Isolate and Medicate

Written by: MBC on 02/08/2014 01:10:15

For more than a decade South African based hard rock/post-grunge trio Seether has been releasing successful albums which have secured them multi-platinum sales. The band has been through many challenges over the years including a slew of line-up changes and personal tragedies such as the loss of the brother of singer/guitarist Shaun Morgan to suicide. The band has shifted several times from trio to quartet, but for many years has kept its core intact with founding members Morgan and bass player Dale Stewart along with drummer John Humphrey. Another aspect that has been consistent in the band’s career has been Morgan’s emotional and personal approach to song writing dealing with themes of depression, anxieties, anger and hate. Constantly evolving, the band’s albums are never quite the same as the previous, due to Morgan’s continuing desire to experiment with new areas in his songwriting, while always hanging on to core characteristics of combinations of aggressive and melodic rock songs.

On this their sixth full-length album “Isolate and Medicate” the band has once again allied themselves with super-producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Korn) who has helped create an amazing sounding album. Morgan is clearly not interested in writing the same angry songs that he did when he was younger. This was apparent on the band’s previous album “Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray”, which might have been the most experimental release yet for the band and certainly one of the more interesting. “Isolate and Medicate” follows the path laid out on that album with the band going into new directions. Overall this is a less dark album than what we have come to expect from Seether and it contains some of the most poppy songs in the band’s career.

Album opener “See You at the Bottom” goes into familiar territory with Morgan’s heavy riffs and switches between melodic and screamed vocals. It is a pretty straight forward rock song with a great chorus in which Morgan sing-screams the line “I will see you at the bottom”. On “Same Damn Life” the band goes into new areas with more of an indie-rock vibe, including Morgan singing a few lines in a high pitched voice. Morgan is a great singer with a big range and a raspy, yet varm voice and he can certainly sing in different styles depending on the particular song. In this case, the high pitch unfortunately does not suit him. “Suffer It All” sounds like it could have been on the band’s heaviest and darkest record “Karma and Effect” with its heavy chug-riffs and Morgan’s aggressive, screamed vocals, although it does contain some notes sung in falsetto as well which work well in contrast to the aggression of the song. On album closer ”Save Today”, Morgan’s love for acoustic folk-rock shines through and it contains some of the best melodies and lyrics on the album: “So save today, the secrets that you prayed for and wait, ‘cause we deserve it so much more. So save the secrets that you prayed for, awake, I'll see you on the other side.”.

On “Isolate and Medicate” the band has definitely modified its style into a more original one that combines aggression with melody and hard rock with pop and has pretty much moved away from the grunge-inspired songs from early in its career. The songs are not nearly as dark as previously, but this in some ways is hurting the band rather than helping it, since some of the best songs of the band’s career are the ones that show off the tormented soul of Morgan and deal with personal anguish such as the loss of his brother. Although this new album does contain some dark and heavy moments, as a whole it is perhaps the lightest album yet from the band, and sometimes it is hard to identify the direction they are trying to go in. Overall though, this is a good album that shows off Morgan’s high level of song writing and will certainly prove to be another success for the band. And as bonus information, Seether will tour Europe this fall which will bring them to Copenhagen at Store Vega on November 25th.


Download: See You at the Bottom, Words As Weapons, My Disaster, Suffer It All, Save Today
For the fans of: Saliva, Finger Eleven, Foo Fighters, Smile Empty Soul, Theory of a Dead Man
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.07.2014
Bicycle Music/Concord Music Group

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