South African rockers SEETHER were one of my gateway bands into the genre and they were a key presence in my teenage years when it came to developing my music taste. The last full album I had listened to by them was Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces which was released in 2007, it made navigating life as a teenager a lot easier. I had listened to them casually shortly after that and they slowly went off my radar until recently. They are due to release their upcoming EP Wasteland – The Purgatory and listening to the sounds from this has reignited my love for the band.
It opens up with fan favourite Wasteland taken from their previous album Si Vis Pace, Para Bellum. When listening to the first guitar riffs, nostalgia instantly hits, and I am taken back to my teenage years during summer. It feels great to be listening to them again and I know it’s a cliché to say it sets the tone for the rest of the EP but, in this case, it does.
It’s hard to pinpoint what What Would You Do? sounds like. One minute I am thinking THE ANIMALS rendition of The House Of The Rising Sun, the next minute I am reminded of grunge rock from the early nineties. If The House Of The Rising Sun had been released as a grunge rock song, it would sound similar to this. In terms of the song itself, it’s a great one in terms of the deep emotions it gives off in a subtle way. The phrase simple but effective comes to mind.
Will It Ever End? has been described as a pandemic induced head trip and from listening to this, I fully agree. Lyrics such as “I keep searching for my own light, fear is keeping me inside” and the music arrangements portray this uncertainty through a mix of major and minor tones, particularly in the guitar riffs. By the end of the song, you are still left feeling uncertain.
Feast Or Famine is more upbeat that its predecessor. This will be the track that people headbang to at live shows and fist pumping the air as stress is alleviated. Ozzy Osbourne era BLACK SABBATH comes to mind when listening to this track, particularly through those raw sounding guitar riffs. Due to the memorable and empowering melody, this is my personal favourite track on the album.
It starts with Wasteland and ends with an alternative version of Wasteland. This version is a completely stripped down to an acoustic version with touches from the piano and cello. SEETHER are what I would call a chameleon band, they can pull off a variety of songs marvellously and this version of Wasteland is further proof.
Wasteland – The Purgatory is a solid EP that contains five fantastic tracks. It was also great to take a trip down memory lane and come back to a band from my teenage years. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a new listener, sounds of this EP will be welcomed with open arms.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Wasteland – The Purgatory will be released via Fantasy Records 30th July 2021.
Find SEETHER on Facebook.