Seether Re-Emerges as Confident, Angry and Focused with Crushing New Album ‘Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum’ (Listen/Review)

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

There’s nearly a full minute aggressive, sludgy guitar riffage before Shaun Morgan begins singing on “Dead and Done,” the explosive opening track to Seether‘s eighth album, Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum (“If You Want Peace, Prepare For War”), which is out now.

When Morgan’s verse does kick in, it’s through layers of vocal effects and pissed-off lyrics (In the end it’s all so clear to me/That you’re betraying all your friends), giving way to the song’s chorus, which blends screams and clean vocals.

(Click here to buy Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum from our Rock Cellar Store).

This introduction to the record shows just why Seether has become a global powerhouse of angsty, grunge-tinged alt/rock over the years, the South African band selling millions of records worldwide. The group’s signature mix of pained lyrics from Morgan, cascading riffs and a knack for killer hooks has built the foundation upon which they reside today.

It’s a compositional foundation Seether has rarely veered from, really, with songs like “Bruised and Bloodied” primed to whip fans into a frenzy and be quite a mosh pit anthem once concerts are allowed to return.

But with most of Si Vis Pacem …, the band does take a decidedly different approach to things. Listening to the album, it’s hard to avoid calling to mind the vibes of alt/metal in the late ’90s and early 2000s, something Morgan confirmed to Guitar World was part of his creative focus:

“I wanted to be true to the Seether sound, because I love that ’90s-era riff kinda energy, but I also wanted some more atmospheric A Perfect Circle or Deftones-influenced ideas. They have those beautiful ethereal moments which I’ve always enjoyed. I spent a lot of time listening to those bands throughout 2017 and 2018. I listen to them a lot to get through the dark times.”

Songs like “Wasteland” definitely embody that slightly “throwback” sound, a driving anthem with Morgan shouting, “This teenage wasteland of ours/I feel too much” in the song’s refrain.

Seether introduced the new material with the album’s lead single, “Dangerous,” another infectious slab of riffy energy that came with its own creepy animated video:

In the Guitar World chat, Morgan references a focus to abandon the typical verse/chorus/verse structure for something new with some moments on the new record, and “Let It Go” — with its jarring lead riff and tempo changes — definitely fits that bill.

(By the way, watch the band’s special full-production live stream concert coming up this weekend, on 8/30).

As a front man, Shaun Morgan is a particularly powerful presence on Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum, elevating songs like “Failure” with his howl driving the song’s chorus. The song serves as another reminder of how eerily similar to Kurt Cobain he can sound every now and then, too.

At this point, Seether can do whatever it wants. That kind of freedom comes with selling millions of records and simply “existing” for as long as the band has, forming in 1999 and outliving many of its peers from the early days on its rise to the top.

By sheer persistence (and a ton of success), Seether is pretty much a “legacy” rock band now — but one that still has something to say and something new to present to its audience. This is a quality set of hard-rock songs in 2020 from a band that knows what it’s doing, led by one of the scene’s most versatile lead vocalists.

With Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum, Seether mixes in a few welcomed surprises with the familiar, and it’s sure to wind up one of the year’s biggest rock records as a result.

Stream the album below, via Spotify.

Related Posts