There are some album titles that grab you right away and tell you everything about an album before you even listen to it. Seether’s third Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces is one. They’re a band that puts the pain back into music, and a really messy year as an outfit has given them some real reasons to be angry. Frontman Shaun Morgan alone has had to deal with a stint in rehab, the suicide of his brother, and most ludicrous of all, having Evanescence’s “Call Me When You’re Sober” penned about him, taking sop-rock to an all new low.
All of these things take impact on Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. As the biggest band I can remember to ever come out of South Africa, they’re often accused of trying to be that country’s answer to Nirvana, but they’ve gathered a reputation for forcing out some great radio hits through gritted teeth that none can doubt. Their post-grunge appeal is combined with the practicality of a power trio that literally came out of a garage in Pretoria, though they were so far unable to equate their success to a whole LP worth of material.
Here, that problem is fixed. A ringing minor-key guitar riff hardly has time to register before Morgan starts moaning “She’s coming over like a suicide / And it’s the same old trip / The same old trip as before”. “Like Suicide” is a ripping opener (no relation to the Soundgarden song of the same name), and when the hooks hit, shouldered up on disenchanted vocal harmonies, they hit hard. Always a particularly volatile front man, Morgan completely erupts into a scary guttural rasp in the cut’s bridge: “You set me up to fucking fail this time”!
Drummer John Humphrey is a powerful contributor to the mix, his upfront pounding keeping matters turbulent as slivers of melody primly return. Seether is only a three-piece, having lost backing guitarist Pat Callahan after 2005’s Karma & Effect, but the guitars are more reinforced than ever, giving the songs an extra edge. On the bass-driven single “Fake It” Morgan sounds genuinely bitter, spitting an accusatory rant that ranks among the band’s best. While the song is as attractive as having barbed wire twisted in your gut, it’s nonetheless hugely strong and catchy. – Pop Matters
1 Like Suicide
2 Fake It
6 Rise Above This
7 No Jesus Christ
8 Six Gun Quota
9 Walk Away From The Sun
10 Eyes Of The Devil
11 Don’t Believe
13 Careless Whisper
14 Careless Whisper – strings version