Label: Self released
Date: June 6th, 2021
Attention, attention! Not as advertized! Do not make the same mistake as I did! I was in the mood for some death ’n’ roll today, and rushed to pick up the debut album by Son Of Sam. Promoted as followers of Entombed, Carcass, Gorefest and the likes, Son Of Sam failed to deliver what was announced.
I mean, right at the introduction to “Son of Sam”, the opener of the album, it was clear something was off. Hell, it started as something Nightwish would use for an intro. Epic, electronic and confusing the listener.
Okay, the “regular” music has traces of death metal. The melodic, modern kind, as introduced by In Flames at the beginning of the century. Combination of genres written on the promo sheet is sort of correct in that regard. However, the second part is missed completely.
The most correct description of “And the Monster Awoke…” would be heavy death metal. Modern, melodic, heavy death metal. Hell, hand them a severe obsession of war and you could easily dub them a death metal version of Sabaton. Well, slightly, as I would be much more comfortable with calling Son Of Sam a modern heavy metal band with traces of death metal within.
They do mix in a couple more influences (“Depravity” as an example) and try to round it all up in something which might be called somewhat original. But it is definitely not enough to fully form something never heard before.
The music of Son Of Sam goes for an epic soundscape, contemporary arrangements and a side of brutality which brings along an overly Children Of Bodom reminiscence. Especially if you consider the role of keyboards on the record.
Now, I’ve mentioned a couple of Finnish bands here, but “And the Monster Awoke…” is pretty much a Swedish record. Melodic death metal and hard hitting heavy metal are based on their home ground. Hammerfall, the mentioned Sabaton and In Flames, Dark Tranquillity… Well, let’s put Entombed somewhere in there, but their latest records, before Entombed A. D.
But all of the above is simply a clumsy description of a reviewer not quite enthusiastic about the genre at hand. The trouble is that I found nothing to stick to within these forty eight minutes. First of all, it seems to me that Son Of Sam needs a clearer direction to take. A more successful and homogenous mix of the influences. And most definitely songs that could make a tight grip with the listener.
I cannot even take it as a sign of inexperience, even though this is the first recording by Son Of Sam. These guys are no newcomers on the scene. This experience is presented in a number of regards, concerning the album, but the ability to make a catchier record is seriously lacking here. And it is a must with music like this.
Well, I need not be too hard on the duo. They have an idea and the skill. Further development is needed and if it does come on the following record, Son Of Sam might be a very good listen. That is, if Rimfrost doesn’t take over completely. Not sure of their status in that band, but anyway…