Seether - Karma and Effect

2006-03-29 23:19
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Creating modern, alternative rock with strong currents of metal and grunge is like driving a Formula 1 car on experimental tyres: it's exhilarating, and a little frightening too, since you're unleashing a monster that can easily veer off into the barriers if you get too ambitious. Seether's Karma and Effect is a monumental beast, but it takes the corners with fiery precision.

It is remarkable how vocalist Shaun Morgan can belt out his tortured lyrics in a way that seems passionately spontaneous and beautifully modulated at the same time - someone who can make guttural howls sound melodic is a legend in the making. Morgan's band doesn't lack talent either. John Humphrey's drumwork is a real pleasure, and bassist Dale Stewart and guitarist Pat Callahan enhance this ensemble with great verve and timing.

The band members are in complete synch with each other, which is no mean feat since the songs on Karma and Effect vary considerably; in fact, there's a great deal of variation in the songs themselves. This music is not turgid, as with a lot of grunge: it blends together a range of rock styles, and the end product is crafted with intelligence and care.

Karma and Effect opens with an absolute juggernaut called "Because of Me", which is followed by the equally powerful "Remedy", complete with a driving rhythm that reminds one a little of Led Zeppelin at their best. Definitely also weighing in on the heavyweight side but tempered with deft changes of pace, "I'm the One" and especially "Burrito" are songs you'll want to hear over and over again. Slightly more mellow, "The Gift", "Never Leave" and "Tongue" are lyrical power ballads. If you are a discerning mosher, in other words, this album is for you.

Some fans have noted how surprised they were that Karma and Effect actually seemed better than the Disclaimer albums, which they considered untoppable. It is, however, clear that Seether keep evolving, expanding their range and developing their own distinctive sound as they go. And if they keep going this way, their next album will make them immortal.

Watch out for the bonus track at the end, by the way - it's in Afrikaans.

- Rupert Neethling


Karma and Effect doesn't widen the scope of post-grunge but stands up well as a standard-bearer for modern hard rock.

With Karma and Effect Seether confirms (sic) once again why they were South Africa's first major rock export. If you buy one rock album this year, make sure it's this one. And please guys, don't make us wait another 5 years before you do this again...

Seether (formerly known as Saron Gas) are South Africa's first outrageously successful rock export. They stormed the American market with Disclaimer and Disclaimer II, and now Karma and Effect (originally entitled Catering to the Cowards) is klapping the charts even harder, entering the Billboard 200 at number 8. No surprise that a couple of Seether songs - including "Broken", a duet with Amy Lee from Evanescence - made it onto the Punisher soundtrack.

JB 2005/06/23 12:16 PM
RE. the title change Apparently Seether changed the title because their record company forced them to remove all swearing from the lyrics. It's a sort of dig to say "you got it coming." System of a Down, Mezmerize
Rupert 2005/06/23 12:21 PM
Saron Gas There seems to be nothing sinister about the original name choice of "Saron Gas". Apparently it came from the back of a sound-effects CD.
Bianca 2005/06/23 3:07 PM
Disclaimer 2 So far the best I love it Seether is the best! Any one of Seether's amazing cd's! they all rock!
Tracey 2005/06/24 12:13 PM
Seether I love Seether I have all their cds, everyone of them are unique in their own way and absolutely brilliant! I'm one of their biggest fans! You rock guys! Disclaimer11
Trevor 2005/06/24 12:15 PM
Buy It A great rock band doing great things is how I would describe their latest album. Buy it because it's great music and feel proud about it because it's South African. Best Alternative Album Ever (compilation)
Cow 2005/07/04 10:37 AM
Seether South African? Notwithstanding that Shaun Welgemoed/Morgan is a local boy (and a seemingly nice guy to boot), it really is problematic to say that the product of a band that resides, is produced in and is designed for the Us is "South African". Of couse, it shouldn't really matter whether he or she or it is South African at all. Unless you cling to the falsehood that South African product is inherently flawed and deserves special partisan support. Don't feel "proud" about Seether. Feel ashamed that you're not seeing other, new Seethers at your local clubs. Sugardrive - unplugged
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