Seance - Awakening of the Gods Review
by Matt Hensch
Centuries have passed, but on this day the gods shall awake again…only to disappoint their followers shortly after by nailing the snooze-button and hitting the sack for another ten minutes.
Case in point, Séance’s long-awaited record created some hype since many other disbanded factions have returned. This one, however, lacks the usual disappointment of comebacks; Séance delivers their promised product, good but certainly imperfect death metal. Many folks have been asking whether or not they could return, but with a title like Awakening of the Gods, it is almost like this previously-inactive quartet knew the time was right. Séance’s prolonged period of inactivity deciphers a post-mortem edge those once deceased have now cracked, for Awakening of the Gods materializes firing at full force without neglect of the band’s past identity.
Certainly both appealing and indifferent towards its culture, the record is cleverly predictable in nature unlike tremendous originality usually attempted by most participating in death metal society. Since Séance has nothing to prove, they just took off right where it all ended with old-school death metal riffs magnifying dicing tremolo picking, wretchedly catchy grooves, and a healthy number of enjoyable tempo changes and wicked soloing layered under blastbeats akin to other fast percussion patterns. As vague as it sounds, that is the album, but it is rather fun despite this usually-destructive equation. If it was less predictable, one can bet one’s ass Awakening of the Gods would not have the same bone-jarring impression. Johan Larsson’s barking growls match the consistent violence with erupting chaos ever so nicely, and while there is nothing new really, Séance does not need wormholes connecting to some alternate reality of death metal to serve majestic offering of brutal proportions.
From here on out, the vibe of consistent death metal remains predominant in the band’s stellar riffing attack and sniping technicality, but not without a few bumps to remind listeners this album is far from perfect. Ironically, Séance attempts playing outside the perimeter of pure old-school madness on occasion, resulting in a nice shock when they aim for the fences with the death ‘n’ roll-laden slump derailing “Choose Your Eternity” unmercifully. “Flight of the Wicked,” although an interesting acoustic instrumental of shredding madness, slaps itself silly after the novelty impression caves in, leaving it useless in the bigger picture. Séance’s chaotic assault on “Your Time Has Come,” meanwhile, is as pristine as it gets on Awakening of the Gods, obviously forcing itself to the record’s highest point. Basically, there are no conflicting opposites battling for Séance’s soul, but just the evil side, reigning supreme.
Awakening of the Gods does not exhume habitual fallacies insulting Séance’s unearthed tomb, as the curse from returning again has ruined so many groups before. However, the line was drawn firm in the ground, and the time was right for the resurrection of Séance, which ultimately proved worthy for a consistent release on several levels that remain true to the band’s roots without leading itself to the poetic slaughter so to speak. Essentially, there are no games, gimmicks, or trendy behaviorisms present: just old-school death metal, right where Séance left off. While perhaps classic in tradition and impressive overall, Awakening of the Gods indeed suggests Séance never lost their overlooked edge of destruction despite sixteen years in total obscurity.
Your Time Has Come
Flight of the Wicked
Choose your Eternity
Revel in Death
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