A review of Seether’s heavier and more honest seventh album Poison The Parish.
Seether is one of the bands who have stood the test of time while staying consistent to their sound over 15 years. Poison The Parish, the band’s seventh full album already is destined to feature several singles on mainstream rock radio airplay as just about every Seether album has since 2002 with Disclaimer and the many songs that put them on the map. I myself have not kept up with Seether throughout the years as devotedly as their large fanbase has. My introduction with Disclaimer definitely got me to notice them as something but I admit I found the band as hit and miss depending on the album or radio single that was frequently featured. Now in 2017 however comes something a bit more honest and deep with Poison The Parish.
Seether’s new album is intended to be a deeper venture from the band than in the past and claiming to be the band’s heaviest album yet. In the press release for the album, Shaun Moran described it by saying “We want to bring back musicality, playing loud, and the importance of having something to say that you can stand behind. It’s about honesty in your music.” On paper, this sounds fantastic. A band who has been around the world and had successful albums and awards earned all while keeping a respected name in the world or rock, is going to release an album that is honest. In a world of gimmicks and pandering to a dedicated audience by faking your image, in comes a successful band like Seether wanting to make real music that can connect with someone.
What people will be drawn toward on Poison The Parish is the advertised heavier style. The promoted singles “Let You Down” and “Stoke The Fire” definitely show Shaun Morgan in his screaming element. The music behind him in both of these singles flows from a groove to a hard rock chorus. “Stoke The Fire” especially works as an album opener because of that grooving into a growl. Of the two released singles, I prefer “Stoke The Fire” as it feels like a newer style of Seether that we haven’t heard as much of. I don’t think “Let You Down” is bad but it is definitely a status quo from the band, where “Stoke The Fire” the drum and bass build up in the verses leads to a strong chorus with a great hook in the “I bet you can’t” chant. The bridge into the repeated “Who’s going to stoke the fire” being screamed tops it off.
The first half of Poison The Parish follows suit in this harder style. The second track “Betray and Degrade” sounds similar to the single “Let You Down” in style, and “I’ll Survive” has the same groove into a loud chorus like “Stoke The Fire”. It’s after the heavier tracks play when this album shines though, as it’s some of the slower and more melodic songs that are the most memorable.
While I was listening through Poison The Parish I would come across songs like “Against The Wall”, “Emotionless”, and “Sell My Soul” and not be able to get past them without an immediate second listen. Lyrically these songs prove the emotional honesty that was talked about and they will be the gems that come off this album. “Against The Wall” especially is one that needs to be sought after and could possibly be a future single that shows Seether in a different light.
I really like this song. The guitar is fluid in the verses and this track at just under four minutes goes quickly as you are swept in the atmosphere of the song. I understand that Poison The Parish is being sold as heavier, but the moments like this are the ones that need to be highlighted and not ignored as these are the best part of the album. The heavier tracks throughout Poison The Parish, especially as the album goes into the second half with tracks like “Nothing Left” and “Count Me Out” start to sound extremely similar. It gets repetitive quickly. The redeeming qualities though are the slower songs with a great build and the overall lyric writing throughout the album, which is a HUGE step up from Seether from the past several albums.
I’m honestly not sure if this is going to be considered Seether’s heaviest album to date, but some points I can definitely make is that Seether stepped it up on their seventh album by getting more emotional in the lyrics and by playing more than one style of mainstream radio rock. Seether gives some energy in the volume of songs like “Stoke the Fire”, but it’s the style of “Against The Wall” that should gain Seether some respect. Overall, Poison The Parish offers a solid performance in their upfront delivery. While there are some tracks that have the standard sound that Seether have been known for playing for over a decade, there is also material here that would make any rock fan happy. If you haven’t listened to Seether in years, Poison The Parish is the one worth giving a shot.