It’s been 4 years since this South African outfit hit us with Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. This is now their 5th studio album, and this time around they entered the studio with producer Brendan O’Brien, a legend as far as rock production goes.
I must admit, these guys are one of my favourite bands, and I’ve enjoyed all their releases since their Saron Gas days. With all the experience O’Brien had with Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Korn and an extensive list of other top bands, I assumed this was going to be the biggest and most badass release of Seether’s career. I assumed wrong.....
“Fur Cue” opens up this album just as I had hoped. A blistering rocker of a song with those trademark throat-splitting screams Shaun really excels at. “No Resolution” is pretty much a STP cover/tribute song. A welcome change in the Seether repertoire is the use of piano in “Forsaken” and will make a great single for sure. Classic Seether can still be heard in songs like “Desire For Need” and “Tonight”, but a few tracks like “Roses” and “Down” just seem to fall flat. They are really safe songs, neither ballad, or balls-out rock and come off rather bland and unmemorable.
Considering this album was recorded in Nashville, a country influence was inevitable, and we have that with the appropriately titled “Country Song”. This is the band trying something different, and it works here big time. This is easily one of the strongest and most distinctive songs on the album. A song that switches between country twang and alt-rock shouldn’t work here but it does. I hate to say it, but I wish they had explored that avenue a bit more. The lyrics are as angry as they ever were, proving that success has obviously not altered Shaun’s view of the world around him.
There are some great songs on this album, but it is definitely not solid enough to play all the way through without skipping a few duds. It would appear that O’Brien has tamed this band somewhat. Maybe the goal is for more radio play. Maybe the band is maturing. Either way, this album does show a lighter side of the band.
To get a more complete album, I’d recommend the deluxe version. The bonus songs make up for some of the album’s weaker tracks. Check out “Effigy” and “Dead Seeds” and wonder why those weren’t put on the regular version of the disc.