Sound — 8
As a band, Seether has been through countless trials and tribulations since the release of their last album, Karma and Effect. From the loss of a guitarist, to the sudden death of Shaun Morgan's brother Eugene, it seemed as though events were set in motion that may very well have spelled the end of Seether, but, luckily for us, that is not the case. With the loss of their guitarist, Seether returned to their roots, going back to a three-piece, which was the original formula for the band in it's infancy, with Shaun Morgan once again assuming the role of primary songwriter. With the loss of Eugene, and now, the release of their latest album Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces, Seether prove that they are a band built to overcome adversity and overcome the many obstacles that life has to throw at them, and their new album stands as a symbol of the drive and perseverance that they all possess. As far as sound is concerned, it caters quite well to what we as fans have grown to expect of the Seether sound, which, as is no secret, has neither been technically complex, nor a medium to showcase awe inspiring guitar technique, for that has never been what Seether is about. The sound of this album finds it's niche and it's home in it's simplicity, that, combined with heavy guitars, and Shaun Morgan's rough and angst-driven vocal delivery is what we have come to expect of Seether over the past few years, and in that regard, the sound of this album does not dissappoint. Though, along with implementing the signature Seether formula that the band has used on many of their past albums to refine their sound and establish their musical identity, Seether does implement a number of musical styles into their sound, fusing it with their existing formula in order to make it their own. An example of this would be the lead single off the album, Fake it, which has somewhat of a bluesy feel to it, very reminiscent of their song Remedy, off of Karma And Effect. Also, having only one guitarist has definitely redirected their sound, most noticeably on this album then any other past album. Their sound for this album seems to take on a more raw and simplistic identity, which again plays into Seethers existing musical identity, which, by and large has always taken on a more simplistic approach as far as song structure and writing is concerned, and with the use of one guitar, Seether steers their sound further down the simplistic path, putting more emphasis on that musical idea, and, while falling into this trap of simplicity usually spells disaster for most bands, with most running the risk of becoming repetitive, this is not at all the case with Seether, on the contrary, this simplistic approach caters to their sound immensley, creating a musical environment in which they can both thrive and flourish.
Lyrics — 10
With regards to lyrics, the themes and ideas expressed on Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces are quite what you would expect to come from the mind of Shaun Morgan, with themes of personal loss, tradgedy, hate, relationship woes, and death resurfacing throughout the album. Though, the one thing that sets this album apart from other Seether efforts, is that, from a lyrical standpoint, the lyrics themselves do tend to take on a more positive perspective on this album. Lyrically, there seems to be a lesser emphasis on the dark lyrics of old, and instead, there is a lighter side that can be found within them. This is definitely a lyrical leap of sorts for both Shaun Morgan and the band collectively, and one that does break away from the usual mold of Seether lyrics and does break away from the repetitiveness of some of their reccurring themes. An example of this different lyrical approach can be found in the song "Breakdown" in which Morgan sings: You can break me down if it takes all your might/'cause I'm so much more then meets the eye, and in the song "Rise Above This" in which Morgan sings: Call your name everyday, when I feel so helpless/I'm falling down, but I'll rise above this, rise above this doubt. While these lyrics do carry with them the usual Seether themes that have cultivated their writing style, the thing that does set this album apart from all the others lyrically is the fact that, though Seether does keep to the somewhat negative themes of old, on this album, there does seem to be elements of perseverance and the overcoming of personal obstacles, themes which were non existant in past albums. Where once there was only darkness and negativity in the lyrics, now, there does seem to be a hopeful and positive perspective, existing simultaneously alongside the negative and hopeless, and it is this exact balance that past Seether Albums lacked, and that which sets this album apart from all of it's predecessors.
Overall Impression — 9
As far as overall impressions are concerned, this is indeed a solid album, again, it is neither the most musically complex album, nor does it break any new musical ground, but what this album does do is stay true to the Seether sound. It will not blow you away with technically sound musical prowess, but what it will do is cater to your tastes, assuming of course that you as a listener are already a fan of this style of music, and if so, this album is likely to be pleasing to you as a listener. Love them or hate them, one thing Seether has continued to do is to play the style of music that they want to play, and that is definitely something worth admiring. In many ways, this album is a new beginning for Seether, as it once again finds them going back to their roots as a 3-piece band, though, rather then looking back to past comparisons, this new album and this new line up will catapult them into the future, placing them once again at the forefront, amongst the other heavy hitters who currently dominate the modern rock genre. With regards to the most impressive songs on the album, I would have to go with: Like Suicide, No Jesus Christ, Walk Away From The Sun, and 6 Gun Quota. If it were stolen/lost, I would buy it again.