Mythos is the new EP from Jersey Hardcore/Prog rockers Circadian Frequency. You may recognize them as The Hook’s most recent featured artist. We promised a review of Mythos and that’s what I’m here to give you, but first let’s talk about the band.
Circadian Frequency is a trio formed in 2012, combining hardcore punk and prog rock sensibilities. Think At the Drive-In. The band has been working on their trilogy of EP’s ever since. Guitarist/Frontman Tom Bair says the odyssey has been a planned escape route from his daily life, something we all may need from time to time.
Mythos is volume 2 of the trilogy, with volume 1, Origins, being released back in 2013. Due to the narrative nature of the EP’s, it would have been foolish of me not to go listen to Origins. To be brief, I enjoyed it. Origins showcases some real originality and creative songwriting. The lyrics are dark, and tell the beginnings of Circadian Frequency’s odyssey. From a mutiny at sea, to the continuing survival of the mutineers.
Before I get to the review, take a second to look over the art and the track list:
1 - IV. SEARCHLIGHT
2 - V. ASCENSION
3 - VI. ENDEAVOR
Each track on Origins and Mythos covers a number of themes. Mythos opens with part 4 of the tale, entitled “Searchlight”, which handles the themes of pursuit, tedium, and isolation. The EP starts off strong with “Searchlight," a powerful punk track. Bair’s screaming vocals fit in the song perfectly as we hear the continuation of the story. The track then settles down into a lighter instrumental section, with some cool background synth parts highlighting the somewhat unsettling music in this section. Then the song explodes right back into the hardcore verse before ending with another instrumental section. “Searchlight” is exciting and unpredictable.
“Searchlight” neatly flows into the next chapter “Ascension”. The track starts off light, but each part gradually transforms and builds intensity, giving way to a very cool, more prog sounding section, with a nice melodic guitar lead. The lyrics cover the themes of anguish, revelation, and consolation. However, the listener isn't off the hook yet, for they will be soon be engulfed by the band's heavy guitar distortion and pounding drums in "Ascension". "Endeavor," The final track on the EP, expresses the concepts of culmination, illumination, and optimism.
“Searchlight” flows into “Ascension” very well, which is a well-used musical storytelling device throughout Mythos. “Ascension” gives us a little room to breathe at the beginning, with a small bass/drum intro. Then a dreamy clean guitar strums a few chords. Things build up gradually again and the vocals come in on a reggae inspired verse, continuing Circadian Frequency’s theme of unpredictable songwriting. The rest of the song is filled with more interesting melodic guitar parts, and even a little bit of melodic bass (which is one of the fastest ways to my heart). “Ascension” provides a good conclusion to part 2 of Circadian Frequency’s trilogy.
It would be a real tragedy if I didn’t briefly mention the artwork for Mythos. The cover art is done by frontman Tom Bair, and reminds me a bit of Dethklok and Metalocalypse, which never fails to make me smile. So kudos for that.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Mythos. I think it is a good follow-up to Origins and showcases a nice evolution for the band. I definitely enjoyed Mythos a bit more than I did Origins, and that’s a good thing. It’s nice to see a band grow and see their music get even better. I didn’t want to reveal too many details of the story, because I think you ought to listen yourself and form your own impressions and interpret it as you will. That being said, Circadian Frequency are good storytellers, and I’m looking forward to hearing the conclusion of this Trilogy. You can stream Origins and Mythos for free on Bandcamp, and the band also offers both EP’s for download, pay what you want.