01.11.2005. SETHIAN, Into the Silence
Sethian is definitely not a band that I’d go for under normal circumstances. I mean, I was never a big fan of the romantic, lost-love lyrics and clean vocals, nor of the soft drumming and catchy ballads. But I got the Sethian debut album in my hands about a week ago, and there’s something about them. At first I can’t say that I loved the record. But to be honest, I don’t think you can really dislike the band either.
‘Into the Silence’ is pretty, it’s catchy, it’s polished, it’s square. There’s nothing truly wrong with it. Sure, when you first listen to it, it sounds a little flowery and romantic, but then it really sticks.
The music isn’t actually all that aggressive, but it is able to create a dreamy atmosphere and gets you into the songs. I have to underline how hard it is for a band put out an album involving lyrics about despair and lost love, catchy riffs, and a high pitched male choir as backing vocals without sounding cliché. But Sethian not only does this successfully, it also has a distinctive touch.
I’ll eat my humble pie regretting what I said about “oh no not another German gothic rock band”. First, because Sethian are Finnish, and second because they’re not at all as cheesy. There are many elements in the music that I simply can’t get out of my head. First and foremost, the refrain on the third song on the album ‘Love Under Will’ had been stuck in my head for a week now. This is good since that means that the song has achieved its purpose, and bad because I find myself humming Sethian tunes in board meetings.
The album’s style is consistent throughout the whole record, yet one can find echoes of other great atmospheric metal bands in certain compositions: ‘Epitaph’ has resonances of old Moonspell, ‘Dead Reckoning’ is sure to appeal to all those Therion fans out there and ‘Blood Calling’ comprises one of those keyboard solos that I loathe so much in Nightwish. Of course, this would only make sense since Tuomas Holopainen is a guest musician on that track.
Now, if you’re reading my lines to know where and where not to go with this album, I’ll recommend ‘Dream Domain’, ‘Love Under Will’, ‘Dead Reckoning’ and ‘Call Off The Wild’. They are lovely, and instant pleasers.
I only regret that there isn’t a little more aggression on this album. I know that Jukka Nevalainen is able to deliver a little more of that occasional double bass drumming that saves Nightwish in my eyes, and I know for a fact that Wilska can push his voice a lot further. Then again, if he did, maybe we couldn’t fully appreciate his suave almost toffee-like voice in the Sethian ballads. It’s just too bad that with such vocals and melodic potential Sethian hasn’t released more material or played live in my area so that I have a better basis for comparison. However, as far as I’m concerned, I’d love to hear new material after this nicely yet a little impersonally produced debut album.
Altogether, let’s wrap this up and say that there are two elements that make me enjoy Sethian: the catchy melodies and Wilska’s velvet voice. So if you’re a fan of the Finnish power metal gothic style, this piece is definitely one notch above most bands in the genre.
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