Seer – Vol. III & IV: Cult of the Void (Art of Propaganda)

Monday, 19th June 2017
Rating: 8/10

Can’t really say Seer’s impending doom takeover has been long in the works. The band has only been kicking around since 2014, kick-started to a large degree by the back-to-back Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 EPs which were plopped together in early 2016 by Art of Propaganda for proper release. The Canadians’ firm handle on burly classic doom dynamics was/is plain as day, the rightful convergence of Sabbath’s workmanlike approach and the sort of twists and turns that are a byproduct of being Canadian. With all sorts of goodwill from the press in tow, Seer returns with the even more convincing Vol. III & IV: Cult of the Void.

What presently sets Seer apart is the undercurrent of darkness trudging through their tunes. While doom bands of a similar mind tend to imbue their songs with the occasional uppity throttle, Seer, to their vast credit, never quite wrangle their tunes from the depths. It’s the main driver behind opener “Ancient Sands (Rot Preacher)” and the momentous “Burnt Offerings,” which at first blush, is the album’s best jam. Here, singer (key word: singer) Bronson Lee Norton spins a classic metal cadence over top of spiraling melodies, all wrapped around a steady, hypnotic groove. Norton is also the ace in the hole on “संसार,” the album’s closing acoustic jam where he’s fronted with mounds of echo.

In what is clearly meant as a Side A/Side B record, Cult of the Void hits a minor snag with three successive instrumentals prior to “संसार.” However, this is simply a formatting gripe; the three jams (“I: Tribe of Shuggnyth” in particular) are of obvious value. Nevertheless, Vol. III & IV: Cult of the Void is an obvious step forward for Seer, a group who appear to be primed and ready to become one of doom’s next “it” bands. Get onboard while you can.

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