Seance
Awakening of the Gods

It’s about time for those who still haven’t heard Swedish old-school Death Metal veterans Seance to finally join the club. Having vanished into thin air in the early 90’s they resurfaced in 2008, more than fifteen years after their well-acclaimed sophomore release Saltrubbed Eyes. Sadly, I never had the chance to become familiar with them until this new year when I came across this comeback, titled Awakening Of The Gods. And what a strong album it is! Seems like it has more than enough potential to not only rouse all the Gods in existence but make the entirety of Hell break loose as well. Their thrashy riffs and solos are quite sophisticated, yet catchy enough to hook you at the first spin, while the guttural vocal snarls and occasional beastly shrieks are so brutal you may get caught up in a rush of primal rage, if at least for the thirty seven minutes or so of this album.

No, I’m not going to claim that they’ve come up with something revolutionary for the genre, but they do have a knack for putting all their diverse ideas across in a seamless manner. Not so technically fastidious like bands such as Arsis or The Faceless, and not so belligerent as Unleashed, Entombed or Hearse, Seance instead smoothly integrate many of the best qualities of these other acts into their own distinct style. Awakening Of The Gods is a chiefly speedy album, yet with a ton of variety in the overall rhythms and structural patterns. The more straightforward thrashy parts are effectively tied to the chaotic and technically virtuosic sections, while still allowing for some rather impressive solos almost every time the singer halts to give respite to his vocal cords.

Speaking of my personal favorites, one of the fastest pieces “Invocation” amazed me with its delirious leads and unexpected serpentines throughout whilst the other one “Choose Your Eternity”, flowing in a free, almost Rock’N’Roll-ish manner, reminded me a lot of “Corroding Armor” from Hearse’s In These Veins. But at bottom, there are no boring or monotonous tracks here, and even a short, purely guitar instrumental “Flight Of The Wicked”, an extravagant variation on the theme from “Flight Of The Bumblebee” by Rimsky-Korsakov, adds to this album’s diversity.

Production-wise, there isn’t much to quibble about here. The lead tones may be slightly muffled, yet they are still fully audible in the final mix, while the somewhat processed sounding vocals only add to the foreboding atmosphere of the music. And unlike many other Death Metal releases, the rhythm section fortunately doesn’t overshadow the other instruments. All in all, Awakening Of The Gods is a very weighty comeback that should not only gladden their old time fans, but also draw attention from newer listeners. Let’s just hope it isn’t another fifteen years until their next release.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Igor Stakh
February 6th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I need the hear this


  2. Commented by: Red

    hats off to Pulverized for picking this up. What was it with 2008? Three of my favorite bands from back in the day are back with kick ass albums(RESURRECTION, CYNIC, AND SEANCE)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. Commented by: emperorjvl

    I found it too thrashy, Witchery-like and with not enough death metal feeling to match Saltrubbed Eyes or the debut. Decent on its own, but for the old Seance fan it may disappoint.


  4. Commented by: Staylow

    I dig this. Slightly more melodic than the usual Swede suspects (Grave, Entombed, Dismember, etc), but packs the same bite. Good stuff.


  5. Commented by: ceno

    Yes, with the three members being in Witchery, they do sound like this band in places. Not a bad thing for me.


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