I was mildly surprised to find that Seether were still on the go. After all, most of the other big rock, post-grunge bands have long gone the way of the dodo and the pig-footed bandicoot , with the honourable exception of Nickelback who seemed to have evolved some kind of immune system / defense shield that repels all comers.
But here come the South African metal band with their sixth-ish album (depends whether you count their debut as Saron Gas or, indeed, their rereleased debut), which crashed into the Billboard Charts at number 9, on the back of an infuriatingly catchy single, in the shape of "Fake It". Now the album gets a UK release, in advance of some Summer shows.
Now, casual passers by may need reminding as to who exactly Seether are, as they became better known for the tabloid exploits of main man Shaun Morgan, than they did for their music. Naturally, I'll repeat it all again! Their breakthrough hit was a re-recorded version of "Broken" from their debut Disclaimer which appeared on the soundtrack to the lamentable movie The Punisher. The new version turned the acoustic lament into a goth / grunge crossover with Amy Lee from Evanescence appearing on vocals. Morgan and Lee then embarked upon a romance which ended with the Seether man in rehab, Evanescence having a huge hit called "Call Me When You're Sober" and guitarist Pat Callahan leaving the band.
But that was then, and this is now. And now seems to involve the three piece Seether releasing the finest album of their career. "Fake It" is an obvious highlight, one designed for radio, with an irresistible melody and chorus. Follow up single "Rise Above This" seems primed to do likewise, twisting their sound into more of an adult contemporary rock noise.
However, it's when you move away from the commercial singles that you discover just how good Seether have become when you weren't looking. There are some tough riffs and angry vocals on the likes of "Like Suicide" and "Fallen", but it's on the immense "No Jesus Christ" that Seether hit their peak. A song that starts off away down there, slowly building and twisting its way to a climax over seven priceless minutes.
Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces is an angry album that rages hard from beginning to end, replete with hefty bouts of shouting and swearing, deserving of its Parental Advisory sticker. Morgan often sounds like a man possessed, and it can be quite uncomfortable listening to him exorcise his demons on some of the more coruscating tracks. Generally, it's a bleak and bitter album, with Morgan finding little of joy in his life.
Seether don't really break any new musical ground, although there are some unexpected sprinkles of psychedelia and inventive percussion from the excellent John Humphrey. But with only a couple of tracks ("FMLYHM" and "Eyes Of The Devil") failing to make the mark, it's an album that those pining for the lost days of Soundgarden or those wishing Nickelback would hit puberty will clutch to their hearts.
on 25 November 2007
This is a very interesting album from Seether's last three: 'Disclaimer', 'Disclaimer II' (a re-release of 'Disclaimer' with some bonus tracks including 'Broken Feat. Amy Lee') and 'Karma & Effect' (or 'Catering To Cowards' as it would have been called without the influence of Seether's record label). This album was produced by Howard Benson, and it really shows. The 'sound' of the album has something more like a Papa Roach feel than a Seether feel to it. The intensely heavy sound of past albums has disappeared, and whilst the lyrics remain dark, the music sound doesn't match. It's hard to describe but if you take a listen and you're familiar with Seether's past work you'll hear what I mean immediately. To me this is an interesting thing for Seether to have done and I certainly didn't see it coming. I haven't really been able to make up my mind on what I think about it yet, but I'm sure many Seether fans that have been supporting the band from the start won't like it. Judging this album for what it is though, I've got to say that I really like it. The first single off the album is 'Fake It' and it's got great rhythm to it. For me 'No Jesus Christ' and '6 Gun Quota' are the best tracks on the album, with 'No Jesus Christ' clocking in at over 7 minutes long, resemblant more of a Metallica length of song rather than a Seether one of the past. But it's great. Shaun, Dale and crew have done a great job again. Full marks from me guys. Just don't forget that 'Seether sound' that your old fans love. PS - you'll have a hard time finding a copy of this album in record stores as it doesn't seem to have been released in the UK properly, but get an imported copy. What's with all the US bands/artists not releasing their work over here anymore? Come on guys, the UK needs some good rock and metal to combat the pop-rock, pop-punk phase that seems to be taking over. All American rock/metal artists, and you South Africans in Seether too, please hear my plea!
