SEETHER have returned with their newest studio album, Poison the Parish. Hailing from South Africa, they’ve dived into the world of independent releases, and are bringing the record out on frontman Shaun Morgan’s own label (more about that in our interview with him). With such an iconic discography for early 2000s hard rock, how does Poison the Parish stand against that, and how much of an impact does it have today?
The album cracks open with Stoke the Fire; a very SEETHER track, with slow, heavy riffs developing into an explosion of sound. Following into a heavily NIRVANA-sounding bridge and bursting into an incredibly catchy chorus, it’s a strong start to Poison the Parish. Following into an oddly muted guitar and Shaun’s clean vocals, Betray and Degrade quickly takes a turn and brings the same angst-filled riffs that are synonymous with SEETHER. This almost playful rock track brings a new and interesting dimension to SEETHER, as it alternates between classic SEETHER vibes, and a more modern, mainstream rock feeling in the chorus. It’s certainly showing SEETHER‘s adaptation and incorporation of modern rock, and adds a new layer to their sound.
Then we get to the absolute highlight of the record, Let You Down. This stomping track brings nostalgic tingles to SEETHER‘s fans, and it’s the song you need to show people who have never listened to them before. Catchy muted riffs alongside Shaun’s grated vocals before bursting into an uplifting clean chorus send shivers shooting, and is a clear sign that SEETHER are back with force. Other incredible tracks on the record include Saviours and Nothing Left. Also, Let Me Heal builds from a subtle acoustic piece into a powerful and emotional call for solitude, and lyrically stands out. These tracks, and the album as a whole, show that SEETHER have grown during their time in the shadows, and are showing the world what they can do without the restrictions placed upon them in their previous releases.
Unfortunately, a couple of tracks on the record fall behind the others and almost feel like they bring nothing new to SEETHER’s catalogue. Something Else, while it’s a nice track, feels this way; too familiar. Sell My Soul, a ballad that doesn’t quite have an impact, finishes an overall satisfying record.
It’s safe to say that SEETHER have made a great return with Poison the Parish and show signs of a new age for the band. Their independence has allowed them to roam free and expand on what they had already established with their previous releases, but not too far out of their comfort zone. As Shaun explained in our interview with him, you can hear all members of the band in the forefront of each track, which only helps to add to the quality of the record. Poison the Parish will be a treat for those who are already a fan of SEETHER, and will be a welcome introduction for those who have yet to discover the pioneers of South African rock and metal.
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