Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Seance - Awakening of the Gods

SEANCE - Awakening of the Gods (PULVERIZED - CD 2009)
This album came out as a total surprise. I didn’t know and didn’t expect those Swedes ever to come back from the dead, and they did. But I guess it’s cool they finally managed to put new material together, even though it took them 15 years to do so. I must say I didn’t have a smallest idea what to expect from “Awakening of the Gods”. Sure, Seance was one of the most interesting Swedish death metal acts in the beginning of the 90’s and their “Fornever Laid to Rest” is a stunning album. Also the second LP “Saltrubbed Eyes” was great, but also so different music wise that it could have been recorded by a different band. And 15 years later I could have only tried to guess which direction Seance would follow. Honestly I expected something similar to neither of their old albums.
It’s been too long and the music has changed too much to expect another “Saltrubbed Eyes”. With the first seconds of “Awakening of the Gods” I usually am quite disappointed with the production of this album. I’m not saying it’s utterly bad, but I miss some aggression there. It’s very sterile and fits more to the modern thrash metal bands, which to be honest I don’t follow at all, and such sound haven’t got the aggression and obscure feeling of Swedish death metal I would normally expect. Production aside, the music is able to defend itself. Seance was able to create strong and even material with some really crushing songs.

Although I don’t understand the point of putting that crappy instrumental titled “Flight of the Wicked”, rest of the material is really good and proves it was worth waiting for Seance all these years. Musically it’s of course different from what we know from “Fornever Laid to Rest” and “Saltrubbed Eyes”, to me it’s more thrash / death metal record, if one asks, luckily it has remained the Swedish death metal vibe what sometimes brings Seance close to such newer acts like Facebreaker. The thrashing thing comes mainly due to the work of both guitarists, who by the way play some well advanced technically stuff. The album is pretty varied as you could fine there some slower, more groovy tracks like “Choose Your Enemy” and “They” for instance, as well as something like “Your Time Has Come”, which is fast and brutal song.

There are some hooks here and there; “Burn Me” is just excellent track, with this awesome chorus “buuuurrrnnn meeee!!!” growled by Johan Larsson. As overall the album has cool vibe and often reminds me also Pestilence’s “Resurrection Macabre” album, especially with such songs like “Forever Haunted” and the mentioned “Burn Me”; but that could be maybe mainly due to that sterile production, which reminds me about the latest album from the Dutch legend…? In the end it’s pretty difficult to judge “Awakening of the Gods”, honestly. I guess it all depends what your expectations were. If one looks for classic, pure Swedish death metal album, this CD may leave him disappointed, as to my opinion it’s quite different from that. But if you’re just looking for good death metal songs of whatever sound, you may like the album. The decision is yours… Myself, I like the old SEANCE albums more, but this comeback is also OK, so no shame there.
Final rate: 70/100

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