Seether return with their third studio album, following on from the 2002 release Disclaimer (and the two Disclaimer II re-releases a couple of years later) and the 2005 follow-up Karma & Effect. They also return a man down - former guitarist Pat Callahan is no longer with the band (the official date of his depature was 14th June 2006, having been a full-time member of the band since 2004, before which he spent a long stint as their tour guitarist).
Despite Seether being a much-maligned band in some corners of the music industry, I have always liked their music. I wouldn't say Seether have ever been a particularly sophisticated or overly technical band because they're not. But I think what really shines with the band is the angst that radiates through their songs. "Gasoline", taken from the Disclaimer/Disclaimer II albums, is still one of my most listened to rock tracks some 5 years on. So can Seether replicate this for their new album? The answer isn't quite a resounding yes - it's a somewhat mixed bag in places - but overall the band just about manage to pull it off, as I shall explain.
Seether always kick off an album with a beast of a track - for example "Gasoline" on Disclaimer/Disclaimer II and "Because Of Me" on Karma & Effect are two songs that contain monster-sized, angst-ridden riffs and vocals. Seether do the same on this album with the opening track "Like Suicide" - I just love the heavy riff that kicks in at about the minute mark. It's a perfect way to kick off the album and is easily one of the best songs Seether have ever done. Let's run through the tracks one by one:
1. "Like Suicide" - best track on the album by a mile; it's moody, angry and has the best riff on the entire album (just love the pounding drums that accompany the monster riff, which comes just after the choruses). This kind of song is what Seether do best, fantastic track 10/10
2. "Fake It" - the first single, which I wasn't too keen on at first but it's really grown on me. Like the music video to this 8/10
3. "Breakdown" - quite a moody and emotive track; one of the slower tracks on here but with a big soaring chorus 9/10
4. "FMLYHM" - alright track; very middle of the road Seether track (heavy but not as heavy as their older stuff) 6/10
5. "Fallen" - not too sure on this track; very middle of the road again but just don't find it particulalrly exciting, even though it's quite a rocky song 5/10
6. "Rise Above This" - probably the most radio-friendly track on here; almost a song to cruise to. Very optimistic-sounding song, which is ironic because it's about Shaun's brother Eugene, in advance of his tragic death last August. For the feel of this song, think electric guitars mixed with an acoustic mid-tempo sound. 9/10
7. "No Jesus Christ" - a seven minute epic that takes almost 2 minutes before the main guitar riff kicks in. I'm not overly keen on this track - just don't think there is quite enough variety to warrant such a duration as seven minutes 6/10
8. "6 Gun Quota" - reasonable rock track but not the best Seether have to offer. The sound on this song reminds me of Nickelback, particularly the chorus 7/10
9. "Walk Away From The Sun" - quite a unique sounding song on the album. Acoustic to start with then the mid-section adds a bit of distortion, leading into probably the best little guitar solo I have heard Seether do (they don't do very many at all). This song builds up to a decent climax. A brilliantly haunting track 10/10
10. "Eyes Of The Devil" - not too keen on this track, just doesn't hold my interest 5/10
11. "Don't Believe" - dark sounding track but not much variation to it 5/10
12. "Waste" - the closing track. I think this song is quite unique amongst Seether's other tracks. It has a soaring chorus but the overall sound is different to what Seether normally do 6/10
Overall, this is a reasonable album - at first I thought this was the weakest album yet but after sveral listens it has really grown on me. I had exactly the same reaction to Karma & Effect when that was released and yet I still find time to listen to that album because I gradually grew very fond of it. I feel the same is happening with Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces.
