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N.O.T. B.A.D. - 70%

Diamhea, February 1st, 2015
Written based on this version: 2011, Digital, Independent

Seth.ECT is a reasonably interesting band. One look at the track titles and overall aesthetic presentation of Godspeak should make this come as no real surprise, but this only accounts for mere window dressing. The question is whether or not these Turks pull off the frankly abstruse industrial death metal style proficiently and with sufficient creative merit to mitigate the expected gaps in appeal that stem from yet another relatively standard riff set that challenges few boundaries. What I initially expected to be a two-faced style predictably melding electronica fare with palm-muted, grumbly guitars, actually turned out to be a triple-threat of sorts, throwing in an additional volley that comes in the form of some sort of amorphous world music played by traditional instruments. It sounds like it would be pure chaos, and while it does come damn close at times, Godspeak is just a fucking cool listen and avant-garde exercise that clutches onto its abnormalities in a manner similar to The Monolith Deathcult.

So through that, Seth.ECT is an easy band to simply brush off as a visual one-trick pony, but the music largely holds up. Relatively standard groovy death metal is the apparent order of the day here, bordering on the monolithic industrial conglomeration of acts like Septicflesh and especially Vesania, so the framework is certainly of the load bearing variety. With nothing necessarily lost concerning the metal constituent, this sets the stage for the synths to take over and project the sound even further. Honestly, the electronic element isn't nearly as pronounced as I expected going into this thing, but that doesn't meant that there is a marked void present. The keyboards contribute dark and manic soundscapes that the band uses as a springboard to sell their regional mystique. Think lots of exotic scale runs that skitter to and fro between more corporeal instrumentation and straight-up techno/trance throbbing. Most songs start strongly in this manner, like the dreary and foreboding "HeartBeat," or the more upbeat (and arguably irritating) "Call of Ancients."

Godspeak seems to run a smidgen long for my liking, and I continually found myself pining for more diversity in tone, as many of these tracks are interchangeable in style and substance. The best number is actually "When the Simurgs Collapse," which is unreasonably heavy and sounds like some sort of bizarre Melechesh-Ministry hybrid. I don't know what to think of most of it, but I do know that it is easily the best track here and fucking rocks the house with that monster slowed-down groove riff near the halfway point. The solo is also really splendid, mainly due to how it dials in with the backing riff. The album actually gets better as it goes, with the last three or four tracks all delivering the goods without reprieve or loss in lasting power. Altay and Parlak are the two masterminds of the project, and while Altay's vocals are pretty standard exhaled death metal fare, he contributes the electronic sections, with Parlak penning the more traditional orchestrations. This is a great mix of styles.

And that is what makes Godspeak work for me. It isn't a great record, but it definitely introduces us to a band that just doesn't give a fuck and goes all out in both the studio and concerning their stage shows. A number of these tracks have made my repeat list, and the mix is glossy and easy on the ears, emphasizing the band's sonic strengths and never shying away from the almighty riff, even in the fact of such flagrant electronic abuse. Seth.ECT execute this manic style well, and those in the search for some industrial death metal that favors the dystopian will find some value here. More maturation will help this band immeasurably, so long as they retain enough of the sonic spasticity evident here to hold on to the piercing trident of appeals that I mentioned earlier. Strange, but good, stuff.