The Pitch: Immersive Vancouver sludge and doom band Seer are at it again with the simply-titled Vol. 6 via Artoffact Records. FFO: Baroness, Mastodon, Bast
What I Like: Seer are quickly proving themselves to be one of the most consistent sludge bands in the game. Since reissuing Vol I & II together in 2016, the band has already dropped 4 solid albums, though I somehow managed to miss Vol V. As the simplistic titles may imply, their entire catalog feels as if it comes from one larger concept; and Vol VI is among their finest work so far. The story is of a monk taking a pilgrimage to his monastery at the peak of the tallest mountain in the world; a journey from which no one has ever returned. The music does an excellent job of capturing the massive undertaking at hand... and the potential futility of it all.
The production feels massive, once again conjuring imagery of the Pacific Northwest: open plains, lonely plateaus, and ice capped mountains. The bass and guitars rumble and quake like the Cascadia subduction zone. Deep, Baroness-esque clean vocals echo out into the expanse like rolling wind and thunder. And true to the band's more extreme influences like Bathory and Taake, storms erupt in the form of blackened shrieks as with the violent conclusion of "Frost Tulpa" and contrasting with the Mastodon-sounding riffs of "As The Light Fades."
Critiques: It feels as if something is missing. I appreciate that Seer embrace brevity and concise songwriting despite their doom leanings, but I don't get a sense of closure by the time it's all over. My thought is that one more proper track might have rounded things out a little better. And you know me: I almost never recommend adding content.
The Verdict: 2018 was a light year for sludge with only a handful of releases I really felt were worth my time. It's nice to start off 2019 with a solid album that isn't some form of black metal, death metal, or hardcore. In any case, Seer deserve a lot more attention, so throw them your support.
Flight's Fav's: Iron Worth Striking, Seven Stars, Seven Stones, As The Light Fades
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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