Released: 1998, Carter Evenson/BMI
In another underground release for the month, Ohio brings us their prodigal Sons of Poseidon. Like their album title implies, the Sons play an earthshaking style of proto-thrash metal, mixed with more modern 90's metal tendencies. Quite the heady brew, but does it all gel? Let us see…
First off, for a self-released album, this has a pretty sweet production! It's raw and gritty with a definite emphasis on the guitars - always a good starting point! After a short intro first track, the album opens with what appears to be the Sons' signature tune, "Silent". This song is a grinder, to say the least! Bringing all the best elements of slowed-down 80's thrash into a modern sound, this song is a great statement of intent -We're gonna kick your ass! Plus, the gang vocals during the chorus are perfectly placed for maximum effect.
From there we move onto "T-Bag". Unfortunately, this song is everything that I disliked about thrash metal to begin with: the pointless, repetitive riffing that goes nowhere, and toneless vocals that just don't grab the listener. While I appreciate the attempt at varying the tempo of the album, this song just doesn't cut it. 'Sides, what the hell is a T-bag anyhow? Hmm…the gang vocals are used again here…and more often. Next.
The true gem of the EP is the next song, "The Lowdown". Leading the song off with a dirty, grimy riff that AC/DC wish they had written, "The Lowdown" slowly builds into a frothy mess that just wrecks the place! Vocalist Carter Evenson shreds both his vocal chords and his guitar, pulling you in with a bizarre mix of melody and dissonance. All the while "Hat" and Dave Johnson beat your sorry ass with their rhythmic pounding. This is the shit! But again…a preponderance for gang vocals…
Which brings us to the last "real" song on the album, "Wrong Or Right". This song starts off slow, but then builds into a mid-paced Panzer tank of mayhem. It's a definite keeper of a tune that follows (thankfully!) in the style of "The Lowdown". But again, the gang vocals make an appearance. This is my main complaint of this album. While Carter doesn't have the best singing voice, it fits with the metal that the band plays. More emphasis on his voice, and cutting back the gang vocals to a more supporting role would make the times when they are used that much more effective. As it is, the repeated gang vocals are a bit of an annoyance. Oh, and uh, skip the "Silent (Radio Mix)", and "Wrong Or Right (Karoke Mix)" tunes at the end. A couple more originals would have suited better. But hey, there's a hella lot of potential here and I'm looking forward to hearing more of these guys in the future.