Only three months ago Vancouver-based Seer released their first album, Vol. III & IV: Cult of the Void, from which we premiered two of its tracks. And thus it will undoubtedly come as a surprise to their fans that today, with no advance fanfare, they are releasing a further chapter in their evolving musical narrative, a new EP named Vol. 5. To help spread the word, we present a complete stream of the EP in this post. To introduce the music, we begin with this statement provided on behalf of the band:
“Despite releasing a full length record just this past July, Vol. 5 is the most accurate depiction of Seer as they exist today. The EP showcases Seer’s extreme metal influences more prominently than any other release in their discography. Recorded on the largely undeveloped Gabriola Island by Jordan Koop (Ahna, Wolf Party) and mastered by Arthur Rizk (Inquisition, Power Trip), the process has been the most organic and proved most fruitful of any of Seer’s recording sessions.
“Track 2 and 3 comprise the bulk of the EP, with track 1 and 4 acting as intro and outro respectively. Track 2 is an apocalyptic funeral dirge featuring more twists, turns, and layers than one might expect from sprawling, “big riff” songs of this nature. Track 3 is a more straight forward rock and roll tune with heavy emphasis on occult-rock guitar leads and astute interplay between harsh and clean vocals.”
And to that statement I’ll add a few thoughts of my own about what you will hear.
Those who are familiar with the band’s past releases know that their sound has become increasingly difficult to pin down. They draw upon multiple genre elements as seem to best suit the emotional sensations and minds-eye visions they seek to manifest through sound. Those visions encompass “a seemingly aimless journey across a bleak post-apocalyptic desert; a quest through the last known temperate rainforest in search for a being from another world; a pilgrimage to a subterranean cathedral where the doomsday device is entombed; a treacherous mountain ascension to a ruined temple built long before recorded history.”
Vol. 5 likewise encompasses varied strands of doom, sludge, black metal, and more — and no two of the tracks are quite alike. As disclosed above, the first one (“The Seed of Man Descends Upon the God Tomb“) functions as an introduction — a mid-paced collage of dissonant notes, crashing drums and cymbals, excruciating, gagging howls, and melodic elements that are morbid, corrosive, and demented. And yet there is also a hint of terrible grandeur that emerges before the end.
An atmosphere of ominous majesty also surfaces in the long second track, a staggering doom monolith called “The Face of the Earth Was Darkened and a Black Rain Began to Fall“. The song traverses different musical soundscapes as it moves toward the borrowing of a famous cathedral organ melody that closes the track. Clean vocal tones range from ghostly and somber intonations to cauterizing wails. The music crushes, but skittering, searing leads also convey derangement, and about four minutes in, as the riffing turns to vicious jabbing, the intensity rises like a black dragon from a bonfire. It becomes even more oppressive and perilous. It ratchets the tension and spills over into a cataclysm of hammering destruction, the vocals becoming a savage growl. There is something one might imagine as the sound of a swirling phantasm near the end.
The third track, “A Primordial Entity Observes from Across the Cosmic Expanse” reveals further changes. As the band have explained, it does have a lurching, rocking gait, and vocals that move from jagged, blackened snarls to rising clean singing. The music swells in intensity, reaching a kind of symphonic grandeur and a growing air of terror and triumph.
To close the EP, the band take another sharp turn. “The Mantra Is Recited Within the Catacomb of Shuggnyth” is downright queasy and disquieting, hallucinatory and harrowing — an amalgam of unsettling and jarring ambient tones, abrasive noises, and a cacophony of tortured screams, groans, and spoken words. It bites into your sanity and roils your guts. The lyrics refer to the rising of a putrid miasma, and so it sounds. The final words, in a woman’s voice, refer to the opening of the gateway to hell, through which evil will invade the world. And those words are fitting… perhaps not only for this last track but for the EP as a whole.
The artwork was created by Dena Lazarenko, with layout by Seer guitarist Kyle Tavares. Get the EP via the Bandcamp link below.
Bronson Lee Norton / Vocals
Kyle Tavares / Guitar
Madison Norton / Drums
Josh Campbell / Bass
Peter Sacco / Guitar