Review Summary: The Nietzsche's older and much wiser brother
I have to admit but I've learned about Septa the wrong way. Last year I fell in love with what may be considered Septa's side project called The Nietzsche (stupid name, yes). The latter are some kind of mathcore with a strong gimmick of not giving a *** about anything, and in my humble opinion may be the best band in the genre, or was, 'cause they are sort of broke up. And I've been told that virtually Septa and The Nietzsche have all the same members, while Septa is much popular and a bit more mainstream. I think I've been lied to.
At first I wasn't that into it. Septa in general is boring, and not fun at all compared to The Nietzsche. It's not terrible, I mean, there are great songs, and I just love dude's voice, plus the production particularly on this album is outstanding. That was my first impression, and since 16 songs The Nietzsche have released so far tend to expire I've been coming back to Sounds Like Murder frequently. And each listen increased its value for me. I've started to hear what people find in these songs: the meaning, the feeling. There is much deeper grounds here, they are multi-layered and intertwined, glued together by a very cryptic lyrics that are piecing together into a bigger story just like a jigsaw puzzle. Yep, it's definitely not The Nietzsche
Musically it's a departure from a mathcore-ish EP Destroyer, leaning to an alternative slash progressive metal at times, but if you look at Septa's whole discography - it's what they do, and they've just perfected it on Sounds Like Murder. It seems that this band exists in-between genres, and not only rock genres, there's a lot of electronics and other influences, but they all blend together well and the result is undoubtedly unique. They hit hard on such songs like Seducer, High Pitch Noise, Red Code with crushing riffs and guttural screams, go soft on 11th, Sky Moves Faster, When There Is Not Time, and do what-the-hell-do-you-call-this on Following, Supercell, and Narcosis. As you've noticed, the album is long, it's freaking 13 songs, running for almost an hour, and it closes with a beautiful post-rock number. Music is very complex and has a lot of different sounding palettes, they've even did a straight up industrial song that is very Nine Inch Nails-esque, and the strange thing is how it all perfectly fits together. Imagine going from prog metal hysterics of Rats In The Walls to a dreamy piano of When There Is No Time through a nasty bass synths and menacing whispers of Means Motives & Opportunity back to a chaotic Narcosis with one of the most heartbroken chorus I've ever heard. Sounds Like Murder is insanely diverse, and what connects the dots and ties it in so good is the narration.
As with every release Eugene Tymchyk is featured on - the central stage is occupied by his vocals, for better or for worst. To say Eugene is versatile is an understatement: he can sound very angry and very sweet at the same time, he can definitely scream, but boy can he sing. Every song contains such strong melodies, they are contagious, try not to sing along to 11's chorus! Sheer emotions that can be heard in such lyrics 'Hold my hand, tell me we get through, tell me everything I wish I knew' are impossible to imitate, it's uncanny how much vocal delivery Eugene provides. Ropes can easily be a benchmark for band's sound, and it can't be pigeon-holed that easily, what do you call Mastodon playing with Every Time I Die dynamics flavored with Deftones atmosphere? Right, I think you call it Septa.
Of course Sounds Like Murder has it flaws: it's too long for my taste, heavy songs are pretty sameish, and Redrum is unnecessary bonus track. But once you've reached the pinnacle, and by pinnacle I mean Supercell, easily the best song on the album, you get all the strengths multiplied by a very beautiful guest vocals. I didn't get much time to decipher the story, because it's seemingly a concept album, but I'm pretty bad at this. Something something finding a guy who murders girls, maybe someone will get it better. While Septa is not The Nietzsche is any way, I've found ways to love it, too.