It’s easy to understand why the current state of the UK doom metal scene is thriving and in rude health. More and more bands it seems are embarking on voyages into unknown territory, striving to get the best out of their career but putting full focus into the conceptual, thematic side of things than a stab at the mainstream. Poseidon is one such band who have managed to succeed in that sense with debut album Prologue, an album which features multi-faceted narrative and a versatile outlook on sludge and doom metal. The band haven’t been around for that long, but Prologue immediately raises awareness that Poseidon are planning a very creative, bright future ahead of them.
Featuring four songs and running at 43 minutes long, Prologue certainly doesn’t run the risk of overstaying its welcome. It’s made all the more intriguing that no song sounds like any other, though given the short number of tracks, this shouldn’t be so surprising. Opener “The Beginning/The End/The Colony” is rife with sonic feedback and an unsettling bass-led rumble, but very gradually turns into a riff-driven monster which breeds slow-paced momentum, offering reverb-drenched solos to put a finish to an otherwise visceral doom metal style. “Mother Mary/Son of Scorn” is virtually the opposite of its predecessor in all the right ways, being thoroughly acoustic, melodic, but never attempting to throw itself into self-indulgence, instead opting for a dramatic vocal delivery and more than a slight nod to blues/stoner rock territory.
The band turn up the amps with “Chainbreaker”, the shortest and fastest song of all four tracks, bringing an almost noise rock-inflected approach to the band’s usual brand of sludge/doom. Final song “Omega” is absolutely the centrepiece however, given its running time of over sixteen minutes but never falling into the trap of being overlong or indeed monotonous. Instead, it features a multi-layered, multi-sectioned narrative focus which lets Poseidon truly spread their creative wings, delving deep into nightmarish, Lovecraftian soundscapes and inventing a subtle albeit memorable wall of sound for fans of heavier doom to bang their heads. What really excels within this final song however is its definitive approach to utilizing the band’s original concept (one based in dystopian, sci-fi inspired territory) and musically, Poseidon fire on all cylinders. The only real problem here is that “Omega” is so grandiose in its delivery that it almost renders the three preceding songs unremarkable, as well-written and well performed as those songs are.
Poseidon certainly have it in them to create a magnum opus, but there’s a slight threat that Prologue may be too ambitious for its own good. Thankfully, that’s not always the case, but the spectacular way in which “Omega” ends proves that perhaps the band were building up to a monumental offering, rather than turning up the quality for the three other songs. That said, Prologue has seemingly opened up many possible directions for Poseidon. Let’s hope they embark on the most righteous path.
Released: July 21st, 2017
- The Beginning/The End/The Colony
- Mother Mary/Son of Scorn