Last May the title track to the debut album by New Zealand’s Setentia, Darkness Transcend, hit me between the eyes in a fracturing blow and then thoroughly scrambled the meager gray matter behind them. Many more wonders were waiting to be discovered in this striking debut, and now the album will get the widespread physical release it deserves. On November 11, 2016, the esteemed Finnish label Blood Music will issue the album in a six-panel fold-out digipack CD edition, and to help pave the way for that event we’re bringing you a stream of the album’s fourth track, “Seeds of Death (Departure)“.
There are six people in Setentia’s line-up. Three of them are guitarists. This is not overkill. Instead, this small army of a band have strategically deployed their abundant talents to very good effect, creating a dense and brain-twisting musical experience that’s distinctive, as well as dark and destructive. The music brings to mind an imagined collaboration between Gorguts and Ulcerate.
An eruption of dissonance launches “Seeds of Death (Departure)”, followed by heaving chords, bursts of maniacal drumming, and unpredictable explosions of warped, twisted riffing. The music starts, stops, swarms, glides, and crushes. Massive rumbling can be heard; a pugilistic bass combines with furious bursts of double-bass to rock you backward; fierce yet soulful soloing sends the mind off in yet other directions; inflamed growls lead to images of a hunt, and a kill. And at the end of this head-spinning trip there’s a long, pulsing ambient section that resembles a cathedral organ on acid, eventually joined by the full band in a macabre finale that unexpectedly but perfectly suits this multifaceted song very well.
Riding the song on its complex and unpredictable course seems like a roller coaster ride on a device unrestrained by gravity or any concern for the passenger’s physical welfare. To mix my metaphors, it’s like the aural equivalent of an intense abstract painting, but one suggestive of dark roiling waters through which the gleam of phosphorescence is rising.
We are told that Darkness Transcend “recounts personal conflicts of anguish and frustration, touching upon the daunting cycle of the human experience”, with lyrical themes that attempt “to look beneath the surface of suffering so that we may learn to see the light hidden amidst the darkness.” The full track list is as follows:
1. Darkness Transcend
2. Throne of Thorns
3. Beyond Myopic Blame
4. Seeds of Death (Departure)
5. Seeds of Death (Remembrance)
6. The Enemy Within
7. The Fruit of Life
The album features evocative cover art by Roger Moore and Setentia guitarist Maxwell Gravelle. You can pre-order the album here:
SETENTIA ON FACEBOOK:
And now, enjoy this new song, as well as the video for the previously released title track.