Stoner and doom are two genres in which new bands and projects are sprouting up like mushrooms. Through the dense mass of generic material published this way, it isn’t always easy to single out the truly unique bands who follow their own course. With Seer form Canada though, having published their first full album Cult Of The Void on July 7th, we may have hit the jackpot!
Conceptually, Seer continue to wander the path started on the Eps Vol. I and Vol. II (their entire oeuvre constitutes one ongoing story). In quite poetic words, a desolate desert-like wasteland is depicted, scarred by the excesses of modern society. Bizarre, mysterious and mostly tormented figures pass by and we are a distant witness of their sad destinies. In fact, the atmosphere as a whole reminds of Mad Max: there is an entire consistent universe behind the lyrics and everything makes sense for its inhabitants, but the listener is only able to catch a few glimpse. And yet, with a little imagination you can see everything right before your eyes! This phenomenon can also be found in the prog metal of Vermillion and, there too, is very much appreciated.
On the musical end, all is well too. On Vol. III (Ancient Sands, Acid Sweat, They Used Dark Forces and Burnt Offerings) there is a nice balance between very catchy, groovy stoner riffs and rather dragging, compelling doom parts. The technical level is quite high but not boastful: as opposed to what my father in all his eloquence once described as “raping the notes”, the solos on this album are very thought-through and controlled, with every note where she belongs. Their musical insight is also displayed in the way the tracks are constructed. Many stoner and doom bands write a few good riffs and then just keep repeating them. Seer, on the other hand, takes a good riff and keeps elaborating on it by adding small new elements, making the part escalate in a perfect peak. Once this acme is reached, they throw the entire composition in the bin and start over with a completely new and different riff. The music is very original and varied, leaving no space for any feelings of boredom. When screams are used, they are strategically placed to enhance the dark atmosphere from the background. The eerie voice of Bronson Lee Norton fits the gloomy lyrics perfectly: it sounds a little like the lonely flummery of a man driven mad by the things he has seen. A nice touch is the sporadic reference to post metal by strategically adding short, intense and sensitive guitar lines. The label’s trademark…
Vol. IV show Seer’s diversity in an entirely different way: one could think it is played by another band. All songs are acoustic or played with clean guitar and are very rustic. Tribe Of Shuggnyth is an instrumental, exotic, mysterious mantra, as if you can observe a distant Aboriginal-like culture for one day. Spirit River is extremely esoteric and zen. The construction of the song, partly by the use of organ tunes, reminds very strongly of Anathema (especially Sunlight), but obviously nobody really minds. The album is concluded by Passage Of Tears, a very calm but also fitting outro.
In conclusion: Seer and Cult Of The Void have it all. A cool developing theme, technical quality and amazing creativity and variation in their music. We are already looking forward to Vol. V!
Release date: July 7th, 2017
Record Label: Art Of Propaganda
1. Ancient Sands (Rot Preacher)
2. Acid Sweat
3. They Used Dark Forces
4. Burnt Offerings
5. Tribe Of Shuggnyth
6. Spirit River
7. Passage Of Tears
A reworking into English from the Dutch article by the same author originally published on www.musika.be