Poseydon - Through The Gate Of Hatred And Aversion

It has been almost 20 years since its inception, but Belgium’s Death Thrash group Poseydon finally have their debut full length album out in 2023. Formed in 1992, these guys have been churning out a style of music similar to the likes of older Sepultura and Vader by focusing on creating catchy riffs that while can tend of get a bit repetitive, are still engaging and very accessible. Not quite Speed Thrash in the vein of Exodus, but think more 2000s Slayer pace. Mid to slow with tons of groove and stomp to it. The Vader comparisons of this will certainly be the biggest draw (or drawback) for listeners, especially when considering a track like the bludgeoning ‘Human Suffering’ with its opening riff to grab listeners as it churns along at a mid pace before exploding into a guitar solo. Much of Poseydon’s work is very mid paced, so those who enjoyed the slower Vader pieces like ‘Epitaph’ or Slayer’s ‘Bloodline’ are really going to enjoy most of “Through The Gates Of Hatred And Aversion.” The album does mislead at first with the rather symphonic and grandiose ‘Rise Of Posedyon’ especially with the percussion, but it just gets heavier and better from there.

Tracks like ‘Awakening Of The Gods’ change things up a bit by taking a mix of Sepultura groove and Kataklysm/ Ex Deo bite for almost a Melodeath Groove approach. The throaty bellows from the new vocalist Tom Lenaerts is a diverse change for the band. He mostly has that Death Groove Metal roar that will appeal to fans of Max Calavera era Sepultura meets a less accented Vader, but the man also tries clean spoken approaches and even some ‘singing’ in that “Concrete Confessional” Hatebreed style on ‘The Power Of Destruction And Decay.’ Some are probably going to approach it the way when Throwdown went that route on “Deathless,” but nonetheless whether fans love or hate it, it does add diversity to the music. The power in the vocals cannot be denied especially when considering the moment when he thunders “YOU’RE EYES WILL BURN!” on the track ‘For All Eternity.’ The meat of the album is due to the guitars from Alain De Block and Leander Karageorgos which play well off each other in thick, groove laden riffs such as on ‘Haunted Souls’ which is a bit more rooted in the Thrash side than Death Metal (think almost Testament like), and alongside bassist Jeroen Bonne they create some heavy yet catchy moments. Drums by Jeff Boons are bursting and yet consistent with no issues keeping up. Poseydon show on a track like this how they just stomp right through but create some very memorable choruses and this one will definitely be a headbanger of a live staple for sure. Everything they do is in a burst fire sort of way so the album can be very stop and go, but rewarding simply for the bite of the riffs.

The only issue with the album is, like artists such as Vader, the music does tend to get a bit one sided. While the grooves are catchy, when the band only switches between mid and fast pace, it does tend to wear on the ears a bit by the time ‘Enter the Gates of Hell’ rolls around as it starts to blend the tracks together. Catchy riff followed by catchy riff backed by throaty vocals and then a blistering solo in the middle before going back to catchy riffs again and thunderous drums can only carry so far. The spoken word elements also make it seem like Poseydon are aiming for a concept album as well (such as on the track ‘Artificial Intelligence’) but it becomes hard to follow the concept; sometimes they work and sometimes they feel randomly inserted to add effect to the music. Still despite these hiccups, Poseydon’s debut album was well worth the wait. While somewhat repetitive, “Through The Gates Of Hatred And Aversion” has plenty of tracks that will grab listeners simply from the opening lines, be it the groove stomp of ‘Contrition’ or the Melodeath charged ‘The End Is Near,’ new listeners will find something to enjoy and older listeners who have followed these guys in their underground way since the late 90s will be happy where they landed. The album is cleanly produced so everything is heard and chock full of infectious tracks that will stick in the head and appeal to fans anywhere from Vader to Dew Scented. Worth listening to if one just wants some solid reasons to headbang.

3.5 / 5 STARS

1. Rise Of Poseydon (Intro)
2. Awakening Of The Gods
3. Contrition
4. Haunted Souls
5. Rise Of The Kraken
6. Enter The Gates Of Hell
7. Human Suffering
8. The Power Of Destruction And Decay
9. Artificial Intelligence
10. The End Is Near
11. For All Eternity