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Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces

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  • THE BAND: Shaun Morgan (vocals, guitars), Dale Stewart (bass), John Humphrey (drums & percussion). Origin – South Africa.

    THE DISC: (2007) 12 tracks clocking in at approximately 50 minutes. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing song titles/credits, song lyrics, a dedication to Morgan’s brother Eugene Welgemoed (R.I.P.), artwork by famed Chinese-American artist David G. Ho, and thank you’s. Music by Seether, all lyrics by Morgan. This is the band’s 3rd studio album. Label: Wind-up Records.

    COMMENTS: Seether continues their breed of angry post grunge songs (with an affinity for the F-bomb – which sometimes works, but usually doesn’t). “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is a solid album, but there’s nothing out of the ordinary here. To me, Seether is still in the same class with Breaking Benjamin, Staind, Three Days Grace, Crossfade, Cold, etc… the band continues to write quality songs that deliver with conviction. There are some issues here that perhaps affected the songs/album – Morgan dealing with his brother’s suicide, his own drug addiction, and numerous production delays. Also, gone is guitarist Pat Callahan – in these 2nd tier rock bands, 2 guitars are usually better than 1. “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is a solid album, filled with stinging guitar riffs and hooks. I find myself listening to the entire disc without hitting the `skip’ button. While there’s no mainstream rock powerhouse hit like Disclaimer’s “Fine Again”, or a pound your fist get-up-and-yell track like “Gasoline”, or a top-notch smoky ballad like “Broken”, “Finding Beauty” still manages to please – reaching #9 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums in 2007. 11 of the 12 songs fit into the 3-5 minute range, with only “No Jesus Christ” breaking the mold at over 7 minutes long. Two singles did emerge – the most well known track on the album “Fake It”, and the mainstream mid tempo “Rise Above This” (about one brother missing the other). Other highlights include the heavy opener “Like Suicide”, the crunchy rhythm guitars in “Fallen” (sounds like it could be a Godsmack tune), the slower acoustic “Walk Away From The Sun” that gradually picks up speed, and the beautiful final cut “Waste”. Several reviewers here on Amazon (as well as other sources) have said how different they feel this album is when compared to “Disclaimer” (2002) and “Karma And Effect” (2005). I guess I’m not on the same bus – I think this sounds a lot like previous Seether albums… maybe too much so. “Finding Beauty” is trademark Seether – great melodies, crunchy guitars, good familiar vocals, and lots of attitude. “Finding Beauty” will not hit you as hard as “Disclaimer”, but it’s still a solid release (4 stars).

    Posted on March 1, 2010