Seether’s second album, “Karma And Effect” has officially arrived, atfer being put off a bit too long. Around the time they probably should have released the follow-up to 2002’s “Disclaimer,” they received some late-blooming success, thanks to a re-working of the track “Broken” which featured Evanescence frontwoman (and Seether frontman Shaun Morgan’s significant other) Amy Lee on background vocals. Instead of a new album, we got a remixed and repackaged version of “Dislaimer,” simply titled “Disclaimer II.” Sure, it featured some bonus tracks, but brand new material is what we all wanted, and finally, it has arrived.
Seether seem more than a little annoyed by their success, and as such, haven’t altered their sound or style one bit, which unfortunately is a double-edged sword. Regardless, they must be commended for their efforts, as most hard-rock bands that receive success for showing a lighter side tend to soften up in time (we’ll forgive Staind however, as their frontman actually found happiness). That’s just not the case here. The same group that made “Disclaimer” re-appears on this new album. And yes, I do see the irony in that statement, as there are two new members in the band. All thirteen tracks on “Karma And Effect” sound like they were made just to please Seether’s fanbase, and they definitely will. 3/4 of the album is made up of agressive, but infectious, rockers in the same vein as “Gasoline” or “Needles.” Sure, there is the catchy radio-fare of “Remedy” and “I’m The One,” but other songs, such as the album opener “Because Of Me” and “Burrito” (which apes lyrics from the aformentioned “Needles”) will rip up your speakers. For fans of “Driven Under” and “Fine Again,” songs like “The Gift,” “Never Leave,” “Tongue” and “Plastic Man” are perfect successors and are destined to become classics. The main problem, however, with this album is that is just feels too familiar. The stubborn attitude and resistance to change becomes a big problem, as it feels like we are just listening to the same album again. Hell, the album even begins heavy and ends soft, just like it’s successor. Some of the riffs are a bit tired, and the lyrical content gets a little redundant as well, as Shaun seems too insistent on taking strikes at the music industry and their record label — which reportedly instructed him not to swear, to tone down the album cover and change the name, which was originally “Catering To Cowards.”
However, with all flaws aside, it’s still a solid follow-up, and hopefully it should continue to ride the wave of success that got started last year. Fans of the band would be hard pressed to not find something on here they like, and each of the thirteen tracks could easily be a hit, which is hard to pull off. So the bottom line is, if you liked “Disclaimer” and are hungry for more, “Karma And Effect” will satisfy your appetite.