Seether is a hard rock / grunge band from South Africa that has amassed twenty Top 5 singles, three platinum records, a fan-beloved gold-selling DVD and scores of #1 singles including “Fine Again,” “Fake It,” “Remedy,” “Broken,” “Words As Weapons,” “Country Song,” “Breakdown,” “Rise Above This,” “Truth,” “Gasoline,” “Driven Under” and their infamous cover of “Careless Whisper”. The band has also been recognized by the South African Music Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, and Revolver Golden Gods Awards. Descendants of Nirvana, early Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden, Seether continues to create music fifteen years into an illustrious and highly successful career. So how does their new album Poison the Parish hold up?
Poison the Parish is exactly what you would expect from Seether – ten years ago. They maintain the hard rock style and vocals that got them so far in their prime, and ultimately do nothing with them. The guitar riffs are all samey, hopping back and forth between the same two notes in the chorus and sometimes adding walks up or down between them in an uninteresting fashion. Low note, to high note, over and over. Most of the time verses are plagued by the same boring low chugs. The guitar effects don’t change, song to song or verse to verse, with the same ever-present drive in each section, it makes you wonder why they released a fifteen track album that could’ve been condensed into a few song EP. There is one song that features an acoustic guitar, using the same strumming pattern that every high school “guitarist” that knows. It isn’t so much that the music is played or executed badly, it’s just uninteresting, and lacks inspirations and creativity. There is nothing new or fresh here.
The vocals are, once again, lackluster and uninspired. As artists get older it’s understandable if their range starts to narrow, but what they can’t do with their range should be supplemented with innovation in lyrics, vocal patterns and haunting melodies and harmonies. None of that is seen in Poison the Parish. No sign of lyrical revelation, nothing cool they wanted to try. Its like Shaun Morgan locked the band in a room with all of their previous records and said: “let’s draw inspiration from this to write our new songs.”
Even worse, none of it is really even catchy. I’ve never been a huge fan of Seether, but no one can say “Fake It” wasn’t catchy as heck. But this album lacks even one riff or section that made me want to run a song back once, and that makes me wonder who it’s even for. It would’ve been great in 2008, but today it doesn’t hold up, and doesn’t show any growth from the band. Everything about this album boils down to this: Poison the Parish is the result of Seether being complacent and doing what they know how to do best. It isn’t overtly bad music, it isn’t poorly performed or produced, it just isn’t for anyone who is hoping for something new, fresh, or even interesting from Seether.
The Gist | Album Review: Seether – Poison the Parish
Poison the Parish is the result of Seether being complacent and doing what they know how to do best. It isn’t overtly bad music, it isn’t poorly performed or produced, it just isn’t for anyone who is hoping for something new, fresh, or even interesting from Seether.