ModernMyth came out of nowhere with their debut album Tides. The Tulsa, Oklahoma quintet’s ten song offering is full of energy, yet very mature for a band’s first record. A very captivating progressive band worthy of a listen.
Talk about first impressions. ModernMyth is a group of five musicians from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who got together after playing in bands in the local scene together. Formed in 2011, they spent the past seven years working on their sound for their debut album Tides. The album cover immediately caught my interest – very simple, yet beautiful, which is actually a good metaphor for the music on the record.
This is not a knock on the musicianship at all. ModernMyth aren’t trying to break records with the fastest guitar solos or most technical riffs. They have found their lane and stay in it. Everything they do, they do it well. For a band’s first release, their musical maturity is comparable to later works for other bands. Also, the quality of the recording is superb. Everything is mixed so perfectly and the instrument levels are perfect. Nothing is too overbearing or too low in the mix. Tides was recorded and engineered by Kyle Simpson of Simpson Studios in Tulsa, OK.
After waiting several years to put out a recording, ModernMyth wastes no time with an intro. Instead, they turn it up to 11 right from the beginning with their first song “Colors”, featuring punchy down-tuned guitars and memorable vocals by singer Aaron Harris. There are no harsh vocals on the record, but it never takes away from the heaviness, much like Caligula’s Horse or some TesseracT. The second track, “Device”, might be one of the best songs on Tides. Carried by drummer Jake White’s thundering beats and Harris’s powerful choruses. Guitarists Johnny Digges and Matt Walker really let their 7-stings purr on this one.
It’s hard to really compare ModernMyth with other prog/djent bands, but some parts I get a hint of Killswitch Engage, and also some 36 CrazyFists. Jake White plays left-hand lead, open style on a righty kit, much like Josh Eppard from Coheed and Cambria, who have their ride cymbal to the left of the drum set by the hi-hat. This opens up a realm of rhythms that can’t be achieved with the ride to the right where it usually sits.
In addition to the album cover and song titles being nautically themed, much of the music gives the listener the sensation that they are in the ocean. Not a drowning feeling, but they channel the tranquility of being underwater. “Waves”, their softest song, or ballad you can say, provides a feeling of swimming underwater, while the instruments illustrate the coral reefs and fish all around you. Following the lightest song on the album, naturally, would be one of the heavier songs on the record “Marionette”. This one is in the running for my favorite song; it has an epic djent ending, with a bit of a 36 CrazyFists feel.
The title track, “Tides”, was the very first single/video, and it is also the strongest song on the record. It begins with a guitar intro reminiscent of “Language I: Intuition” by The Contortionist. White lets loose on the drums for this one with a ton of tom fills and double bass following the chugging of the 7-strings. The album continues to flow and gain more momentum, coming to an end with the epic closer “Lights”. Harris has one last chance to reel you in with his powerful hooks, and he doesn’t miss his chance. A rare guitar solo splashes down just before the tide recedes into the ocean as “Lights” fades out.
After many listens, I’m still surprised how a band’s first contribution could be so developed, and also how crystal clear the recording quality is. ModernMyth will not blow you away with any one thing, but the style they’ve established is so solid that it feels just right. I’m very impressed with the 40 minutes of sonic sea travel provided by Tides. Grab some inflatable floaties before jumping right into ModernMyth, because they’ll pull you under, in the most beautiful way!