Review Summary: In expanding their melodic prowess, Sed Non Satiata have developed one of the most clarified and distinct sounds in the post-rocked tinge screamo scene(or perhaps vice versa)
Ever since their debut LP, Sed Non Satiata have always been a promising sounding European Screamo act. Their spin on the post-rock based screamo sound was often based on abrasive, frenetic riffs that charged along with the controlled, yet ever so emotive howls of their vocalist. While their approach was certainly aggressive, they had always had a taste for guitar-based melodic textures. In the middle of their ferocious debut La Ciel De Notre Enface
was a chilling, post-rock instrumental that seemed to take all the energy built up on both sides of the album and converted it into a moving, vocal-less tune.
On their new self-titled release, Sed Non Satiata have taken a more melodic approach that further expands on their post-rock tendencies. While the first track features the trademark vocals of their singer, the guitars have noticeably shifted into building the melody and progression of the song, as opposed to adding to the hardcore madness. As the track progresses through instrumental parts, as well as the intense screamed parts, both guitars work dynamically throughout. While they still retain their fantastic ability to match the start-stop rhythms of their brand of screamo music, the guitarists of Sed Non Satiata place particular focus on generating atmosphere that complements the ever-present melodies.
And it can be said that this album works more as a post-rock album than it does a hardcore record. The vocals present on this lp are more restraint to fit the build-ups of the instruments. The vocalist sounds more confident then ever, featuring more well-developed clean passages, while still managing to release his passionate screams emotively as ever. One can detect that the finer, more restraint vocal sound is there to complement the bigger focus on songwriting and instrumental buildups. And instead of trading passion and aggression for climaxes and post-rock noodling, it's their natural hardcore based sound that adds a sense of passion to the more developed and melodic instrumental effect.
This can be seen in epic tracks such as Entre Les Mots
. The clean vocals echo along with reverberated guitars, and later get more aggressive and harsher as the drums get harder and the guitars build in unison. Due to their screamo-based roots, the overall sound of this album leads to that of a very passionate and truly engaging post-rock album. And there is a noticeable focus shifted onto texture, as evident in the field recording, placed during the second track, of an old man warning about "the average man" over lone, western sounding guitars. The production is utterly fantastic and there is a huge focus placed on the tone and layering of guitars. Unlike most screamo acts, Sed Non Satiata put a huge effort into production touches, whether it be the slightest bit of reverb, to the perfected mixing of the album. And under all the lush atmospherics the rhythm section provides great clarity, the bass hitting hard, yet melodically and the drums dynamically building up with the music.
As with most records of that vein, the huge focus on their post-rock instrumentals can certainly get grating. At times it can be a somewhat underwhelming experience, as mellow acoustic guitars open up the first two and half minutes of the fourth track. But all this matters not; if you don't find yourself moved by the pounding drums and fuzzy, dense guitar layers that climax Sed Non Satiata
, than you probably aren't much of a skramz fan anyhow.