• Sylvain Lupari

MYTHOS: The Dramatic and Fantastic Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (2004)

Updated: Mar 19

A powerful album which allies symphonic and gothic rock in a shroud of electronic creativity

CD 1

1 The Unparalleled Adventures of Hans Pfaall 6:13

2 The Journal 0f Julius Rodman 5:43

3 The Domain of Arnheim 4:39

4 The Pit and the Pendulum 5:17

5 The Narrative Of A.G. Pym Of Nantucket 5:58

6 Landscape Garden 7:00

7 The Murders in the Rue Morgue 5:38

8 The Island of the Fay 10:22

CD 2

1 The Power of Words 7:23

2 Mystification 4:20

3 Never bet the Devil your Head 8:43

4 An Extravaganza 5:40

5 Tales of Ratiocination 6:47

6 The Stylus 6:53

7 The Longfellow War 6:42

8 E.A.P. Forever 6:07

2004, Membran 222053-311

(CD 103:32) (V.F.)

(Gothic Electronic Rock)

After a sabbatical period of fifteen months, Mythos got back to his studios to undertake another epic work; THE DRAMATIC AND FANTASTIC STORIES OF EDGAR ALLAN POE. Unconditional lover of the works of this dark poet, Mythos caressed such a project since a very long time. Project he wanted to do of his own way and at the height of Poe's talent. The directors of Membran records, being very satisfied with his earlier works, agreed to invest in a sumptuous cover sleeve comprising 42 pages of text on very good quality paper which would be quite similar to the textures of the old manuscripts. A colossal work that will have cloistered Stephan Kaske in his Berlin studios for more than 18 months.

The Unparalleled Adventures of Hans Pfaall sets the tone for this fabulous musical odyssey which begins with good layers of floating violins merging with a succulent oboe. The ambiences that come of it is a cross between the fest and the hunt on a rhythm which overlaps an undulating gallop. This ambiguous movement plunges us on mystical rides in the heart of English forests soaked in an autumnal mist. The strength of Mythos through this epic work is to faithfully reproduce the sound elements conducive to cerebral escapes. In doing so, the listener, who knows about the poet and his works, travels through the orchestral arrangements that Mythos develops with a touch that relegates the electronic mood in the background at many places. Each track has its own identity and, although subtly interconnected with each other, takes us on rhythmic structures with astonishing variations within each movement. From captivating rhythms to gothic choirs, like more tempered impulses with progressive modulations, THE DRAMATIC AND FANTASTIC STORIES OF EDGAR ALLAN POE flows into a universe of harmonies with sensitive and moving peaks, due to the exquisite use of the string sections which enhance each movement. Mythos has fun inserting touches of a very hard rock, with amazing riffs and solos, in unexpected moments, creating modules of charm for lovers of gothic hard rock. But all the same he remains faithful to the symphonic visions that he likes to hang on beautiful lines of sequences both undulating and circular on fluid movements, sometimes hypnotic and bewitching, with orchestrations worthy of a true philharmonic orchestra which nests inside his synths.

Beyond the controversies generated on who does what and how far technologies can go in music, Mythos offers us an inspiring work with multiple twists and symphonic movements of great sensitivity. I loved every moment and such a work contains very beautiful ones. A brilliant work full of twists and turns which surprises by the size of its titles and the versatility of its movements. A powerful album which confirms again and always the immense skill of Stephen Kaske, a musician and a composer of great talent with ideas as impressive as those of Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Philip Glass and Mike Oldfield. An artist to discover who takes a philharmonic turn where many other artists have broken their teeth by dint of too great ambitions. Except that the advantage of THE DRAMATIC AND FANTASTIC STORIES OF EDGAR ALLAN POE is to surf at the crossroads of several styles including Dark Gothic. In short, a good boxset that should fill the libraries of lovers of symphonic and progressive EM.

Sylvain Lupari (February 20th, 2007) ***¾**

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