Local, experimental rock release gets heavier amongst antiquated logics
Age of Fable’s new ‘Modern Logos’ EP plays on mood and depth
By John McCracken
Green Bay alternative rock quartet Age of Fable released a new EP ripe with songwriting that contemplates loss and change, alongside other philosophical quandaries, as a continuation of a three-part EP series.
In comparison to their first EP “Modern Pathos”—which is also rooted in Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion; pathos (emotion), ethos (ethics), and logos (logic) and was released in March—“Modern Logos” feels heavier all around. The EP was recorded by Marc Gold at Rock Garden Studio in Appleton and mastered by Caleb Cheslok—the same team who did Age of Fable’s first EP— but Age of Fable’s songwriting gained heft and depth since their first release.
The EP pulls inspiration from alternative rock, post-hardcore giants Thrice. The influence of Thrice songs such as “Hurricane” and “Black Honey” can be heard on Age of Fables’ new release. Additionally, sonic similarities to folk and indie group Mumford & Sons, especially some of Mumford & Sons’ more moody tracks like “Thistle & Weed,” pop up throughout the album.
Guitarist and vocalist Chris Rugowski said this album is the most experimental and progressive-rock influenced of all three releases.
“This record is different as it is all related to ‘Logos’,” Rugowski said, “the second concept from Aristotle’s Modes of Persuasion. Logos refers to logic. Every song has some sort of logic element to it.”
“Modern Logos” continues down the philosophical road as its predecessor, but takes a moodier approach. The four-track EP kicks off with the song “Slow Fox,” which emphasizes the vocal talent of keyboardist and vocalist Melanie Riley. The song is a long-winded opening track. It bounces between choruses filled with syncopated drum patterns, takes side roads into dreamy guitar-strumming passages and shows Age of Fable’s anthemic nature with a quick, stadium-rock-like closing.
One shining example of this new growth is drummer Dan Riley’s booming fills and sharp cymbal execution, cutting through the noise on the second track “Korupcja” (the Polish word for corruption, pronounced “Ko-rup-see-ya.”) Dan, brother of keyboardist Melanie, continues his prowess throughout “Star Star.” From the opening to the bridge, Dan moves quickly and precisely overtop Rugowski’s psychedelic chords.
“After switching drummers mid-way during the writing process, Dan added the element of heavy and yet soft surprises to the songs,” Rugowksi said.
Dan’s influence can also be found in the lyrics of “Korupcja.” The song was inspired by a lawsuit brought forth from the Polish government against the guitarist and front-person for the black metal band Behemoth Adam Nergal Darski, otherwise known as Nergal. Nergal was fined an equivalent of over $15,000 USD for “offending religious freedoms” after he posted a photo of himself on social media standing on top of an image of the Virgin Mary in early 2021. Nergal and Behemoth have a long history of being banned from European countries and paying court fees for their extreme on- and off-stage antics.
Rugowski said Dan provided most of the lyrical content and the two of them worked closely to write the song with the Polish government’s use of religion to govern in mind.
“The song is the most political we’ve ever gotten. Organized religion oppressing freedom is a problem in this world,” Rugowski said.
On the closing track “Return,” Melanie’s vocals are again a testament to her full talent as a classically trained vocalist. Melanie belts lines of fear in the form of galactic imagery. Bassist Katelyn Werner helps close out the EP with a true punk bass groove, setting a course for all other members to come together in a swirling matrix of sound. The closing minute of the EP sounds like a jam band practice, where every member is pushing their limits, morphing into clear-cut harmonies just on the cusp of falling apart.
The new EP can be found on Bandcamp.
John McCracken is the Editor of Green Bay City Pages. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @jmcjmc451