Album Review: Seether – Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
In 2020, Seether continue to keep swinging for something they couldn’t hit in 2003. Apparently still ambitious to become kings of that strip of land that sits between Puddle Of Mudd’s post-grunge howlings and the third-wave nu-metal of Taproot – and indeed, to only achieve this – not only is Si Vis Pacen, Para Bellum narrow in its vision and far too polite in its delivery, it’s also massively, hopelessly dated. And even taking that into account, it’s still just not very good.
And the thing is, it almost could be. Frontman Shaun Morgan can sing. He can do a riff. He can write songs. It’s just that those songs are either power-chorus cheese that’s still waiting to see if the invitation to appear on the Spider-Man soundtrack with Chad Kroeger turns up in the post, or mid-paced nu-metal with the volume turned down. Anything approaching energy feels like it’s been told to just stop getting all excited and calm down and be sensible. As the album trudges ahead on songs like Beg – which, weirdly, bears an unlikely resemblance to My Dying Bride’s The Cry Of Mankind – you feel neither the playful nostalgia of being transported back to a 2005 rock club, nor any real dislike; you just feel bored.
The title of Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum translates from Latin as, ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’. If this is getting ready for war, it’s one about as relevant as The Falklands. And with no thrust or drive, no emotional weight or sonic heft, it sounds like they’re preparing to lose.
For Fans Of: Puddle Of Mudd, Taproot, Drowning Pool
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum is out now via Spinefarm
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