What We Have Become

Written by: PP on 23/10/2006 18:05:02

Somewhere in between Breaking Benjamin's generic hard rock compositions and Pearl Jam's timeless grunge classics lies the sound of the Massachusetts act Seemless, featuring ex members of influential metalcore acts Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage. A strange change of sound one might say, but yet as you listen to the ballsy riffs' metallic nature it's not too far fetched to say they are still paying slight homage to their previous bands. "What We Have Become" is the band's sophomore full length effort where they are knowingly disregarding post-grunge influenced hard rock's irrelevance today and writing the songs they have wanted to write already during their past in the seminal bands.

The major refresher and difference Seemless possesses compared to other post-grungers is the inclusion of deep scream-growls similar to Howard Jones' of Killswitch Engage. This is noticeable straight away on the opening track "In My Blood" which opens with a rough growl and takes use of the screams in other parts of the song. However, you shouldn't assume this is a screamo / hardcore / insert-a-core-here inspired grunge album, because it really isn't. The screams are used sparingly, and more often than not scratched Nickelback / Seether style vocals are used instead. But when they do come in, they transform the nature of the songs further away from their otherwise dirty-distorted grunge rock sound made famous by the likes of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

In fact, some of the songs are almost direct copies of Pearl Jam songs. Aside from its introducing moments, "Numb" is an almost note-by-note copy of Pearl Jam's sound, starting from the extended vocals of the Eddie Vedder imitating vocalist all the way to the huge high-flying choruses and scratched riffs. Ironically, the song is the best and most catchiest on the album, but would still fall short from any Pearl Jam classic despite its desperate attempt of sounding 100% like their presumed idols. Luckily the band doesn't do this on more than just a few tracks, and their own identity can be heard more clearly on "The Deep Below", a five minute piece of atmospheric chord progression and quiet/loud dynamics. One moment vocalist Jesse leach yells with his scratched voice in full volume, and another he half-whispers the lyrics while the song progressively gets louder and louder towards the end. However, the 15 minutes of fame of this song are over soon as the next track "Seven" immediately brings into mind early Pearl Jam material and even hints of Soundgarden by Jesse's Chris Cornell-like soft-yelling.

"What We Have Become" is not a bad album as such. There are more than just a few great songs and almost no songs you could consider mistakes. However, where the album suffers the most is in its overall lack of identity. Most of the time you feel like you're listening to Seether covering b-sides of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam with a few ideas of their own thrown into the mix. This, combined with the already rock bottom trend of the once overpopulated post-grunge / hard rock scene, is the reason "What We Have Become" won't score highly on most reviews despite their all-star lineup.


Download: Jaded, Numb, The Deep Below
For the fans of: Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Seether, Breaking Benjamin
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.09.2006
Equal Vision
Provided by Target ApS

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