Starting as a local rock band in South Africa, going by the name, Saron Gas and releasing Fragile (2000), it wasn’t until a move to America and a little name change when things started to explode like a hungry volcano.
The debut, Disclaimer (2002) tested the waters for the new band name, Seether and the fish were definitely biting. The follow-up, Disclaimer II (2004), saw the success of the “Broken” single, featuring Amy Lee (Evanescence) and the revamping of some post-grunge indulgence, with Seether making a name for themselves.
Seven records deep into their discography, and Poison the Parish takes it up a level. Self-produced by the band with the guitar of vocalist Shaun Morgan, turned up the way it should be. The opening track, “Stoke the Fire”, makes way for pounding guitar riffs, tight drumming from John Humphrey and a pummelling bassline courtesy of Dale Stewart. It is the perfect way to kick off an album.
“Betray and degrade” is the first of many highlights, as the acoustic intro always makes for a good formula when it comes to a classic Seether track. A build up is created which makes for an addictive listen. Post-grunge nostalgia takes a hold as the breakdowns and screams bring back the early days, something which would please fans of the Disclaimer era.
“I’ll survive” is a catchy number, which starts as another acoustic gem. Things soon go into overdrive, letting loose with some nifty guitar solos, different vocal techniques and infectious riffs. Followed by the first single, “Let you down”, with its catchy chorus, chugging riffs and stomping breakdowns, it ticks all boxes of greatness. Morgan lets out his inner Maynard in the bridge, perhaps more subtle than the likes of Soen or Chevelle, who fill the void for that new Tool album.
“Against the Wall” could be mistaken for a Foo Fighters number, with arena rock written all over it, somewhat like the graffiti of a misfit who discovers his art is too good for the ghetto. “Let me heal” is a standout, with a bass loop that gives coolness a new name. The riff becomes heavy hitting with the soothing chorus and vocal stylings on display.
The buzzing sounds of “Saviours” distort like mirrors in a funhouse and the thick riffs make for an enjoyable listen. “Count me out” is your typical Seether song. The verse on first listen can come across as a bit cheesy, however, the chorus makes up for it, and it’s always a plus, ending with an outburst. “Emotionless” is the longest track on the record and it has a southern tinge which is tackled well here with the right mix of thunderous riffs that come at full-throttle
“Nothing Left” is a personal favourite with screams adding that much-needed edge for an hour long album, when including three bonus tracks on the deluxe edition. Seether provides something here for every rock fan with the guitars turned up to the max for a reason. The reason being this music was recorded by Seether, the way they wanted it to be heard, with self-producing paying off.
Grab your copy of Poison the Parish here: