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This album came out as a total surprise. I didn’t know and didn’t expect those Swedes ever to come back from the dead, and they did. But I guess it’s cool they finally managed to put new material together, even though it took them 15 years to do so. I must say I didn’t have a smallest idea what to expect from “Awakening of the Gods”. Sure, Seance was one of the most interesting Swedish death metal acts in the beginning of the 90’s and their “Fornever Laid to Rest” is a stunning album. Also the second LP “Saltrubbed Eyes” was great, but also so different music wise that it could have been recorded by a different band. And 15 years later I could have only tried to guess which direction Seance would follow. Honestly I expected something similar to neither of their old albums.
It’s been too long and the music has changed too much to expect another “Saltrubbed Eyes”. With the first seconds of “Awakening of the Gods” I usually am quite disappointed with the production of this album. I’m not saying it’s utterly bad, but I miss some aggression there. It’s very sterile and fits more to the modern thrash metal bands, which to be honest I don’t follow at all, and such sound haven’t got the aggression and obscure feeling of Swedish death metal I would normally expect. Production aside, the music is able to defend itself. Seance was able to create strong and even material with some really crushing songs.
Although I don’t understand the point of putting that crappy instrumental titled “Flight of the Wicked”, rest of the material is really good and proves it was worth waiting for Seance all these years. Musically it’s of course different from what we know from “Fornever Laid to Rest” and “Saltrubbed Eyes”, to me it’s more thrash / death metal record, if one asks, luckily it has remained the Swedish death metal vibe what sometimes brings Seance close to such newer acts like Facebreaker. The thrashing thing comes mainly due to the work of both guitarists, who by the way play some well advanced technically stuff. The album is pretty varied as you could fine there some slower, more groovy tracks like “Choose Your Enemy” and “They” for instance, as well as something like “Your Time Has Come”, which is fast and brutal song.
There are some hooks here and there; “Burn Me” is just excellent track, with this awesome chorus “buuuurrrnnn meeee!!!” growled by Johan Larsson. As overall the album has cool vibe and often reminds me also Pestilence’s “Resurrection Macabre” album, especially with such songs like “Forever Haunted” and the mentioned “Burn Me”; but that could be maybe mainly due to that sterile production, which reminds me about the latest album from the Dutch legend…? In the end it’s pretty difficult to judge “Awakening of the Gods”, honestly. I guess it all depends what your expectations were. If one looks for classic, pure Swedish death metal album, this CD may leave him disappointed, as to my opinion it’s quite different from that. But if you’re just looking for good death metal songs of whatever sound, you may like the album. The decision is yours… Myself, I like the old SEANCE albums more, but this comeback is also OK, so no shame there.
Well, this is a band I didn't think I was ever going to hear from again...Sweden's Seance released two pretty cult death metal albums Fornever Laid to Rest and Saltrubbed Eyes in the early 90s which garnered them a bit of acclaim, but most of the members are better known for other bands they've been in. Do Satanic Slaughter and Witchery ring any bells?
So not only do we have a brand spanking new Seance album, but it's actually quite good...in fact, it's probably their best yet. This is pure old school death metal but it has a nice blend of both the US brutal and Scandinavian styles, and Johan Larsson's vocals have a refreshing feel to them. The entire album sounds crisp, with excellent tone.
The energetic, grinding "Wasted" kicks off the album with an energetic slew of riffs. The baton is passed to the floor punching "They" and the the infectious "Your Time Has Come" with its old school death metal love. Other winners are the thrashing "Invocation", the maddening bass solo "Flight of the Wicked", and the melodic yet relentless "Murder". The entire album is a breath of fresh if rotting air...from beyond the grave. If you're into earlier Swedish death metal like Grave or....err...Seance! Then you should check this out.
