Mythos EP

Well lookie here, it seems Kam Lee and crew have snuck back into our presence just mere months since their full-length release Resurgence landed, declaring Massacre was back to to swallow your fucking soul. With Mythos we’re only getting four tracks stretched across fifteen minutes, but thats okay, less is more so they say, plus you have to strike while the iron is hot. Though considering that during a damn near forty year existence, with an output that is sporadic and scarce, Massacre‘s following is still as strong as ever, if not stronger. Striking while the iron is hot and making sure to stay in the people’s eye doesn’t seem like a factor that the band really has to worry about.

Mythos in case you couldn’t figure it out after seeing the EP’s cover art and song titles, is clearly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and his huge influence on death metal, let alone literature. Which to be quite honest, can be a very much played out topic these days, yet I’ll be the first to admit, it was the lyrical content of death metal bands, such as Massacre that drove me to the written works of Lovecraft and Sumerian mythology during my teenage years. Plus this is Kam we’re talking about, so it’s not like he wasn’t one of the first to use Lovecraft within the originating death metal scene.

Musically speaking Mythos is pretty damn solid, it doesn’t really offer anything formula wise that wasn’t touched upon with Resurgence, though it does satisfy the itch for a quick death metal romp of brutal, catchy fun. While all four tracks are individual rippers, collectively they are a bit too familiar with each other. All are uptempo, catchy numbers that do employ some tasty change ups and thrashy and/or doomy moments of variety, but overall the sameness in pacing leaves no true highlight or standout for Mythos. On the other hand, if these very same songs were interspersed within a full-length context their power and possibilty of stand out just may be enhanced a bit more.

Don’t let me fool you though. Mythos is indeed a ripping little affair full of fat riffs and plenty of groove. With Kam still backed up by the man of a million bands, Rogga Johansson, as well as Jonny Pettersson (Heads for the Dead, Henry Kane, Nattravnen…), and Scott Fairfax (Memoriam) on guitars, you can be assured that the riffage of Mythos is top notch. The material, while definitely having the vibe of old school Massacre, also clearly resides in the 21st century in it’s presence and presentation. Not having to fall back or rely on a retro tag or trying to capture past glories is a smart move for the band. Rarely does trying to capture lighting in a bottle work, let alone twice, and sadly, it can end up stunting creativity and progression if you aren’t careful.

From the sweet change ups at the 1:20 and 3:38 marks of “Behind the Serpent’s Curse”, the former, leaving the bass to set up the ensuing thrash attack perfectly, and the latter providing a simple but most effetive mood enhancement, not to mention the Anders Odden(Cadaver) guest appearance, plus a nice little scorching lead from Fairfax; to the Obituary-like influence of go-getter, “The Mythos that Lovecraft Built”, Mythos tears it up. Thats not even touchng upon the classic brutality presented in “The Dunwich Horror”, or the speedy closer that is “The Thing on the Doorstep” and its brief flirtings of doomy moments within.

Before you know it the EP’s over, though at fifteen minutes it’s pefectly suited for repeat listenings. Sure, if I’m being extremely critical, its a tad one-sided, but like I said, I feel that is due more to the tracks being too much alike in tempo more than being flawed. This isn’t a bad EP at all, yet I doubt I would go for Mythos over last year’s Resurgence. In fact, Resurgence has ended up being an album that I have revisited more than I thought I would over the past eight months since its release, prompting me to think higher of it than my initial review of said album implied (and that review wasn’t a bad one either). As far as Mythos goes, it’s a competently soild little stop gap of an EP that pays homage to one of death metal’s biggest influences. Not bad, not bad at all…and on a side note, that album cover will make one badass t-shirt.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
September 2nd, 2022


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