With each and every studio album Seether have released, they have continuosly streamlined their sound and there is a lot less screaming on this album than previous releases - the opening track, "Like Suicide", contains the most violent screams to be found on this album. In the context of this song I think the screaming section works but generally speaking I'm glad Seether don't put too many fits of screaming into their songs any more - it was my main criticsm on an otherwise excellent Disclaimer II. On the flip-side, don't go expecting anything as gentle as "Broken" on here because there is nothing as mellow as that on this album.
To sum up, I think if you like the previous albums you will enjoy Finding Beauty In Negatve Spaces. The sounds doesn't deviate too much from what they've done before - it's recognisably Seether but they have thrown in a few new sounds (listen out for the backing piano-sounding sectons on a couple of tracks - only very brief and subtle so might be hard to spot). This is a gentle progression as opposed to anything distinctly new but it's different enough to feel fresh yet will be instantly recongnisable to existing fans.
on 6 March 2012
This album was the first Seether album I had ever heard, and it was the one that pretty much made me fall in love with them! The album has a perfect blend of the softer rock (e.g. Like Suicide, Fake It, Rise Above This, Walk Away From The Sun), and the heavier songs like 6 Gun Quota, Breakdown, FMLYHM etc. My personal favourite on the album is No Jesus Christ, simply because it starts off on a sinisterly low sound, and then WHAM! the rest of the band kicks in. If you're looking for an album to invest your precious money in, I can't recommend this any more. Beyond this, if you do like this, definitely suggest listening to Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray, seeing as that has gone along this thread (not a deliberate pun I promise!) and was what made me go back and listen to all of Seether's previous albums again :-)
on 4 November 2007
Great album as a whole - with many strong songs:
1. Like Suicide - Great! (9/10)
2. Fake It - Classic (10/10)
3. Breakdown - Different but Strong (8/10)
4. FMLYHM - Catchy and Fun (9/10)
5. Fallen - Heavy, classic Seether. (8/10)
6. Rise Above This - Cool song (8/10)
7. No Jesus Christ - Brilliant. (9/10)
8. 6 Gun Quota - Equally strong song (9/10)
9. Walk Away From the Sun - Different style but shows seether can do no wrong! (9/10)
10. Eyes of the Devil - New angle, but great. (8/10)
11. Don't Believe -Heavy, good song.
12. Waste - Slower, relaxed tune. (7/10).
All in all a very good album.
If you like rock music of a heavier caliber (i.e. with a bit of attutude) then buy this album. It's worth every penny.
on 12 August 2014
After listerning to Karma and Effect, I decided that I wanted to hear some more of Seether and got this album.
When you open this album up you face with a picture of Shawn Morgans brother who killed himslef. A lot of the tracks on this album are about him and Shawn coming to grips with this.
This album is diffrent to Karma and Effect in style, but it is still Classic Seether. One of the best track on the album in Breackdown, which just shows how clever this band are at making music and tacking things in diffrent direction. If you really enjoyed the Last album and are a fan of Seether then you should buy ths Album, You wont regret it.
on 12 July 2013
I lent my copy to my best friend, and never got it back! In fact, the denial that I'd lent it in the first place was so vehement that I suspect the album became a favourite in their household too. Anyway, too good not to own a copy, this is my second. I just love the different sounds that can come from one great band. The lyrics are fantastic for rock songs - tortured and beautiful, and delivered in that deep, smoky, unmistakable Shaun Morgan style. Love it, love it.
on 18 January 2011
CD arrived on time, despite the fact it was over the Christmas period. Packaging excellent - as new.
Gift recipient was over the moon.
Excellent seller, would recommend and buy from again.
on 28 March 2014
Good album, not a single bad song I could find. Personal favourites are Fake It, Like Suicide and FMLYHM. I'm tempted to look to for more albums by Seether.
on 12 March 2014
I had heard of Seether but never really taken much notice of them. I was really surprised at how good they are, not what I expected but in a good way.