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miRthkon Snack(s) album cover
4.16 | 80 ratings | 4 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. QXP-13 Space Modulator (3:49)
2. Eat a Bag of DiX (5:08)
3. Hapax Legomena (4:47)
4. Nocturne, op.33 (4:15)
5. The Cascades (6:37)
6. Snack(s) - The Song! (7:12)
7. Osedax (6:16)
8. Mymaridae (6:25)
9. Variety Pack (2:52)
10.Fairies Wear Boots (7:35)

Total Time: 54:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Wally Scharold / guitars, vocals, keyboards, percussion
- Matt Guggemos / drums
- Travis Andrews / guitar
- Carolyn Walter / piccolo, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax
- Jamison Smeltz / alto sax, baritone sax
- Matt Lebofsky / bass, vocals, keyboards, percussion

Releases information

CD AltrOck ALT-038 (Italy) (September 14, 2013)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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MIRTHKON Snack(s) ratings distribution

(80 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MIRTHKON Snack(s) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Nogbad_The_Bad
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Eclectic Team
5 stars Four years after bursting onto the scene with their debut, Vehicle, MiRthkon are back with their sophomore release, Snack(S). The band features dual guitars, bass, drums, and dual horn section (saxophones, clarinet, flute). The line up has changed a bit from their debut. Wally, Matt, Carolyn & Jamison remain, adding Travis Andrews on guitar & Matt Lebofsky (also of Secret Chiefs 3 & MoeTar) on Bass. Matt guested on the debut.

The album continues the development of the band, they have a darker heavier sound than their debut without losing the quirky zaniness that was a major feature of Vehicle. The 'advertising' clips aren't featured this time round but there's still plenty of fun in the music. They really don't sound like anyone else which is part of the appeal, they have the complexity of a Miriodor with the switch to heaviness coming out of nowhere.

The most recognizable element of their sound is the dual horn section featuring Carolyn Walter & Jamison Smeltz. They play a variety of wind instruments and their interplay is really the bedrock of the bands sound.

A highly enjoyable album closes with a terrific version of Black Sabbath's Fairies Wear Boots. Highly recommended for anyone enjoying the modern resurgence of the Avant/RIO scene.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars This time I'll start this review in a bit different way, I'll start talking about the booklet of the new miRthkon album, Snack(s) (2013). Why? - you would ask. Simply because it's such a unique idea where each page has a kind of sweets (like Mars, Twix, etc) that represents the songs as in a catalogue. Great idea that you'll have to hold in your own hands to get the whole idea!

Now, coming back to the music, miRthkon is an American band that was formed in the late 90's and that plays some really adventurous Avant Prog. The septet is formed by Wally Scharold (vocals, guitars, keyboards and percussion), Matt Guggemos (drums), Travis Andrews (guitars), Carolyn Walter (flutes, clarinet and saxophones), Jamison Smeltz (saxophones) and Matt Lebofsky (bass, vocals, keyboards and percussion).

Snack(s) (2013) was released by the Italian label AltrOck and they once again present us with a high quality album! The whole idea behind Snack(s) (2013) is simple: be crazy! Yes, that's pretty much it! But that's exactly why bands like miRthkon are interesting, they go out of the 'box' of the conventional music but with good ideas and songs that were clearly worked through with a high amount of rehearsal. Not just some Jazz Fusion thing that doesn't go anywhere! The intro 'QXP-13 Space Modulator' (that is a re-recording from their second album) and the crazy lyrical idea for 'Eat A Bag Of Dix' prove my whole point!

While 'Hapax Legomena' is clearly influenced by Weather Report, 'Nocturne, Op.33' is exactly what the name suggests, a classical piece with a modern approach to it! 'The Cascades' is the part of a heavier side of the band with great guitars and a very weird riff! 'Snack(s) ' The Song!' has a great and strange rhythm followed by claps and some really nice vocals that fit the band's sound. Very heavy too!

'Osedax' is calmer than the rest of the album and has the strangest lyrics ever about a female tubeworm! Next two songs, 'Mymaridae' (also a re-recording from their second album) and 'Variety Pack' follow the same path of calmer pieces of 'Osedax' and they have some unusual chords sequences. As the cherry on the cake that is Snack(s) (2013) we have something even more unusual, a version for Black Sabbath's 'Fairies Wear Boots'. As expected this is one of the weirdest versions ever, but also insanely good!

Snack(s) (2013) is a perfect album for those in search of a new and good Avant Prog record! One more excellent (and challenging) delivery from AltrOck Productions! Recommended!

