Mythic Sunship seem to have appeared out of some ancient musical text. Through sounds and textures as old as weathered folklore and whispers under the breath in the shadows of centuries-old mountaintops, these Danish musicians make music both primitive and not of this earth. Like thunder clapping in the distance, their new album Land Between Rivers takes its first breath as a quiet chattering, but soon pours its mighty roar down and never lets up. Never. Mythic Sunship made their initial landing last year with their fiery Ourboros. It made no qualms about what Mythic Sunship were about, which was pummeling guitar, crushing drums, and epic songs that sounded like explosives battles put to music.
On Land Between Rivers opener “Nishapur” their ear-shattering mission statement stays on point. It opens with quiet, brooding guitar that builds into a cacophony of fuzz and distortion. Quite literally a wall of noise. Drums crashing like angry waves against the hull of a ship, guitar squall bashing into itself over and over, and bass acting as an anchor so as to not let the song fly into orbit “Nishapur” is a bludgeoning of the senses.
It’s one hell of an opener.
“High Tide” has an almost garage-y vibe in its opening moments. Motor City acid fuzz sprinkled with something sinister; something not of this earth. Soon enough though Mythic Sunship hit the interstellar overdrive button and light speed is reached. Anything resembling the gritty streets of Detroit in 1969 are washed away by the primitive drum beats and hazy, reverbed guitars that knock our psyche into orbit. There’s a sense the Sunship crew have tapped into some subconscious, Altered States-like primitive instinct. I’m not calling these cats cavemen by any means. I mean, what caveman could man a rockin’ ship this advanced? What I do mean is that they’ve gone deep in search of the essence of heavy here. They’re going back to the beginnings of that heavy, far out sound. Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Hawkwind, and all those other brave souls that took that one small musical step for man, so that there could be that one giant musical leap for mankind. They leave the frills, movements, suites, and concepts for the art school types and wordy chaps. Here we have pure rock concentrate.
“Silt” finds us in a haze of distortion and feedback. It’s like being lost in a blazing ball of white light. Blind to the world, you can only feel your way around the room in a glow of distilled energy. Soon enough the light fades and in its place is a darkened sky, lightning pulsating just behind the storm clouds. It’s an overwhelming display of power and existential doom. “Silt” is the heaviest Mythic Sunship have gotten, cresting Om and Sunn O))) territory, but without all that unnecessary chanting. If you turn this one up to 11 you may disintegrate before you reach the end.
Land Between Rivers sounds like a band in the midst of a musical storm. Mythic Sunship have upped themselves and their debut with an album that wastes no time getting around to melting your psyche. With three tracks spanning over 30 minutes, the Sunship lock into a distortion-laden groove and never let up until our ears are buzzing and the space/time continuum has been fully disrupted. Land Between Rivers is blissful, primitive rock for the new millennium space traveler.
8. 4 out of 10