Seas Will Rise
Disease Is Our Refrain

Brevity in musical descriptions goes a long ways in my book. Less IS more. Much like Hemingway’s “Iceberg Theory”, it gives credit to the beholder’s imagination to not just fill in the blanks, but to also not have their interpretation of the art limited to someone else’s view. It gives more freedom to the appreciator. Case in point: Seas Will Rise.

The four-piece from Tempe, Arizona describe themselves as, “playing heavy, brooding hardcore punk inspired by the likes of Discharge and His Hero Is Gone.” Simple enough; specifically because the aforementioned bands, and style in general, don’t necessarily need much elaborating. However, we’ll give credit to nuance and also point out that the album does follow the general rubric of dark, d-beat hardcore: it’s heavy, metallic and galloping all throughout the 12 tracks of the debut album Disease Is Our Refrain. The pace does slow down and dig in its heels for more of an atmospheric heaviness (particularly on the song “Razed” and the title track) towards the end of the album. Nevertheless, the formula is fairly consistent throughout the record; it’s deviations providing just enough variation in speed, structure and atmosphere to distinguish between songs.

The production takes a little getting use to, however I only have one main gripe about it. Recorded at Arcane Digital Recording by Landmine Marathon guitarist Ryan Butler (side note: guitarist of Seas Will Rise, Eric Saylor, was the original founder of Landmine Marathon), Disease Is Our Refrain sounds quite large, especially when played next to the recent Landmine Marathon album, yet, like the recent LM record, it still sounds somewhat flat; it lacks a little bit of body and density. One reason I bring this point up is because it is noted that the album was mastered by Brad Boatright of From Ashes Rise (obviously another musical inspiration), yet Seas Will Rise lack that punch From Ashes Rise possess and apparently have influenced the band with. But, I’m kind of a stickler for production, so take that all with a grain of salt.

Fortunately, the band has written some absolutely vicious material that is immediate enough to put your attention on the songs and music first and foremost. Songs like lead-off track “A Sleeper’s Cell”, “In Dust And Blood” are very reminiscent of Tragedy while “This Teardown Town” and “Population Zero” inject blastbeats and thrashy riffage to earn them points from headbangers. With this style usually being left to veterans releasing new material sporadically, it’s nice to see new acts like Seas Will Rise (and Relapse’s Unkind – definitely another point of reference with a similar sound) tackle the heavy d-beat sound. And much like Hemingway’s “Iceberg Theory”, when you know you’re dealing with heavy, brooding hardcore punk, you already know what you’re getting into and no review can really enlighten or provide wholly new revelations for such a unique and powerful sound.



[Visit the band's website]
Written by Stacy Buchanan
March 6th, 2012


  1. Commented by: GW

    You lost me at “heavy, brooding hardcore punk”.

    I’ll stick with metal, thank you.

  2. Commented by: JC

    Ahh, closed-mindedness, the true sign of a metalhead… WAH-wah :P

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