What a STUNNING album. Right from the very first song they GRAB you by the ears and rip your head around a full 360.
LIKE SUICIDE John deserves some serious accolades for his new role as The Baron of the Bionic Beatdown. His electrifying performance on this first song sets the tone for a truly electrifying record. He is so good on this track in fact that he seems to transcends drumming all together. There is so much palpable rage on this song that it sounds like he is not drumming so much as he is nailing someone’s sorry butt to the wall. BRILLIANT. The first time I heard this song the hair on the back of my neck stood up and stayed up for the rest of the record.
BREAKDOWN. The lyrics are so intensely personal that by the end of the song I felt like an inadvertent peeping tom. There is a voyeuristic undercurrent on this and so many of the other songs that the sense of guilt for somehow snooping in someone’s personal life was thankfully counter balanced by the staggering melodies and sumptuous harmonies in the music that supports so many secrets
FALLEN. This song is 100% AURAL pleasure. Dale Stewart should be nominated for an AVN Award for his outrageously devilish bassline on this song. Talk about a dirty lick. WOW!!! I am blown away and addicted. The bassline and the drums on this song are so HOT that it borders on porn…FUN porn…like Lollipop Girls in Hard Candy the infamous 3D porn with John Holmes from the 70’s. Phunky, Chunky, stick-to-your-ribs delishus. If you need music to lurk to put the bass line from this song on a continuous loop and have at it. Fallen is especially effective in headphones when Johns drum beats move from here to there. If you listen to this song on an ipod you will not be able to walk straight.
NO JESUS CHRIST is another stand out moment for Dale. There is an epic 70’s era Black Sabbath flavor to this song. The bassline is like liquid grit…so liquid that the strings seem to literally drip. Howard Benson’s intergalactic presence is most apparent on this song because prior to becoming one of music’s greatest producers he was an aerospace engineer. This song soars. The lyrics and Shaun’s fierce vocals in conjunction with Johns persistent beat give this song it’s flame so all together what you have here is earth, wind and fire. I can’t wait to hear this song performed live because this song was made to be played in an arena.
I LOVE but was confused by SIX GUN QUOTA because it was originally supposed to be called Six Shot Quota. Not sure why they replaced the shot with a gun…not meaning to pun. Fasten your seat belt….This is another song with a flight pattern that drives the music forward
Shaun’s voice on WALK AWAY FROM THE SUN is heaven on earth. There is an ethereal quality to the high notes that would make even the Seraphim envious. This is my favorite song on the whole record. The music is really exquisite. There is an subtle Latin texture to it so when listen with my eyes closed I can envision caballeros on horseback galloping through the surf. That is the magic of this song there is a breathtaking sense of freedom in it.
Da Vinci was once asked how he sculpted so beautifully. His response was that “I see angels in the marble and I carve until I set them free”. Da Vinci’s spirit is alive and thriving on Seether’s record. Shaun passionately carved to set his personal demons free and this is most apparent on the albums final track.
WASTE. In the credits it indicates that additional guitars were provided by Space…and I wondered if this was THEE Space who had a hit a few years ago with Female Of The Species. Alternate Universe Howard Benson is also “visible” here. Listening to Waste there is a sense of floating through the etherIt was this song that made me wonder if the catharsis was complete. I titled my review PRIMAL BIPOLAR LASAGNA because of the multiple layers of gut wrenching emotion on the record. My sense of this album and especially the lyrics is that Shaun really opened himself up on this record more than he ever has on previous efforts. If you REALLY listen to the lyrics you will hear a man openly grappling with all five stages of grief.
Rage, denial, bargaining, despair, acceptance…it is all here.
David Ho’s art work featuring the ghost of Candace and her love/hate relationship with the human race is a perfect visual companion to the music. If you are unfamiliar with David’s work I hope you will check him out at Davidho.com. He has another picture of Candace where she is standing laterally to the wind which is blowing crows out of her hair. It is called Candace Unleashes Her Personal Demons. And so to has Seether.
Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces is an astonishingly intelligent album, an extraordinary journey and surely one of the best records of the year.