Review Summary: It's time for a rethink.
I have to admit, I hold a modest level of admiration for Seether. They might not have made anything remotely seminal in their 17 year career, but they’ve managed to make a consistent catalogue of enjoyable albums nonetheless. Having said that, when listening to the South African 3-piece, there’s always that conflict of emotions I can never shift: on the one hand we have a band that’s burdened themselves with echoic ideas that have been used a billion times before – a very much obvious influence being Nirvana if we’re pointing out the elephant in the room; but then, on the flipside, they’re a group which utilise these derivative tools to the fullest, and make a damn good job of it. There’s no denying they have some solid rock songs under their belt, but the impressive aspect of these guys really comes from how they’ve managed to stretch such a limited amount of ideas into a seven album career, and still have it sound entertaining. Disclaimer II
is arguably Seether at their peak, and that was 13 years ago, since then they’ve hung on by the seat of their pants making records which slither over the finishing line, battered and bruised with an ample amount of fatigue setting in. My analogy may not be the best, but that’s how I feel every time I put on one of Seether’s albums: setting off strong before waning and just in so maintaining my interest before the LP’s closing seconds. And the problem is, every time Shaun and co. comes back to the fold with a batch of new songs, they lose a little bit more of what makes them a solid alt-rock band; the ability to sustain interest throughout its duration becomes more and more difficult.
So where does Poison the Parish
fall into the discography: predictably, right in line with the rest of their works, though a hair worse than the one before it. That’s not to be slanderous to Poison the Parish
, I went into this expecting exactly the same bag of tricks, and without disappointment it delivered on my predictions. But it has to be said, this one drags its knuckles a little longer in places; has a few more stagnated periods; and relies on more plagiarisms than ever before. There’s a couple of annoying vocal parts on here as well: “Stoke the Fire” has some great harsh parts, but the chorus has this vocal line where Shaun says “I bet you can’t”
over and over again, and it tarnishes a lot of the stronger elements to an otherwise great track. It doesn’t help matters that these repetitive parts come up more often than not and are supported by some pretty weak melodies that lack memorability. Influences range from the Foo Fighters and Nirvana, which lend a hand in the creation of “Let Me Heal”, “Against the Wall” and “Count Me Out”, to the Nickelback, radio-rock shtick of “Something Else“ and “Emotionless“. All of these tracks are decent bites of fun, but ultimately lack character. The more welcoming and standout tracks here come from the heavier side of the sonic spectrum, or the ones that just try and sound like themselves: “Nothing Left” lends a sound more akin to Chevelle, but is one of this album’s biggest highlights, thanks in part to the meaty production and balls-to the-wall riffs that support Shaun’s harsh screams, while “I’ll Survive” manages to salvage a great hook over the usual alt-rock blare.
At this point I can’t see Seether ever knocking one out of the park, and it’s getting to the point now where they really need to go back to the drawing board and assess what works and what needs a changeup. This is, once again, another hearty effort from the band, and manages to deliver the same ingredients we’re used to having, but the taste is getting blander every time we’re fed it, and I fear we might get to the point where everything becomes completely tasteless.
EDITIONS: CD DELUXE//C̶D̶//D̶I̶G̶I̶T̶A̶L̶//V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶
PACKAGING: Digipak case.
SPECIAL EDITION: The deluxe edition contains 3 bonus tracks, but these fall for the same problems a lot of the other tracks do, and unfortunately don't offer much of an incentive in purchasing the deluxe over the standard edition. 2.5/5