Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Seer

2020

Review by Gary Hill

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing and moderation is often the key. That holds true in a lot of things in life. It certainly holds true in the construction of albums. No matter how talented a band or how cool their music is, without variety any formula can wear thin. That is about the only problem Seer have. These guys create some cool music that seems to combine the sounds of Porcupine Tree with Tool and Radiohead. Other sounds are heard throughout including Rush, Queen and others – at least to this reviewer’s ears. The problem is too much of the CD is based on a song structure of come in heavy or come in mellow, but then take a mellow section, alternate it with a hard section and intensify as you go along. After a while that theme just starts to all sound the same. Any of these songs taken by themselves would be great, but on an album were probably 80 percent follows on pattern, it gets a bit monolithic. In other words, these guys are a good band that I would consider to be modern progressive rock, but they could stand to dig out a few more musical tricks to become a great band.

Track by Track Review
48
They start this rather tentatively, with near ambient textures. Then a hard edged rock progression that feels a bit like a cross between Rush and Dream Theater brings it up. They work through this way for a time and then power out even further. It drops way down for the first vocals and then the Rush-like riff emerges amidst as they build it up. I’d say that (with the addition of the bands already mentioned) you could best describe this song as a dramatic piece that seems to blend seemingly disparate music like that of Tool and Porcupine Tree into a creation that is completely Seer. This turns pretty heavy at times. It gets quite intense before ending, but they also include some rather symphonic mellow moments.
Feed
This comes in quite heavy and turns even heavier as they carry forward. If the whole album was like this I’d put in under heavy metal. The Tool comparisons are certainly valid here. This is angry and furious. It’s also got some mellower sections.
Drown
The early sections of this are closer to Porcupine Tree. Then around the middle of the track they shift it out to harder edged music that’s more along the lines of the first track. The progressive rock elements here come in with the varying lines of sound that swim across the arrangement.
Trip the Lung
Imagine if the Pixies were a progressive rock band – they’d probably sound a lot like this – especially if they picked up a male vocalist.
Untitled Track
They list this on the CD cover, but just as an empty number “5” with no title attached. At less than a minute in length this prog instrumental weirdness will have you checking your CD player to see if it’s skipping at first. This is pretty cool and carries on into the next piece.
Watching the Sidewalks
Coming in with the weird sonic elements that made up the last track this feels to me like a blend of Hawkwind strangeness and The Doors. It’s noisy, but also quite cool. Before they check out of this musical hotel they turn it more metallic for a time, but again it’s rather like Tool meets Porcupine Tree. It works back down to more moody (and mellower) progressive rock later. Still further down the road we get a motif that’s rather like Pink Floyd with some Radiohead thrown in. Then they intensify it out again with more of that Pixies sound, but Radiohead still remains. It ends abruptly.

This Is Really Happening
They pound in here with a heavy rock and roll – alternative rock – riff. Then it drops way back. A bass dances in the background as little accents of sound are created over this. The vocals come in amidst this arrangement. They power it up more for the chorus.  As this moves out toward the next stripped down approach we get some Hawkwind space keys for a short time. The same general motif is continued in terms of repetitions of segments, just made more intense. It is shifted out later into a different jam and this turns quite noisy before they close it out.
Torso
Here they definitely merge the Tool and Porcupine Tree elements into another powerhouse jam. It’s another killer track, but by now the formula is getting a little tired. Still, the manage to create enough “oomph” on this to keep it interesting.
Minnows
They pound in on this one, but then drop it back to a lot mellower territory. When they move it back out to the harder edged section the lack of variety really starts to wear thin. This song would have been a lot stronger had it not followed a whole series of cuts that only varied in minor degrees from the formula they practice here.
Veritas
Now here’s the change we could have used a couple songs ago. This starts with percussion and then moves out to a slow moving and gentle ballad. This is pretty and a great way to break up some of the monotony. The music on this CD is too interesting to not be given a chance to be heard in a light that’s proper for it. More tracks like this placed strategically on the album would have made for a stronger disc. They turn this more intense, but it doesn’t rise anywhere near the level of hard rocking until quite a ways in. I’d say that it comes closest to the music of Radiohead. I even hear some traces of Queen on this at times. I think it would have been stronger had they left the harder rocking stuff out because that tends to bring it more to the formula of the rest of the CD.
Not One Mistake
They move back into familiar territory here, but some of those Queen elements still show up on this one. It’s got the old, start heavy, drop down to mellow and then power gradually back up to heavy approach. It seems like a lot of this band’s output is based on the pattern of Radiohead’s “Creep.” The thing is, maybe it’s the break we just had, maybe it’s the music itself, but this one stands up better than some of the rest.
Untitled Track
Another untitled interlude, this is a classically oriented one and a nice break. It’s quite short, though.
The Mess I've Made
The mellower segment on this one – and it leads the track off, reminds me a bit of a more raw Pentwater. It’s a nice alteration, but it doesn’t hold for long. They pound back out and we’re off into familiar territory. They make some minor variations here and the vocal arrangement on this one is cool, but again, we’ve heard most of it before. They do include a cool voices only operatic segment that calls to mind Queen on this – and that section is repeated and turned into an extensive outro. More thinking outside the box like this and this group would be incredible.
Untitled Track
This is the most interesting of the short interludes. It’s got more of a rock band feel than the others, but yet is sedate and very balladic. It’s also quite pretty.

We Are Just Riding On These Things
They change the formula up a bit. It doesn’t wander between the mellower and harder edged sounds, but instead is a steady building process. This one gets quite lush and is one of the stronger pieces on show here.

Wey
Another change of pace is saved for last. This one moves in a similar pattern as the last track, but it’s also one of the most melodic portions of the CD. This is a cool song and a great way to end things on a rather restrained, but still quite strong note.
Napster, LLC
Download 25 FREE songs at eMusic.com!
 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
Pure Kona Coffee
AlphaHype.net
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2014 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com