August 8, 2014 Seether – Isolate and Medicate (Album review)
Heavy rock veterans Seether have been crushing the music scene with their hard and captivating sounds since the early 2000’s. Now in 2014, their new record Isolate and Medicate shows the world they are far from done with their reign in heavy music. Moving seamlessly through chugging guitar riffs, expressive refrains, and mellow acoustic ballads, Seether stay true to their trademark sound while spicing things up for their fans.
Seether has a quite a distinctive style to their instrumentals, which is often shown on Isolate and Medicate. The opening track “See You At The Bottom” refreshes the listeners’ minds to their slow and deep growling sound of the intro guitar riffs that turn into a thrumming tempo. They do a great job distinguishing their sound as well. The vocals in the verses have memorable hooks that along with the beat and lyrics releases a harsh tone (“A faceless name undeserving of a soul”) to start off the album with full power. This superior metal side of Seether’s sound is clearly a strong asset of the record. “Suffer It All” spits out jagged melodies and breakdowns to create their heavy characteristics, but roll into a smoother chorus to blend into one of the highlights on Isolate and Medicate.
Even on the lighter tracks, Seether trademarks it with their deep and distinct intro riffs. “My Distaster” is the epitome of this style; it gives off pure aggression in the vocals and lyrics (“Don’t let me down / Blame me, bleed me”), but instrumentally has a hard rock sound. This smoother solid rock and roll style is the main attraction of the record and a more common style for Seether. “Same Damn Life” is another superstar from the album, but includes more catchy melodies and lighter themes to convey a liberating mood. The opening words “Come smoke a cigarette and let your hair down” are the perfect icebreaker. A more cheerful tone in “Keep The Dogs At Bay” is used as well. Although it begins with Seether’s signature instrumental style, the calm, creeping verses change gears. Then as the chorus explodes, hopeful words like “I’m still trying to figure it out / I’m still finding reasons to believe in better days” have perfect compatibility with the empowering sound of the song.
Moments like these show a softer side of Seether, but even more so with the few tracks that are dictated by an acoustic guitar. “Crush” begins slowly and sweetly with a warm acoustic melody and vocal hooks, but contradicting lyrics give the track heartbreak (“It’s over now / The whispers are all around / You keep searching for something you can’t find”). These areas in Seether’s work really show how much emotion they can give off through their music. The song ends with a surge of uplifting instrumentals leaving listeners with a chilling sense of longing. The band even ends their album with a track of similar style. “Save Today” uses the same acoustic introduction to end with a bang of instrumental addition and power. They combine their soft and stronger sounds to end in a full circle, even using relatable, self doubting lyrics to give the listeners something to think about (“I never learned from my mistakes / I guess I don’t have what it takes, right?”). The charming, yet melancholy tone of this track ends Isolate and Medicate in an extremely unique and interesting way.
All in all, Seether has certainly kept their pace for all of these years. This diverse record plays from so many different angles of heavy rock, and nails each and every one of them. Whether you have been a fan since the beginning or listening to them for the first time, there is a track that every rock lover can enjoy on Isolate and Medicate. CrypticRock gives this album 4.5 out of 5 stars.