Seer - Vol. III & IV: Cult Of The Void album review

Canadian sludge crew fail to count their blessings

Cover art for Seer - Vol. III & IV: Cult Of The Void album

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This Vancouver sludge quartet’s 2016 debut album was a compilation of two EPs, hence its name, Vol 1 & 2. Vol III & IV is a rather more convoluted construction; not only has their numbering system belatedly switched to Roman numerals, but there were no corresponding short-form releases. So what constitutes a ‘volume’ on this 45-minute album seems unclear – except that the second half is mostly acoustic instrumentals, suffused in watery sound effects presumably intended to summon elemental atmospheres, but sounding more like it was recorded in a busy bathroom. The first four songs are much heavier, lurching across metallicsubgenres in a way that broadcasts Seer’s versatility but rarely seems to gel in a satisfying way. So the sluggish chugs and dense chords flirt with the profundity of Neurosis, but are then compromised by weedy attempts at black metal, tentative synths or a bit of breezy guitar-hero stoner rawk. The result is an album that twists and turns enthusiastically but doesn’t really end up going anywhere.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.