So, I was at a huge disadvantage when I drew this assignment…I’m not a fan of Seether. As a matter of fact, I’d readily and without question put them in the “also-ran” bin along with Breaking Benjamin, Evanescence, and Chevelle, although, credit where it’s due…Seether is the best of this group and this release definitely proves that.
I find these reviews the most difficult because I want to be fair, and give the release a fair chance because I’ve seen many an artist change up their style and rediscover themselves as something new. Unfortunately, one of two things inevitably happens with these assignments. I either find myself being TOO fair, almost like I’m defending the friend that everyone hates including myself, but I want everyone to like them for some inexplicable reason, OR I just lay into them with a vitriol that would make even the staunchest defender of that artist rethink their stance. So I’ve decided I’m going to take this release as its own entity, and pretend I don’t know who Seether is, and that I’ve never seen them live (it’s been like 6 times now, against my will).
Ok, so let’s start with what I liked about Poison the Parish. The cover artwork is just awesome, like so cool that if I didn’t dislike this band so much, I’d get it tattooed on me. White background with what looks like a demonic deer/rabbit thing, wearing deep red priest-like garb, and the title of the album, Poison the Parish, scribbled across the bottom. This cover and title sets the album up nicely.
The first track, “Stoke the Fire” is a mother-fucker of a track…what a great opener. Slow, brooding and heavy. Great chorus, I bet this will make for a great live tune (hint hint, nudge nudge, he says knowingly). The second tune, “Betray and Degrade” is also a slow, brooding track (sensing a pattern are you?) with some well-crafted harmonies, and really solid riff work in the middle of the song. Good aggressive lyrics, and so far we’re 2 for 2. Another very bright stand out on this release is track #6, “Against the Wall.” A poignant ballad, with very good melodies, harmonies, and heart. They followed that up with another ballad-ish tune called “Let me Heal,” that is less poignant and less remarkable than its predecessor, but it still holds its own and is a bright spot on this release.
So here’s the bad, and it’s not all bad so Seether fans…relax. I’m going to snap out of my “pretending I don’t know who Seether is” mindset and say this, Seether is a solid band…neigh…a good band, BUT why must every song sound the same? Same tempo, same melody lines, and similar enough riffs to make me double check if it’s not the same song twice in a row?
Now I know as a fan of music for as long as I’ve been, this is observation is really based on whether you love the band or not. If you love Seether, you’ll find all the subtle nuances that make each song different from the rest, and I get that. But my GOD, with Seether, you REALLY have to look for them. I can’t count how many times during the five times I listened to Poison the Parish that I asked myself “didn’t I hear this already?”
On the positive side of this phenomenon the songs “Nothing Left” and “Count Me Out” are perfect examples of “it’s not bad, but it sounds like something I’ve heard before.” Both are very good songs, if I heard them separate from the rest of the album, but while listening to the whole piece, it becomes mind-numbingly redundant. I will say, I love the homage to Nirvana on the verses in “Count Me Out,” don’t know if it was done on purpose, but it’s cool all the same.
All in all I would say, if you’ve never heard Seether before, Poison the Parish is a great place to start. I can honestly say that this is a solid release, and in this listener’s opinion, some of their best work in what’s been a pretty successful career. This is what puts Seether head and shoulders above the rest of that aforementioned “also-rans” bin, their relevant new material. If they could maybe just change the number on the metronome every once in a while, MAYBE I’d enjoy them on a more consistent basis.
Agree with me? Disagree with me? Email me, TheProgtologist@gmail.com, or leave a comment here on the page.
Bloodrock Rating: 2.5 out of 5 axes
Written by Chris Elio for Bloodrock Media on May 31, 2017