Review Summary: Showing that being a one trick pony isn't always a bad thing, as long as you do it well.
Time since 2005 has not been kind to Seether. What was once a band that could put out fantastic angst ridden alternative metal, slowly turned into a band that was clearly going through an identity crisis. Album after album was filled with unsuccessful attempts to change the bands identity or copy what had been done so well before. Thankfully on "Poison the Parish" it seems that Seether have finally found themselves again and have released something that is, for the most part, pretty damn good.
"Poison the Parish" is much stronger than past Seether albums from a technical standpoint. Seether's changes in both record label, as well as having lead singer Shaun Morgan produce the album seem to have really paid off. Seether sounds much more focused in it's sound as a band overall compared to previous albums. In addition to that Morgan, for the first time in years, doesn't sound like he's struggling at the microphone for the majority of the album, and his trademark screams are back in full force, and they really shine on this album. Overall the music is well mixed and produced.
"Poison the Parish" also does a fantastic job at playing to Seether's biggest strength; the ability to make incredibly angsty alt-metal. Normally angst isn't really a fantastic thing to have as the only trick in your sleeve, but when Seether get's angst right, they get it really ***ing right. Seether have always been great when at their most angsty or angry and that shows very well on this album. Harder tracks like "Let You Down", "Saviours", and "Nothing Left" showcase that when Seether are in their element, the songs the produce can be genuinely enjoyable and downright fun to listen to, and slower tracks like "Sell my Soul" and "Misunderstood" showcase Seether's angstier side in the best ways possible.
I know I've been heaping nothing but praise on this album so far but it does come with it's weaknesses. While being a one trick pony works well for Seether, it does lead to the album sounding pretty homogeneous and there is very little to break that up here. On top of that there are some pretty lackluster songs here. "Emotionless" is very aptly named, leaving me with little to no feeling after hearing it, and it drags on for five ***ing minutes. "Against the Wall" has Morgan's worst vocal performance by far, as he drifts back into that very strained nasal singing, and thematically it feels and sounds very off from the rest of the album. And finally the ending track "Take a Minute" is just really boring, and incredibly dull which is a horrible note to end the album on.
Overall, while flawed, "Poison the Parish" is easily the best Seether album since "Karma and Effect". While it can be pretty same-sounding and not every song is fantastic, Seether's return to being a straight up, angsty, alt-metal band really pays off and gives us some of the best music we've heard from his band in years. If you're a fan of "Disclaimer" and "Karma and Effect", or just wanna have an angsty time, I'd say give this album a listen. If angst ridden alt metal isn't your thing, or you're a big fan of "Holding On to Strings Better Left to Fray" or "Isolate and Medicate" you may want to pass on this one.
Best tracks: "Let You Down", "Nothing Else", "Misunderstood", "Count Me Out"
Worst tracks: "Against the Wall", "Emotionless", "Take a Minute", "Feels Like Dying"