Seth: The Howling Spirit

Gallic black metallers return in body only

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Black metal by numbers isn’t always a bad thing, and neither is aping Satyricon and Thorns circa 1999-2001, but Seth do it in such an unmoving manner that it becomes almost painful to experience.

Having been a band for the best part of 20 years, these Frenchmen should know better and while The Howling Spirit has some great little touches – the drums on opening track In Aching Agony are the best thing about the song – there’s just not enough substance to really sink your teeth into. Throwing the obligatory ‘invisible oranges’ pose is but a far and distant dream considering how lacking it is in terms of sound.

One Ear To The Earth, One Eye To Heaven nearly hits the spot with a cool guitar-led interlude and Black Messiah’s vocal touches grate and rasp in all the right places, yet Seth ruin it for themselves with a misguided spoken-word section that unfortunately gives the intended eerie atmosphere a sadly comical tone. Better luck next time.