Son Of Sam
...And the Monster Awoke

A freshly minted project comprising members of Rimfrost, Sweden’s Son of Sam features dynamic duo Throllv (vocals, drums, guitars, keyboards) and Khratos (bass, guitars, backing vocals), joining forces to create a vastly different and uniquely separate entity from their main project. Although the album seems to have flown under the radar since its mid-year release, And the Monster Awoke has a shit ton of cool stuff to showcase. By exploring new territories, Son of Sam have emerged triumphant with a confident, creative platter well worth exploring.

Musically, Son of Sam is a slightly odd duck. Strong elements of traditional heavy metal and thrashy melodic death consolidate a formidable foundation, with flashes of black, Viking, power, and symphonic metal steel rounding out a surprisingly cohesive package, transcending familiar elements with slick writing and a sweet mix of triumphant melodies, beefy riffs, tasteful keyboard adornments, and vibrant, aggressive urgency that bubbles over and really makes the well-crafted songs cook. Son of Sam do not skimp on the speed, aggression, and heft, but it is the sense of fun and adventure, combined with sheer catchiness of the material that elevates the album to a higher plane. The diverse compositions are bursting with life, excellent musicianship, and smart dynamics, boosted by some of 2021’s most addictive, earworm choruses.

The talents of the duo are impressive, reinforced by a bunch of guest vocalists contributing to the powerhouse vocal arsenal. Considering he usually plies his trade hitting the skins with Rimfrost, Throllv’s multifaceted performance is hugely impressive. Vocally, the dude displays an instantly likable style, utilizing a rough hewn cleaner vocal style that fits the tone of the album perfectly, loaded with character and a bevy of noteworthy hooks, while retaining a tougher, gritty edge and aggressive backbone. Following the scene setting opening title track, “I Am” well and truly kicks the album into high gear, marking numerous highlights peppering an album high on memorability, diversity, and short of disposable material. The thrashy melodeath throes, pulse quickening riffage and booming hooks are instantly gratifying, with the central hooks digging in deep and maintaining the rage across multiple listens.

The good times keep rolling throughout a consistent and remarkably diverse offering. Riff heavy thrashers, like the aforementioned “I Am” and scorching, old school Gothenburg vibe of “In Darkness and Dismay,” combine thundering rhythms, aggressive riffs, and more show stealing vocal hooks into the fray. They sit comfortably alongside boisterous, high octane heavy metal tunes like “Mr Sinister – Evil Minister,” the stunning “My Nuclear Desire,“ and epic, fist pumping symphonic glory of “Gods in the North.” This trio of songs highlight Son of Sam’s multifaceted songwriting skills, effortlessly blending styles, such as power, symphonic, thrash and Viking into their melodeath/heavy metal hybrid, forming triumphant, stylish epics, combining the myriad of components into colorful, infectious, and ridiculously fun and energetic tunes.

Only the short disposable interlude “Hypersleep,” and slightly out of place “Depravity” do not quite live up to the album’s lofty standards. Apparently, the latter is an expression of extreme rage, decorated with profanity and chugging riffs. It is a little low brow and less gripping, saved by enough redeeming elements, solid riffs, and feisty aggression to stay afloat. They may boast talented stocks from the respected Rimfrost pool of talent, but Son of Sam reveals an intriguing offshoot of battle-hardened heavy metal/melodeath not to be missed. I can imagine And the Monster Awoke being one of the sleeper gems of a solid 2021 campaign for heavy music enthusiasts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
September 29th, 2021

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