Seance, the band that released the great album Fornever Laid to Rest, is back with what I'd say is a very good album. Seance was one of those bands I had heard of, knew they were good, but never listened to. So this album was my first taste of them, and then it lead me to listen to Fornever Laid to Rest. If you are looking for this album to be like the aforementioned, you will be disappointed. What Seance does here is combine the elements of old school Swedish Death Metal and apply a sort of groove that makes it stand out.
With this groove the album is made. There is a nice amount of stop-start riffing. The vocals sound the same as before. Basically this album is centered on making the riffs catchy and memorable. This element is what I usually bitch about bands not being able to do. Seance does it perfectly fine, their music doesn't come off as really easy to play, but it seems to be played with relevant ease. Everything is tight and the production is top notch. This isn't your standard blend of Death Metal; the tone of the album is a unique sound I haven't really heard before in Death Metal.
Overall Seance really has come back in full force. If they continue at the rate they are on now, their next album will be just as good. It's always good seeing bands coming back from long breaks and making good albums This came as a surprise as I didn't know they were back together and I am looking forward to know whether they tour or not. Seance is not done.
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com
Centuries have passed, but on this day the gods shall awake again…only to disappoint their followers shortly after by nailing the snooze-button and hitting the sack for another ten minutes. Case in point, Séance’s long-awaited record created some hype since many other disbanded factions have returned, yet minus the usual disappointment of comebacks; they deliver their promised product, albeit certainly not perfected death metal. Many folks have been asking whether or not they could return, but with a title like “Awakening of the Gods,” it’s almost like this previously-inactive quartet knew the time was right. Séance’s prolonged period of inactivity deciphers a post-mortem edge those once deceased have also cracked, for “Awakening of the Gods” materializes firing back at full force, and without neglect of one’s past identity.
Certainly both appealing and indifferent towards its culture, the record is cleverly predictable in nature unlike tremendous originality usually attempted by most participating in the death metal society. Since Séance had nothing to prove, they just took off right where it all ended with old-school death metal riffs magnifying dicing tremolo picking, wretched, catchy grooves, and a healthy number of enjoyable tempo changes and wicked soloing layered under blastbeats akin to other fast percussion patterns. As vague as it sounds, that’s the album, but it’s rather fun despite this usually-destructive equation. If it wasn’t predictable like so, you can bet your ass “Awakening of the Gods” wouldn’t have the same bone-jarring impression. Johan Larsson’s barking growls match the consistent violence with erupting chaos ever so nicely as well. Nothing new really, but with formations as such, Séance doesn’t need wormholes connecting to some alternate reality of death metal to serve majestic offering of brutal proportions.
From here on out, the vibe of consistent death metal remains predominant in the band’s stellar riffing attack and sniping technicality, but not without a few bumps to remind you this album is far from perfect. Ironically, Séance attempts venting outside the perimeter of pure old-school madness on occasion, resulting in a nice shock when they grab the fence on the death ‘n’ roll-laden slump derailing “Choose Your Eternity” unmercifully. “Flight of the Wicked,” although an interesting acoustic instrumental of shredding madness, slaps itself silly after the “wowzers” impression caves in, leaving it useless to the bigger picture. But Séance’s chaotic assault on “Your Time Has Come” is as pristine as it gets for “Awakening of the Gods,” obviously forcing itself to the record’s highest point. Basically, there are no conflicting opposites battling for Séance’s soul, but just one: the evil side, reigning supreme.
“Awakening of the Gods” does not exhume habitual fallacies insulting Séance’s unearthed tomb, as the curse from returning again has ruined so many groups before. However, the line was drawn firm in the ground, and the time was right for the séance of Séance, which ultimately proved worthy for a consistent release on several levels that remained true to its roots without leading itself to the poetic slaughter, so to speak. Essentially, there are no games, gimmicks, or trendy behaviorisms present: just old-school death metal, right where Séance left off. While perhaps classic in tradition and impressive overall, “Awakening of the Gods” indeed suggests Séance never lost their overlooked edge of destruction despite sixteen years in total, annihilating obscurity.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com