Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray review by Seether

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  • Released: May 17, 2011
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 9 (92 votes)
Seether: Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray
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Sound — 6
At first I was really disappointed with this album, and then I decided I was letting the low points dictate how I felt about the entire album. At its worst this album has weak hooks and breakdowns and the vocal delivery is bland. When distorted the guitar is over-compressed and lifeless. Any time throughout the album there are lead guitar parts they are mixed too low and just sound like noise under the rhythm guitar.

The first track, "Fur Cue", was intriguing until I got to the chorus and it was weak. I felt like it ruined the entire track. "Country Song" is a really good song, and to me it is the strongest song on the album. The lyrics are well written, well delivered and the song is musically interesting. "Tonight" is more a pop song than any other song on the album, but it has the most engaging melodic theme than any other song on the album. "Fade Out" I think could be very popular played live. It is interesting lyrically and rhythmically but never seems to come in as heavy as I'm waiting for it to get. Interestingly enough, the opening melody of "Roses" makes me think of Megadeth, and that may be my favorite part of the album - but I don't care for the rest of the song. "Down" has an interesting intro. "Desire For Need" is another song that was wrecked by the guitars being too compressed. "Forsaken" was an all around weak song to me.

On "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray", Seether has recruited the talents of produce Brendan O'Brien who has also worked with Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam and AC/DC. While Brendan O'Brien's previous work seems to be really outstanding, it really just wasn't on the mark throughout this entire album.

Lyrics — 7
Shaun Morgan opted to try to stick to primarily clean vocals during the recording of "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray" and there are very few screamed lyrics on this album. I feel like Shaun's vocals were lent strength and vitality by his screaming, and I wasn't especially interested in how prettily he can sing. In addition, I wasn't really impressed at how prettily he can sing. On several tracks, however, the vocal cadence is interesting.

The lyrics seem to be powerful and very personal throughout and it is a shame that the vocal delivery robs the album of the kick it should have. Going only off of the poetry of the lyrics, this is a very strong album lyrically although the themes are almost exclusive depressive. I have to think that the songs on this album may be better when performed live due to a tendency of Seether to have a more powerful screaming vocal delivery when in concert.

Overall Impression — 7
I'm not the biggest Seether fan, but I have enjoyed some of the music they've created in the past. There are 2 or 3 songs that are "mp3 player worthy" on "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray" but there are several songs that feel like weak efforts, they don't seem to be mixed very well and still somehow come across sounding over-produced. After listening to the album I felt let down with about half of the material.

The album did not seem edgy, which is what I'm personally looking for in the sound of a Seether album. For the most part, the songs, individually and collectively, are forgettable. Again, I liked maybe 1/3 of this album, and the rest ranged from mediocre to forgettable. The title of the album seems to describe most of the album fairly well, however holding onto strings better left to fray.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Shawn1379
    Hmm, I think I wrote my review a bit too soon. I already somewhat disagree with some of the things I said. I should have spent longer going over and reading what I wrote. Also, I spaced my paragraphs out differently than what's shown, which is sort of annoying, but out of my hands. Oh well. I'll try better next time, guys. Apologies if my review (the second one) is kind of lame.
    Loki_37
    EpiExplorer wrote: I used to love this band, then I heard Korn, then Slipknot, then At The Gates, then Opeth, then enlightenment. So yeah, they dont do much for me anymore.
    So now that you're enlightened you can't just kick back and enjoy a few immature tunes? Sad... @Shawn, it wasn't groundbreaking, but it was a useful review...With a well-known band like this, that's all we need.
    Mainer
    Love seether, previewed a few songs on Grooveshark durin' my spanish class, not too bad, not as good as K&E or Disclaimer II, but not bad. Still love em haha
    FR33K57R
    I loved the album personally. It's lyrics are deep and I will probably reach a lot of people with some of the songs. I agree with some of the songs being played better in live performances because hes singing at a level most people can probably reach and get into with him while hes belting them out on stage. I for one have been able to belt out a few of them and i suck at singing lol. I love this whole album and it has been on my Mp3 player since I got it.
    grohl1987
    Disclaimer II is still their best album, but this ain't bad. It's a solid 7/10.
    dale-banez
    EpiExplorer wrote: I used to love this band, then I heard Korn, then Slipknot, then At The Gates, then Opeth, then enlightenment. So yeah, they dont do much for me anymore.
    "enlightenment" = BTBAM, amirite???
    Loki_37
    dale-banez wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: I used to love this band, then I heard Korn, then Slipknot, then At The Gates, then Opeth, then enlightenment. So yeah, they dont do much for me anymore. "enlightenment" = BTBAM, amirite???
    *Shakes head* Let's hope not... I don't listen to much Seether, but I downloaded this anyways, boredom I guess? It's not nearly as good as I remember Disclaimer being. I know my musical tastes have changed a lot, though so maybe that's why...
    GoodOlePaulless
    I hate this album, completely. I hate Country Song, too, I just like playing the riff. He tries to be over-complicated on the lyrics and under-complicated on the guitar and bass lines. He succeeded.
    EpiExplorer
    dale-banez wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: I used to love this band, then I heard Korn, then Slipknot, then At The Gates, then Opeth, then enlightenment. So yeah, they dont do much for me anymore. "enlightenment" = BTBAM, amirite???
    Pull the other one.
    JWG2007
    I like the band, and this was a decent album but I just cannot stand the guitar tone on any of their tracks.
    CydoniaKnight95
    EpiExplorer wrote: I used to love this band, then I heard Korn, then Slipknot, then At The Gates, then Opeth, then enlightenment. So yeah, they dont do much for me anymore.
    Lol story of my life xD Hard to find anywhere to go after you get into Opeth
    tancanada
    dale-banez wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: I used to love this band, then I heard Korn, then Slipknot, then At The Gates, then Opeth, then enlightenment. So yeah, they dont do much for me anymore. "enlightenment" = BTBAM, amirite???
    I don't like either band, but I'd much rather sit through endless wankery than boring mainstream rock.
    EpiExplorer
    Loki_37 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: I used to love this band, then I heard Korn, then Slipknot, then At The Gates, then Opeth, then enlightenment. So yeah, they dont do much for me anymore. So now that you're enlightened you can't just kick back and enjoy a few immature tunes? Sad... @Shawn, it wasn't groundbreaking, but it was a useful review...With a well-known band like this, that's all we need.
    Immature is good, but Seether is just plain and grey, appeals to people they're designed to appeal to.
    EpiExplorer
    I used to love this band, then I heard Korn, then Slipknot, then At The Gates, then Opeth, then enlightenment. So yeah, they dont do much for me anymore.