Sons of Vulcan are an instrumental hard rock & metal trio from St. Louis, comprised of guitarist John Hardin, drummer Gunnar Swensen, and bassist Scott McBride, and this is their self-titled debut released back in 2015. Containing just seven tracks, but all but one falls under the 8-minute length, so you can expect plenty of extended compositions that allow for lots of jamming, heavy riffs, and thunderous grooves. The shortest track is "Apollo", which kicks off the album in galloping, Iron Maiden meets Thin Lizzy fashion, plenty of rock solid rhythms, crunchy riffing, and melodic soloing going on, a great opener that immediately hooks you in. "Thanos" takes things in more experimental directions, bits of stoner & prog seeping into the arrangement, Swensen firing off a volley of acrobatic drum fills underneath some mighty fine guitar solos and riffs from the very capable Hardin. The even more frantic "Terminus" follows, again littered with some tasty riffs that draw upon post rock, psychedelia, and stoner, the band doing a great job of shifting gears mid-song from lumbering heavy rock to almost Wishbone Ash styled territory. Hardin explodes with some ferocious guitar thunder on "Night of the Fallen", tossing in a blistering wah-wah solo in between all the mountains of riffs, almost sounding like a young Alex Lifeson from those first few Rush albums. In fact, a lot of this album has that sort of "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" feel to it, the band going from atmospheric passages to crushing hard rock multiple times within each song, Hardin a never ending source of lethal guitar solos every step of the way. Volume swells and effects laden chords shimmer over Swensen's gentle percussion and McBride's elastic bass lines on the dreamy "Upon Oceans Dark", eventually giving way to frenzied lead guitar and drum flailing, while "Distant Suns" starts off with some mystical acoustic guitars that eventually give way to metallic yet majestic riffing that's part Rush, part Judas Priest, and part Deep Purple. The album closes with the massive, 21-minute epic "Manticus", an extended jaunt that dives into stoner metal, progressive rock, hard rock, post rock, psychedelia, and classic heavy metal.
Falling just shy of 80 minutes, this debut from Sons of Vulcan contains a lot of music to digest, and there's sure to be some folks who might struggle a bit making it through the whole album due to the nature of the music the band plays. If you don't have a problem with plenty of guitar solos, a never ending supply of riffs, and similar yet highly engaging song structures, give this one a try.
Night Of The Fallen 10:38
Upon Oceans Dark 08:08
Distant Suns 11:04