Seth - _The Excellence_
(Osmose, 2000)
by: Paul Schwarz (8.5 out of 10)
Aggressive, dark, atmospheric and infectious are not adjectives which often apply to a single release in a case where each quality is in appropriate and significant abundance. However -- carefully studying the lamentably deceased masters of blackened death, Dissection, beforehand --, Seth have given us a sophomore release which delivers the goods far more than merely adequately in all those areas. With a bit of luck, _The Excellence_ will be the genesis point which sees Seth soar to far more personally remarkable heights in the future, but for now, let's just stick with what the present has to offer, 'cause it is considerable. What most marks Seth as unusual and special is the strength and consistency of their guitar and drum attack. The former bites down hard, thrashes with style, punctuates wonderfully when required to do so, and has that essential power to emphasise and underscore melody with that seemingly contradictory mix of subtlety and profundity which acts like a magic potion for capturing atmosphere. The upfront but not intrusive drumwork melds to this, augmenting its power, underscoring its sincerity: the symbiosis of the two is ultimately what guarantees that _The Excellence_ is as remarkable and affecting as it is. That said, the vocals are by no means shoddy. Varied in general and powerful at appropriate moments, they show off a decent range and adequate ability to affect the listener. Admittedly, Seth do owe a stylistic debt to Dissection, but they are not ripping them off. _The Excellence_ doesn't grate: it's not a sound-a-like album. Seth have taken influence from a great band and forged a sound that has the potential to develop into something truly, individually their own. I hope they can make that step next time, but 'til then this beastly black/death opus will more than suffice.

(article published 10/1/2001)

1/10/2001 P Schwarz Seth: God: Tied in Steel Handcuffs?
8/31/2004 P Azevedo 8 Seth - Era Decay
1/16/1999 D Rocher 8 Seth - Les Blessures de l'Ame
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