “Nepal“, etc have the feel of such areas intertwined within them. I suppose this should be somewhat expected, but it’s the way they do it that really stands out. With Mythos, nothing is ever crammed down your throat, nor forced. The agile melodies and heartfelt choruses are as natural as the dreams they invoke. This is the magic of Mythos. I’m eternally grateful to see and hear the scope of this new found horizon!
As the majority of this album is composed and recorded using keyboards, controllers, and guitar, I find it a wonderful testimony to what one can accomplish with limited resources and tools. When I say that, I refer to the lack of a “full-band” setup that one would expect when hearing this music. Certainly, this project has access to some undoubtedly awesome programs/synths/etc. To think that 2 guys are able to create the fullness of sound found within this work is inspiring.
As a whole, this album is an excellent example of the core of Mythos’ work. I’d dare say it’s a good starting point for anyone who hasn’t heard their works before. Best utilized in times of solitude, the album really builds itself well, and multiple listens will help the listener appreciate the nuance within each track. The album is well produced without going over the top in post-production, each track fits well within its sonic arena, and the story is told in marvelous fashion. Personal favorites from this collection include “Journey“, “Nocturnal“, and “Tokyo“.
I find this installment of the Mythos saga to have been well worth the wait. The dreams, poems, and enchantment found within speak of better days, a life best lived in the vast expanse of knowledge, and the fire of the dreamer within us all.
03) Escape Velocity
05) Inner Peace
07) Novaya Zemlya