Hard Reviews 5
by Martin Popoff

Visionary - Visionary

Together since '89, Salt Lake City's Visionary released this as an indie five years ago. It's one of those high-strung, cold, empty progressive metal albums that doesn't try to be particularly heavy, just thin, rhythmic and precise. A good enough job all around, but the band's serious, escapist vibe gets a little tiresome, especially with that trebly bass and snare sound. In fact, this band sounds like a combination of hi-fidelity drums and a couple of Alex Lifeson riffs from the '80s playing over Saga songs on AM radio, pretty much devoid of bottom end, guitar or bass, which pretty much kills it for me.
Rating 6

Sons Of Poseidon - Live By The Sword

During the first minute of this perplexing album, I was willing to dismiss it as amateurish from three or four angles, but as it plodded cheerfully on, its charms began to emerge. Whether by design or accident, Sons Of Poseidon create a gritty, alcoholic type of traditional metal with a little bit of biker (them vocals) and a little bit of heavy Kiss (see Kill Shop). I guess the first curve ball is really the swanky graphics and the band and album title, which makes you think power metal. Nuh-uh. This is ear to the ground friction rock, a vaguely hardcore take on generalia like Metal Church or Flotsam, again sent out into the pit with two warm king cans by vocalist Carter Evenson. Big, burly, and pretty simple, captured with production values that are quite trash-compacted, not the best, but again, adding to the charm.
Rating 6.5

Hard Reviews Page 6