Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Seance - Saltrubbed Eyes

SEANCE - Saltrubbed Eyes (BLACK MARK - CD 1993)
I guess that bands, which managed to debut with such stunning albums like Seance did with their “Fornever Laid to Rest” must have felt a lot of pressure and anxiety while working on their second LPs. Probably they’ve been asking themselves: “will we manage to get it right again and maybe even do better full length?”. As a fan I’ve also asked myself this question quite often and honestly not every band gets the classic formula right two times in the row. There are bands that missed some important ingredients, which were present on their debuts and that resulted in less killer, more average second albums. To be honest this is something I have in my mind while listening to Seance second full length.
Seance debut was a brilliant work; it was a real death metal explosion, which turned everything into ash. Meanwhile “Saltrubbed Eyes” is quite different. Don’t get me wrong here – it’s not different in the same way as Afflicted’s second album compared to their first one, to give just one example. Seance still performs Swedish death metal. There’s just one important detail, which I miss here – “Saltrubbed Eyes” isn’t even half as brutal and uncompromising as the first CD. “Fornever Laid to Rest” was amazingly extreme and fast, slaying with thunderous force, reminding me even some American crews like Malevolent Creation and Deicide. This newer Seance album is slower and more varied, and first of all more tempered, calmer.

I don’t think anyone would compare it to those American bands anymore. Soundwise “Saltrubbed Eyes” is definitely Swedish and is in my opinion really close to what Edge of Sanity was doing at some point of their career. I don’t know if it’s a matter of the similar production or what, but really Seance reminds me Dan Swano’s crew – with the only difference that Seance is less melodic and don’t use clean vocals. “Saltrubbed Eyes” is still quite aggressive record though. But most of it is played in mid paced tempos; some songs like the title track are quite weird and sound like something done by a different band comparing it to the earlier recordings and really remind me both Edge of Sanity and Entombed from their “Clandestine” album; it also reminds this weird hybrid of death metal that Gorefest came up with “Erase” LP.

And such “Angelmeat (Part II)” sounds almost progressive, it’s bizarre song, which I’m not even sure if I like that much. Some ideas or riffs Seance putted on this record couldn’t totally convince me; there’s even an instrumental titled “Hidden Under Scars” which is very unusual for the death metal record. Definitely I like two tracks that open the album: “Soulerosion” and “13th Moon”, which are quite groovy. Luckily there are also some faster tunes like “Controlled Bleeding”, but even this song isn’t as extreme as I expected it to be. There’s also great song called “'Til Death Do Us Join”, which is an old Orchriste track from their demo 1989! It’s odd that such an old song is also my favourite from the entire album he, he, probably because it’s the fastest and most aggressive piece here.

I must say that the album is quite smooth listen as for death metal record. Even though the vocals are still rough this album could speak also to maniacs of more modern thrash metal type of music. As for myself I do enjoy “Saltrubbed Eyes”, it’s a decent album, worth having in the collection, but if I had to choose between this and the previous one, my choice would definitely be the mighty “Fornever Laid to Rest”.
Final Rate: 75/100

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