(Originally posted on

Review by Progulator
5 stars My first experience with miRthkon was in a small club in Oakland where they performed alongside the strangeness of fellow avant-rockers Free Salamander Exhibit (formerly SGM). For the entirety of miRthkon's set I stared in awe, trying to pick my jaw up off the floor as these Bay Area locals blew the roof off with blaring saxophones, thrashy guitars, complex lines, and a serious dose of humor. Snacks represents the second release from this Altrock Records band, an album that is at once strange, quirky, and avant-garde while never losing its ability to be catchy, engaging, and fun.

Snacks is art music through and through with an overall and thorough sense of the postmodern. The record dwells in a space that invites a thorough blend of high and low brow culture, where the popular meets the erudite, and where genres and cultures crossover into a realm where anything goes. Let's make this clear from the start: this is some serious musicians' music, the scholarly sort that conservatory kids and music majors dream to make. The kind where they apply all of the most devious tricks, twists, and turns that they can squeeze from their knowledge of music theory. Though I'll get back to the music shortly, I mention this up front to highlight that despite the musical erudition, the band is still quirky, even silly, bringing in that Zappa-esque touch where even the most pretentious of things ridicule their own pretentiousness in an act of self-awareness.

The visual art and text of the record (in the form of lyrics, song titles, and track descriptions) come from that side of the field where the zany occurs, I must add, which is certainly not uncommon in the sphere of postmodern and avant-garde art. The album title and individual song names, along with their accompanying artwork, are perhaps the clearest place to start. The theme, as the title of the album states, is snacks. The album cover displays the band name miRthkon in a fashionable Pringles chips sort of way, while each song is offered up as a morsel with its individualized snack photos, representations of things such as Twix candybars ("Eat a Bag of Dix"), Three Musketeers ("Nocturne op 33″), Mountain Dew ("Variety Pack"), and Fritos ("Fairies Wear Boots," the most original rendition of the Black Sabbath piece you'll ever hear). Along with each song's visual image we get the nutritional facts, offering health benefits such as the beats per minute, tuning, metrics, additives (such as Wurlitzer, Organ, Harp, Glockenspiel, and let's not forget, BUBBLES), as well as an ingredients list containing lyrics. Whether all of this is to be viewed as a festival of pastiche or parody, the end result is an album which is not only musically sophisticated, but visually entertaining on a base level without ever losing that air of "we did this in full consciousness of 20th century artistic trends."

As previously mentioned, Snacks celebrates the juxtaposition of high and low culture in a way I think is distinctive from much of the prog rock world. While I would consider a lot of prog to be a sort of rock musicians' aim at making high art, miRthkon is distinct in that they give the impression of simply being artists who are interested in seeing what happens when music from all corners of the sociocultural spectrum collide. Snacks is in the realm of extreme crossover and interplay between musical genres and tendencies. "Eat a Bag of Dix" (apart from warning us to avoid contact with eyes) fills the air with brutal metal riffing, swirling sax solos, loads of syncopation, and tension filled avant-chamber music. "Hapax Legomena" takes us into the realm of avant-jazz rock that is extremely catchy while not forgetting to throw in some brutal vocals and odd, heavy riffing; despite being heavy, it still allows you to forget that you're hearing a lot of metal. "QXP13″ manages to blend some punk influences with jazzy sax interplay, and "The Cascades" offers heavy sax groove with lots of great bluesy moves, odd phrasing, whammy dives and dreamlike textures. Finally, "Snack(s): The Song!," brings in a very modern sound where synths meet fascinating vocal lines and heavy riffs.

There isn't a boring moment on the album. miRthkon manipulates elements that are familiar and displays them in ways that are fresh and engaging, all while perfectly balancing the intellectual, whimsical, and raucous aesthetics. Add to the mix (pun intended) marvelous quality post-production where every single detail of the music is clearly accessible and we have on our hands one of the most ambitious, original, and I daresay, fun, albums of the year. For miRthkon, Snacks is a landmark album that will set the standard, not only for their own future releases, but for the rest of the RIO community.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band MIRTHKON was formed sometime in the late '90s, but did not stabilize as a band unit until the mid 2000s. They released their debut album "Vehicle" in 2009, following some initial EP productions. "Snack(s)" is their second studio album, released through Altrock Records in 2013.

Adventurous avant-garde metal is what Mirthkon explores on their second studio production "Snack(s)", with roots in heavy metal, thrash, chamber rock and jazz. The compositions are generally intense, challenging and quirky affairs, music that demands much from the listener and most likely quite a lot from the performers too. If technically challenging. RIO-flavored, avant metal sounds like something that might interest you, Mirthkon is a band that merits an inspection, and "Snack(s)" comes across as an album that represents this band fairly well.

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