Mythic Sunship are a band that waste no time with subtleties. There’s no tip-toeing around whether things are gonna get loud and intense, as you know right as the first song begins to play on any of their albums that things are gonna get pretty damn loud. And pretty damn intense. But that’s not to say they don’t get nuance or dynamics. The Copenhagen four-piece know when to bring things down just enough to give the listener a little breathing room. You know, let ’em see some blue sky and a pinch of sunlight before the sky turns red again and molten lava reigns down once again as these “Anaconda Rockers” put their heaviest foot forward and set free their fuzzed-out, monolithic riffage.
Welcome to the world of Mythic Sunship, lovelies.
These monolithic rockers released their first record with El Paraiso in May of 2016. Ouroboros introduced the better part of the universe to the tectonic sounds of Mythic Sunship. Not quite a year later in April of 2017 they were at it again with the excellent Land Between Rivers. Not to just sit on their musical laurels, the guys are back with a new album just a mere nine months later after Rivers. Upheaval is both Mythic Sunship’s heaviest and most nuanced record yet. The double guitar attack crackles and shakes the earth, while the rhythm section gives the guys a solid foundation to do as much damage as possible. There’s also a lot of contemplative moments here strewn throughout the skull-rattling guitar and bone-crunching bass. It’s an all-encompassing sonic shakedown.
While on first listen Mythic Sunship’s sound seems like a blunt tool for eardrum and psychic destruction, you’d be mistaken not to let yourself sink into the wall of sound. Inside that sound wall is a center of bliss. “Tectonic Breach” opens the album with the said wall of sound, but burrow into it’s center and look out from inside it. Once at the heart of this beast of a song you look out and its as if you’re at the controls of a Jaeger, a man manning a towering creature of destruction. That may be a dramatic way to put it, but its totally the vibe you feel. This song sounds like some cross pollination of Blue Cheer and Voltron. There’s both punk rock blunt force and carefully layered sonics. “Aether Flux” shows the band dialing down the rock and roll destruction derby for a more windswept, post-rock feel. At moments the song is reminiscent of psych rock big brothers(and labelmates) Causa Sui, but as the 10-minute epic rolls along the guys muddy the crystalline waters a bit with some fuzzed-out goodness. All in all, a steady, vibe-y classic.
Go to side B and all bets are off. “Cosmic Rupture” is a tour-de-force of molten groove and “Anaconda Rock” as Mythic Sunship’s music essence has been dubbed. It’s sleek but brutal. With each passing second the band tightens up on you until your gasping for breath(or at least another beer.) Amidst the fire and fury there’s also plenty of groove and space-y vibes to get lost in. The twin guitar attack adds a flurry of noise, like a hornet’s nest at full agitation. “Into Oblivion” closes the album on a dirge-y note. This is about as doom metal as the Sunship has gotten. The track opens ominously in drop-D, as if Tony Iommi himself is there in spirit. Pretty soon tribal drums roll in and things begin to build. Like a battalion off to war, these four guys make their way through over 13 minutes of barb wire, enemy fire, and a steady march that leads to a climactic end, complete with a flurry of guitar squall J Mascis would be proud of. The drum and bass groove here is what keeps the track on a steady forward motion through the muck and mire. This is one hell of a way to end an album.
Upheaval keeps Mythic Sunship moving in an upward motion. With each successive record this quartet from Copenhagen take that blunt musical tool they wield so well and refine and hone it into something more precise and exhilarating. Upheaval is a masterclass in sonic annihilation.
Drop the needle for your rock and roll comeuppance.
8. 4 out of 10