Among the thousands of different categories that have been invented to classify modern music, I don’t remember to have already encountered the hybrid definition of “progressive sludge“. Regardless of whether it’s actually a neologism or it was already used in the past for other bands, this is, in any case, the term that I think best characterizes the music from Seer. The Canadian band, in fact, has consolidated during the last years a special style of metal that despite having clear foundations in sludge music, evolves significantly through the use of non-linear developments for the songs, the introduction of atmospheric elements with keyboard and synthesizers, and also the adoption of a common narrative for all the albums.
On February 2019, Seer have dropped their new LP, identified just as Vol. 6. The name of the album represents the fact that although it’s only the second studio LP from the band, this is the sixth release in their overall discography, thus taking into account also EPs and compilations.
Seer’s new record is really interesting since it provides us with a completely different interpretation of sludge metal, which is full of many original ideas and where you can really feel the desire of the five musicians to go beyond the canonical boundaries of the genre, incorporating influences that come from doom, atmospheric black metal, post-metal and – as said – progressive rock.
The songs of the album, with just a few exceptions, abandon the typical structure where an obsessive and abrasive rhythm marks the progress of the piece. The tracks of Vol. 6, in fact, are full of continuous and surprising changes of atmospheres and evolutions. In order to really appreciate the album, therefore, the listener has to dedicate all of his attention to the songs, otherwise, he won’t enjoy all the details of the exciting journeys that these guys from Vancouver have prepared for us. There aren’t short and immediate pieces that you can use to vent out your repressed anger, but rather a collection of articulated, conceptual and impeccably played songs.
My personal opinion for this album is absolutely positive and I assign to the LP a rating of 7/10. My favourite songs are Iron Worth Striking, the first proper song after the instrumental introduction, and Frost Tulpa, a piece that starts very poetically with clean guitars and keyboards (it reminds me of the music that accompanied the first chapter of the Diablo videogame saga), and which progressively turns into a cold and terrible nightmare, until the final part where we can enjoy one of the darkest and most chilling finals that were ever recorded in the history of sludge.
Songs from Seer’s new album are now featured in two of the playlists that I’m curating of Spotify, i.e. TOTAL SLUDGE and SLOWLY. Check these out!