Review Summary: Sea Of Treachery succeed in somehow making themselves less relevant than before.
A number of line up changes have not helped the creative dynamic of Kentucky based metalcore stalwarts Sea Of Treachery. There has seemingly been a revolving door policy since the 2008 release of "At Dagger's Dawn". A complete overhaul of the line up led to long delays in the writing and recording of follow up album "Welcome To Wonderland". Incessant wrangling with their former label Sumerian brought about a change in Sea Of Treachery's record label as they were picked up by BlkHeart. This change was an opportunity for Sea of Treachery to distance themselves from the reputation they had garnered for being a breakdown obsessed, flavour of the month for scenesters all over the world. This was an opportunity to perhaps begin a new chapter for Sea Of Treachery, adopt a new direction and win over the many critics who discredited their early material.
Instead, Sea Of Treachery recruited members formerly of As Blood Runs Black and Jamie's Elsewhere. This quickly eliminated all prospect of the band taking a new direction. So, two years down the line, what is the product of an essentially new look outfit? Unfortunately it seems as if none of the previous members ever left. No initiative has been taken in the creative direction of the band. Still present are the monotonous, one paced breakdowns and open string juns of old. Barring the occasional, fitting melodic sweep of lead guitarist Voice Gajic and the generally sound performance of All Shall Perish's newest recruit Adam Pierce, Sea of Treachery deliver one of the most tepid instrumental performances of 2010. What becomes obvious from the outset is the band's complete disregard for using transitions. Time and again, the songs will annoyingly flit between chorus and verse with little or no fill.
"Welcome To Wonderland" begins surprisingly strongly as Gajic comes up with a flash opening lead for title track "Welcome To Wonderland". He has long since displayed his ability to write intricate, melodic death metal style leads during his time with As Blood Runs Black but also evident was an inability to come up with something with any sort of imagination on a consistent basis. While Gaijic is a more than technically proficient guitar player, he has previously epitomised the 'one trick pony' with his linear songwriting and he does nothing but support this prejudgement as "Welcome To Wonderland" is nothing more than an amalgamation of near identical neo gothenburg melodic leads throughout.
The scratchy lead vocals of Alex Huffman are not helped by the weak production. They are left sounding flat and amateurish while it is a mixed bag for new clean vocalist Chris Paterson. His hoarse cleans sound much more suited to squeezing out higher notes than the quieter lows. The soaring chorus' of "A Lifetime Ago" and "Up Next On The Violence Channel" reveal an undoubted prowess in delivering higher pitch vocal lines, however too much of his time is spent in a far less convincing lower pitch tones. In truth, Paterson's significant limitations are exposed all too often. There are several incidences such as that in "Seven" where Paterson goes completely out of tune and makes one wonder whether the vocal delivery of the early tracks have only been achieved through an excessive use of an autotuner. It is also mind boggling as to why these imperfections have not been ironed out during the mixing and production. It reeks of carelessness.
After such an extended period away from music following Sea Of Treachery's debut album they have done nothing with the release of "Welcome To Wonderland" but lower their already dwindling profile in the metalcore scene. One thinks should there be anymore lineup casualties there may no longer be the basis to continue on with a Sea of Treachery.
Welcome To Wonderland
Up Next On The Violence Channel
A Lifetime Ago