By Laura Wiebe Taylor
To call Sons of Seasons’ debut prog/power would be accurate but vague. Saying Gods of Vermin sounds like a fusion of inspirations from Savatage to Dream Theater and Therion would get it a little closer. It might also indicate that founder Oliver Palotai has carried through with his three-part musical love, bringing together metal, classical and jazz, at least in a progressive metal form, with a little musical theatre thrown in. The musicians here are probably better known by the bands they’ve played in – Kamelot, Doro, Metalium, Silent Force, Ancient Curse… Sons of Seasons is their attempt to collectively strike out on their own. Variation is a key motif on Gods of Vermin. Each song consists of numerous parts, drifting and driving through relaxed intros and laid-back interludes, snarly thrash and chugging grooves, grandiose orchestration and bombastic operatics (including some lung-busting wails and breathy serenades from Epica’s Simone Simons). The album’s too active, too busy, too theatrical, to ever be dull, and it’s too well-plotted to lose its focus. But it’s also not distinct enough to maintain a persistent hold on the attention.