Review Summary: Seether gets a bit more experimental and better instrumentally and vocally. They still suffer from poor lyrics, variety, and originality though.Fake it if your out of direction
Fake it if you don't belong
Fake it if you feel like infection
For two albums, Seether's been faking it. Their music was horribly ripped off from every other post-grunge/hard rock band out today. Disclaimer II was just horrid, and Karma and Effect was a step in the right direction. That's why the lead single Fake It accurately describes Seether's career, up to Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. Seether's latest record moves away from well, the blandness of Disclaimer and Karma and Effect. Seether's latest album successfully recovers them from being like, well, Nickelback or Taproot. They're way better, and proved this with Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces.
This album isn't excellent, even though it's a good listen and a step in the right direction. I can truly listen to the album from start to finish without skipping a track. Is that a positive? Yes, I haven't been able to do that on ANY Seether album. That's most likely one big positive to the album. The rhythms are catchy and really great on most of the songs (notably Fake It). Shaun Morgan's vocals are grittier and more powerful than ever. The guitar work still reeks of nu-metal, though, and the artwork is well, almost as bad as Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. The songs don't flow well together as a whole and seemed severed from one another. Really, a gigantic lack of variety. But somehow, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces isn't that
Like Suicide: 3.5/5
Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces opens up with Like Suicide, a heavy track that showcases Seether's heavier, grittier sound. The new rhythms aren't as awesome as they are many of the tracks, but the simplistic rhythms work well with the song. It may feel a bit bland and radio rock fodder, but you can't not admit it's melodic and catchy. The riffs are perfectly detached and well subdued, and Morgan's vocals are simplistic, heavy, and overbearing. His vocals aren't excellent here, but the screaming definitely adds a metal edge to the song, and let me tell you, the breakdown where Shaun screams a whole stanza, it's perfectly executed.
Fake It: 4/5
Throw your hatred towards Seether aside, at least for one track. Fake It, the first single, showcases a perfect rhythm that clearly makes the track stand-out. The riffs are rather rehashed and boring, but Morgan's vocals are spot-on perfect, and the song is VERY catchy. You'll be singing it for hours. The solo is well done, it's simplistic, but gives off the overall sense of the track. Definitely one of the album's best songs.
Oh, god, you've got to be kidding me. The Gift Part II takes track three on this album. Slow beginning and verse, aggressive chorus, emotional lyrics and vocals. Anyone heard this before? The guitars are a bit odd and off-the-wall in parts and Seether takes advantage of guitar feedback in plenty of places. The song is once again, catchy, but when Morgan sings "soooooooooooooo...", you're almost in awe at how cheesy this line sounds upon first listen. The solo riff is just, not good as well. This song screams second single, but it's a rather mediocre song.
FYLYHM (*** You Like You Hate Me): 4/5
Yes, the title of the track is moronic as well as the premise of the track, but the song is just great. The song slowly builds, and plenty of the guitar work has an 'eerie' Orgy feel, and the slow-burning song structure is excellent. The aggressive chorus is great and crazed, and Morgan lets you know he's got plenty of anger, even if blatantly showcasing his terrible lyrical approach and writing. The rhythms of the album are in full-force, moving the song along with passion. But even with stupid and immature lyrics, the song manages to stick out and be one of the album's best.
Well, apparently Shaun felt compelled to trash his ex-girlfriend Amy Lee by stealing her biggest hit's name. Evanescence? Whatever, Seether's got a track called Fallen now. Looking past the blatant shot at Lee, Seether grasps more excellent rhythms, adds in some heavy basslines, and backup screams in the chorus. You've definitely got one of Seether's heavier tracks that borders on Chevelle-like alternative metal. Morgan's voice cracks a bit too much in the chorus though, and adds a bit too much grit and anger to the chorus. His vocal performances pull away from a rather excellent guitar solo and riffage.
