[STONER METAL] They probably won't take this as a compliment, but Sons of Huns really are a bunch of charmers. That's sort of the nature of being a metal band in Portland. This ain't exactly Birmingham, England, after all. It's hard to scowl convincingly coming from the greenest city in America, where the chief industry is bike-repair shops.
Sons of Huns, smartly, lack any put-upon menace. Instead, they sound like kids worshipping at the altar of their blacklight posters. Banishment Ritual, the trio's debut full-length, is denim-wrapped, smoking-bong, "mess-with-the-minotaur, get-the-horns" metal, delivered with the zeal of a championship air-guitar squad and the skill of musicians dexterous enough to actually produce rolling-thunder riffs of their own. And it is as fun as the album cover—a space portrait straight off the side of a '70s conversion van—suggests.
You can probably guess the influences. Indeed, these Sons are scions of the primordial sludge of Blue Cheer, the amphetamine-chug of Motörhead and the groovy doom of prime Sabbath. The lyrics are mostly sci-fi fan-fic, croaked in a gravelly growl by guitarist Peter Hughes. The riffs blur into one another at times, but the raw production keeps the band planted in the basement—which is right where they belong.
SEE IT: Sons of Huns play Dante's, 350 W Burnside St., with Gaytheist, Monogamy Party and Vultures in the Sky, on Saturday, Nov. 23. 9 pm. $7. 21+.