Pathos & Logos ‘Cult’ – available June 24th, 2022

For guitarist Kyle Neeley and drummer Paul Christiansen, celebrating Art as a system of spirituality and Magick was a way of life long before they formed Pathos & Logos, the band opening up new avenues for exploring these themes. The instrumental progressive duo create complex and involving pieces, dropping their debut Glory To The Order in 2020, and returning in 2022 with Cult, which is a far heavier release, but contains all the energetic peaks and valleys integral to their unique sound, delving deeper into that which they are channeling. “‘Cult’ is laden with lots of ideas,” says Christiansen. “There’s a recurring melodic theme that appears throughout the recording, and it’s also our initial foray into working in some of our Magickal concepts. The Magickal/spirituality work that we do is also recorded in books that we make. One of them, The Sanctum Innan’, has a section with sigils [symbols considered to have magical power] that we created, which we then assigned specific rhythms to. By incorporating these rhythms into the songs, they’re vested with the energy of our intentions. Even the keys of the songs carry certain meanings and energy for us. It’s safe to say that ‘Cult’ has several layers of meaning for us, and that is absolutely by design.”

Formed in Denver, Colorado in 2018, Neeley and Christiansen had worked together in numerous acts before, ultimately finding that in their case, less meant more, working as a duo allowing them to keep the pace they always wanted. With a goal of creating the most compelling music they could in as round and holistic a way as possible, they draw from a lot of different stylistic influences, exploring these sounds in their fullness. At the same time, it was important to go beyond this, bringing in the ideas they had been sharing prior to the band’s inception. “Countless artists since time immemorial have treated Art as a religion, and we decided that we were going to fully embrace and codify this idea for ourselves with our own language, scripts, iconography and rituals,” says the drummer. They have realized this more fully than ever with the four tracks comprising Cult. Exploring a lot of sonic terrain, they kick off with the sublime “Initiation”, which is awash with ethereal sounds and grows steadily in intensity, this markedly different to the thunderous, juddering “Novitiate”, the urgent “Regnum”, and the both melancholic and agitated “IVDEX”. Every song explores a variety of moods, and they are gripping throughout, never wasting a moment, everything having meaning and purpose. “We try very hard to highlight our individual personality as a band. Kyle and I created a proprietary system for writing authentic Meshuggah-style riffs, which we playfully refer to as ‘Wisdom Parts‘, so that’s aligned with a lot of modern prog material, but we try to focus heavily on the melodic component. Every track has a bold, singable melody in it somewhere, and any shred-guitar material is metered out very carefully.”

Written over several months – with “Initiation” going all the way back to the drawing board at one point – Pathos & Logos honed every track to make sure the EP was as compelling as possible. Titling it Cult was a bold step, partly designed to counteract some negative accusations that have been leveled at the band due to their focus on spirituality and Magick. “Some people have been accusatory and suggested that we’re involved in some kind of negative pursuit, that we mean to do harm or that we’re trying to recruit people for a cult. Naturally, we’re not doing any of those things. We are trying to encourage people to explore their own path on their terms, and we have also developed a way for people to interact and participate in what we do, if that’s something they want, but we’re not out to tell anyone how to live. The name ‘Cult’ is almost like a reclamation – trying to take ownership of it and make it mean something better than what’s been suggested about us.” Though instrumental, every song has a narrative behind it, each one having its own dedicated artwork in which there are instructions on how to participate in what the band refer to as ‘The Order’. This is a term they use to refer broadly to individuals for whom Art is a serious or meaningful aspect of their lives, and more pertinently to this recording, the people who like what they are doing as a band. “The song ‘Initiation‘ refers to the different ways people can enter The Order according to their participation in Art, while ‘Novitiate’ explains the gifts an Initiate receives for participating. ‘Regnum’ refers to the cultivation of inner agency and control, and ‘IVDEX‘ references mastery of one’s fate. Naturally, this is all in the spirit of creativity and enjoyment; it’s not something anyone has to do. At the end of the day, we’re a band and we wanna promote our music and just connect to people.”

Tracked at Augminished Studio in Littleton, CO, the band worked with good friend Nick Pelc, who has been recording them there for a long time, in multiple projects. Additional instruments, mixing and mastering were all done in Neeley’s home studio, the guitarist also an accomplished engineer who has worked with – amongst others – The Black Dahlia Murder, God Forbid and The Human Abstract. Keeping with the artistic nature of the record, they have also come up with a unique form of presenting the CD format, this coming packaged in what they have named ‘The Codex’. “We devised this for several reasons, one of which is the nature of compact disc consumption has been changing pretty intensely for a while now. People are using their devices – phones, tablets, etc – to consume music much more than CDs, so The Codex is in part a response to that. It comes in a book format and also as individual cards. Each song on the album has a Tarot-like format that has Art on the front, the name of the song, and a brief statement at the bottom explaining the steps for participating in The Order; the back has QR codes that take the user either to a play-through video of the song, the merch or the tour dates portions of our website. Another reason why we decided to create it was just to do something new and creative that people haven’t seen before. This band, its music and its meaning are a long time coming for us, and we really want to do everything we can to make a mark.”