The year just keeps on throwing up unexpected treats and here we have another in the stunning form of Infinity, the debut album from Russian metallers Poseidon. It is an extraordinary encounter which snarls and seduces in equal intensity within a soundscape bred from a mix of post and progressive metal with riveting additives such as thick sludge, incendiary experimental, and expansive atmospheric essences. Each of its eight tracks is an enthralling exploration of musical and emotional adventure within one massive traverse of the senses and imagination. There are few releases which by their end you realise whilst basking in their propositions that your mouth was wide open in awe but fair to say Poseidon were one such incitement.
Formed in 2011 by Alex Glazev, in “the land where as the legend says, once was Tethys Sea – city Stavropol, Poseidon initially engaged in a more extreme progressive metal driven sound as evidenced by their first couple of singles Portals of 2011 and Lotuses Burning In The Fire Of Hell a year later. In 2013 their EP III showed an infusion of more potent post metal and sludge influences accompanied by a stronger emphasis on clean vocals. The Argonauta Records released Infinity sees the band’s sound moving even deeper into an atmospherically rich and adventurously flavoursome proposition without losing its core intensity and aggressive passion. Self-tagged as Cinematic Post Metal, music and album is a creative tsunami of invention and exploration but one which reins its predatory hunger to sculpt landscapes and climates which just as powerfully ignite the imagination as ears and emotions.
The album emerges from a static filtered ambience as opener The Death Of The First Titan slowly evolves its stormy climate and expressive body. As a demonic vocal casts its tones over the ears a climactic build of sound and atmosphere builds towering walls to enclose the senses and imagination. An orchestral embrace then seizes hold before a rapacious sonic gnawing of acidic riffs and punchy rhythms takes charge, veined by an immediately addictive groove and technical manipulation. All the while a soaring ambience soaks the scenery, its lure soon enhanced by the excellent clean vocals which defy expectations and the regular confrontation the majority of similarly sound clad bands employ. It is a glorious dramatic encounter which ebbs and flows in intensity constantly, every move and turn of the song unveiling an absorbing provocation whether aggressive or seductive, as with the darker almost Faith No More like passage midway. The song is like a noir soaked drama, shadows and intrigue wrapping every note and expressive breath whilst a warm melodic flight and the intimidation mellowing vocals provide a reassuring beacon within the darkness.
The following Lunar Song continues the impressive start, its initial almost melancholic touch leading to an orchestral elevation and a mesmeric melodic coaxing. As sinews flex and energy fires up its raw passion, the song scorches air and ears whilst serenading thoughts with a distant elegance and the smooth vocals, all within a growing djent fed rapaciousness. The masterfully structured depths and fascination spawned by the songwriting reminds of UK band KingBathmat, every level and texture the perfect companion to those around them but distinctly different and vivaciously hungry to push limits and boundaries, as the sound as a whole.
As its predecessor, Through The Age heralds its entrance on rising orchestral melodies and coaxing beats, the expressive tones crafting a new potent drama and imposing narrative to immerse fully within before the antagonistic heart of the song expels its first breath and subsequent hostile persuasion. The song in full muscular stride has a certain undefined familiarity to it which only accentuates the lure of the melody rich and precariously peaceful investigations around the forceful moments. It is a magnificent incitement for thoughts and passions offering a scintillating evocation which maybe is best described as The Ocean and Muse meets Porcupine Tree and 6:33, though that still leaves you short.
Both Tideland and Lotuses Burning In The Fire Of Hell take the release and pleasure to another level, the first opening with a delicious sax flamed melodic opening which immerses in a cool and inviting atmospheric river with sirenesque harmonies. You sense danger but cannot resist the enticement as song and vocals colour the initial canvas with emotive hues and multi-shaded virulence, the guitar kissing and snarling at the same time whilst being rigorously coached by drums and bass. The track is aural addiction, a crooning brawling majesty infecting the passions for the strongest allegiance to its creative mastery. Its successor is much the same in strength and invention as well as success, its first sinister breath the doorway to a more predacious intent with riffs savagely grinning as they antagonise flesh whilst rhythms spear the senses. As always though it is only one side to the engagement as dark and light vocals duel for the soul of song and recipient within another constantly shifting and evolving danger drenched premise. Both songs alone make Poseidon a must investigate incitement.
The gentler You Are Not Alone fuses seducing keys and reflective melodies to an irresistibly aggressive and infectious chorus which reminds of the early Ministry synth pop days at times, the result yet one more song which intensively captivates and steals reality away from the senses during its sensational duration. Its glory departs for the pair of The Death Of The Second Titan (Juggernaut)and The Death Of The Third Titan to make their claims upon the emotions. The first is a blackened maelstrom which consumes from its first touch but as expected the track is soon venturing down new explorations within its persistently dark aired and intensively dangerous passageways which the second takes to a deeper more concentrated investigation as it traverses a bordering on apocalyptic emotional tempest. As all the songs there is so much to talk about but really should be left to ears to discover, though the guitars here simply spellbind a as the song carves out another major peak in the heady range of the release.
Closed by the similarly skilful, transfixing, and darkly fascinating When Oceans Leave Their Shores, where rhythms leave a lingering imprint on the senses and the guitars scar with magnetic sonic endeavour within a final invasive and absorbing atmospheric smothering, Infinity is simply aural alchemy, an exploit to inspire and incite. There have been quite a few very impressive encounters already this year and Poseidon stands right there on the frontline with their staggering triumph.