Septekh: The Seth Avalanche

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Septekh: The Seth Avalanche
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Septekh: The Seth Avalanche
Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Abyss Records
April 30th, 2012
Release length: 22:27
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Swedish Death/Thrash Metal group Septekh return with their follow-up to 2009’s self-released EP Not Quite What I Had in Mind. It’s been roughly three years since that debut recording was made available, and now they find themselves signed to the underground Metal monster Abyss Records to bring fans The Seth Abalanche which, unfortunately, just seems to be their debut EP repackaged and retitled. Either way, the internet has been abuzz in both positive and negative commentary on this recording, quickly making it one of the more important offerings of their career. But, is this actually an important album to own, or at least say that you have heard?

The Seth Avalanche sounds great, having a slightly restrained tone to the audio, but still a rather crisp output. The guitars have a nice deeper distortion to them, though the guitar solo and certain leads can find a cleaner sound layered over the other riffs, filling the music up as one member handling two guitar duties at times. The two sound great together for the most part, though the guitars can sound a bit empty here and there, but that’s still a pretty rare occurrance. The louder bass really stands out, offering a performance that is blatently obvious in the mix, but not too deep, offering a slight twang that is observable in slower sections, such as during “The Seth Avalanche,” but nothing that you’ll genuinely feel despite how high your crank the volume up. On top of that, the drums are nearly perfect. The snares sound a little further back in the mix, which can eliminate some of the snap that they can bring, but the stern click of the bass kick shares about the same level as the guitar. The cymbals are much louder, and it really helps given the focus on them at times, carrying a crisp sound that comes off natural and unaltered in any way, studio or otherwise. The vocals, however, are what really stand out. These are as consistant in level as the cymbals, but there’s plenty of range to them, offering a deeper near-guttural approach to the higher rhasp and rougher styles that make up much of the release, not to mention vary between really enthusiastic to mildly bored when going for the lower tones in some passages.

At only twenty two plus minutes, Septekh have brought a good deal of variety into the music, and have put a good number of quality tracks forward, though not all of them really stand out for the better, and can even show a good deal of influence from other groups. “Fuckslut from Hell” is a phenomenal song, and it sounds like a weaker Goatwhore track. It isn’t bad at all, as there is a good amount of energy captured in the Thrash Metal riffs that seem slightly blackened, and the slower Death Metal approach to a breakdown with the additional echo on the vocals is a nice touch. The faster guitar solo really stands out, and is easily one of the stronger elements of the less than three minute offering. In the end, it largely comes off more like a fun throwback to the early Metal days, which is largely what “Eating the Maneater” seems to be as well. This has more of a Groove Metal push to it, and a vocal style similar to what you’d hear on a Lamb of God album, but with a bit of a modern Exodus kick to everything. The music itself isn’t anything too new or catchy, and clearly has a bit of a Southern regional vibe to it as well, but it still ends up a tight performance that shows off the range of the vocals quite well with more of a lighthearted and fun composition. Of course, this song is far from memorable, unlike some of the others on here.

The ones that really stick with the listener typically do a better job meshing the Death Metal and Thrash Metal ideas together for a more band defining sound. “Shoot Them All” is a prime example with the faster, harsher music that finds both styles blended quite well, and carrying a good deal of aggression with them. The chorus sounds a little primal at first, but when the tension finally hits its release after a few moments, it feels like a weight lifted with catchy music that gives the listener a green light to start a mosh where standing. It comes off as an anthem of hatred and anger management through violent release, carrying the obvious theme of murder thanks to the lyrics and the sound effects of a shotgun being cocked, and an emptied shell hitting the ground, all around a rhythm that is hard to walk away from, testing your newly found obedience. “Blunt Force to the Head” doesn’t carry over the speed in any way, but its trudging slower pace sticks out like a sore thumb on someone who loves pain. The drums just pound away at the listener with simpler chords that allow the bass to really steal the spotlight, and the mixture of largely deeper vocals with additional higher rhasps really help to convey the helpless and tortured atmosphere, all to a beat that will at the very least find you bobbing your head along instinctively. Around the half way point, it does pick up for a brutal blast beat fueled Death Metal assault that helps to push the listener over the edge, capitalizing off the tense start that didn’t seem as though it was purposely there to ignite a riot in the first place.

The Seth Avalanche definitely has its pros, and it also unfortunately has its cons. The ones that feel more consistant to the bands sound end up being really tight and enjoyable cuts, often have more energy, and are the most memorable of the six. However, when it really seems like the band had been influenced by an outside source, you can’t help but just want to hit the skip ahead button. With the exception of “Fuckslut from Hell” and “Not Quite What I Had in Mind,” this recording offers a good deal of great material that fans of Death influenced Thrash are going to enjoy. Sure, it’s just their self-released EP rebranded, but if you missed out on the original pressing, now is your chance to check out this potential new contender of the Metal world.

01. Fuckslut from Hell – 2:50
02. Shoot Them All – 3:58
03. Blunt Force to the Head – 3:23
04. Not Quite What I Had in Mind – 2:22
05. Eating the Maneater – 4:09
06. The Seth Avalanche – 5:46
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Septekh (Band)
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Physical review copy of this release provided by Abyss Records via Clawhammer PR.