Rise Above This: 1/5
Seether isn't macho enough to drop the ballads, and integrates a ridiculously soft ballad for post-grunge. Morgan makes uncanny resemblences to Lifehouse's vocalist in the verses and choruses. The whole acoustic/electric, melodic thing is way over and getting really aged.
No Jesus Christ: 5/5
Here's where Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces really shines. Seether shows some of their newer influences and styles with No Jesus Christ, arguably their most experimental song yet. Starting off with a barely audible bassline, the song slowly builds into a melodic masterpiece. Taking advantage of the time of the track, Seether adds a song without any blatant structure, showing off Morgan's screaming, atmospheric riffs, and Seether's soundscapes. The song is relaxing and aggressive at the same time. Quickly changing pace for the 7 minute lifespan, No Jesus Christ lets Morgan vent his anger while showing off one of Seether's most atmospheric pieces. The rhythms lead the song perfectly, and truly show Seether's reliance on rhythms. Clearly the standout track, right here.
6 Gun Quota: 3/5
Seether pulls of an ultra-melodic track with catchy choruses, fun riffs, different song structures, and plenty of riffage. Morgan belts out some of his best vocals on the album, and the song is only led by some of Seether's best lyrics. The growling vocals mix well with the 'eerie' riffs, and the song is definitely a wonderful track, inhibited by the similiarity to Fake It.
Walk Away From the Sun: 2/5
Morgan is a lyrical trainwreck. He doesn't resort to anger, just really poetic misery, and Walk Away From the Sun is proof of that.
Walk Away From the Sun and Kill Everyone
Yeah, I'll get right on that.
The guitar work isn't terrible, in fact it's some of Morgan's best stuff. The solos are impeccable, and the riffs create a nice backdrop, spearheaded by the acoustic guitar in the back. The drumming sets some nice rhythms and the bass fits perfectly with the rhythm. The 'oh-ho-ho-hooooo' in the chorus is a bit strange, though.
Eyes of the Devil: 2.5/5
More miserable lyrics are right here on Eyes of the Devil. Shaun Morgan continues to dig a lyrical hole, barely held up by really bland guitar work. The song is definitely slow burning and led by the bass. Morgan's vocals are especially powerful and extreme though, but I really can't get past the line "it irks me when I get burned.". We may have a candidate for a worse one-liner than "I got my arms a-flip flop-flip.".
Don't Believe: 4.5/5
Just when you think the album will hit a downward spiral, Seether picks the ashes off the floor and dusts them off for a really great track. The quiet verse/loud chorus structure is overused, but the aggressiveness of the track makes it a great listen. Morgan's heavy metal screaming is actually very desirable, and the tradiitonal singing is very refined, in a good way. The guitar work carries a strange 'oriental' feel about it, but definitely gives off the dark, endless vibe of the album well. Plenty of the riffs integrate some VERY metal riffs, and the Evans Blue-ish chorus actually works very well for Seether. Rhythms are spot on and perfectly executed, and it carries an experimental feel about it. One of the album's best, by far.
Waste is a slower track with some very excellent guitar work, almost country in parts. Morgan once again screams at the top of his voice, but the track really feels like something off of Daughtry's self-titled (which IS NOT a good thing). There's definitely experimental parts to Waste and shows some of Seether's possible further directions, and I like it. Just more refined and perfected would be a good thing. Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces ends on a fairly good note, just like it began.
All in all, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces really isn't
bad at all. Experimentation plays a bit part in Seether's attack on audio on this album. The guitar work has moved up a level, as well as Morgan's vocals (which were never all that good in the first place). No matter how bad an album may be, I can always appreciate a band trying to move in a new direction, and it looks like Seether is moving into a more rhythm-led melodic approach, versus their former 'balls out' rock style of Disclaimer and Karma and Effect. The tracks also don't work that well together either, they seem like a collection of miscellanious tracks more than an album that was meant to be released as a whole. There's some real gems on here, and some real duds, but Seether's change is welcome, and crafted their most accomplished work yet.