Words by Jimmy Glinster
Weird little concept, this EP from the Seth Efracun quartet Seether. Let’s release a five track EP with two versions of one previously released single and a couple of new/unreleased tracks.
So, the opening track of course is Wasteland, a track we’ve all heard before, well, some of us anyway, but not me, I haven’t listened to this band since they released that song about the singer breaking up with that hot goth sheila from Evanescence. I think it was called Fake It and was on their 2007 release Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, so I’m only 14 years behind the 8 ball.
Back to the music and Wasteland starts with a semi-acoustic intro and singalong style campfire ballad verse before building into a slightly heavier and distorted chorus. It’s a song made for radio and has probably been played on there a couple of times before. The song is very typical of the softer side of Seether, not that they really have a super heavy side or anything. Good tune if you’re into radio friendly heavy rock but are not yet ready to stoop as low or commercial as the Foo Fighters.
What Would You Do seamlessly slides into the exact mould of the opening title track with its clean singalong verses and partially heavier choruses. It’s a perfect partner for the opening track and seems to set a tone of where this EP is going. I must note here that it is being sold as a “companion” to the previously released Wasteland single.
Will It Ever End, yes it will, in about three more songs, and that wasn’t really a question but the title of the next track. It does make you think though, will it ever end? Will this semi-ballad, semi-heavy rock formula ever end? Not for the first half of this track, although it does sound a bit darker, and returns to the grunge sound of their earlier releases. Think Nirvana crossed with Alice In Chains and you’ll be close to the vibe of this song until it hits the standard Seether style singalong chorus. This is actually the formula that I enjoyed about this band when I first came across them at a show in Brisbane during the early 2000’s. They even manage to hit a half decent rocking bridge after the second chorus before bringing the song back down on the literal request of front-man Shaun Morgan. You know, that lucky bastard that dated Amy Lee back in the day?
As we draw closer to the end of the album, and a second stripped-down version of Wasteland, we come across Feast or Famine. This track is a bit closer to the Seether I remember from back in the good ol’ days with its opening heavy groove guitar riff and subsequent breakaway to a groovy but dark drum and bass line. The song builds quite well from its simple beginnings and of course hit’s the big singalong choruses that Seether are known for before leading into a heavier, groovier version of the original intro riff and bassline. This would be my pick for the EP, simply because it’s the heaviest, least middle of the road track.
And he we are, back at Wasteland, the now stripped-down version. What’s different? Not that much to be honest, except for the lack of distorted guitars in the chorus, and the addition of a rice shaker. In all honesty, it’s probably a better version of the song, until it hits the bridge and lacks the intensity that the original version peaks to. It does however introduce piano and cello to the mix which adds to the overall tonality and sonic expanse of the recording. You can even hear a slightly fuzzed guitar wail back in under the outro of the song which helped add a little intensity and depth to the mix.
Overall, The Purgatory EP is a good display of Seether’s talent as songwriters and their ongoing commercial viability. Just a shame that it wasn’t a bit more on their heavier rocky side. Maybe they’ve grown up, or maybe I need to? Either way, if you’re a fan of Seether, you’ll probably enjoy listening to this EP until the guys can release another full length.