Sound — 8
Seether had a very strong guitarist on this album who, along with their new producer, has changed their sound quite a bit. The album starts off with "Fur Cue" which is one of my favorite songs of the album because of its power. The opening guitar sounds excellent. Shaun Morgan has some good old screams that are, surprisingly, not seen throughout the entire album. The next song, "No Resolution", is another solid song with an interesting chorus, "Yeah and I need retribution, you don't get in man, I'm your pollution..." "Here And Now" is one of the better tracks on the album that really display Morgan's vocal change. It is a lot crisper. I'd say it is the equivalent of "Rise Above This" from "FBINS", "The Gift" from "Karma And Effect", or "Fine Again" from "Disclaimer II". It is very catchy and melodic. The message is very relatable - don't dwell on memories but the here and now. "Country Song" is the first single but does not accurately describe the entire album at all. It remains a wonderful track that is different from the usual Seether formula. Another standout track is "Tonight", which is a pop rock song which seems destined for the radio. The song was actually written two days before their studio time ended and is one of Morgan's favorite tracks on this album. The opening of "Roses" is a Muse tribute and is very cool but the rest of the song isn't all that great. The fact that they CAN write like that and aren't afraid to do is good to know. Bottomline is there are some fantastic songs on here and some okay songs - none of which are outright bad or hard to listen to, but I will not have them stuck in my head.
Lyrics — 8
You can tell Shaun Morgan has changed his style and isn't doing his "thing". This is because of their more open minded producer, Brendan O' Brien. If you look at all the lyrics from this album, you realize that a vast majority of the songs are written about dealing with a person whom you don't like (maybe Amy Lee). Despite this, all of the lyrics are pretty varied from "There's no resolution" to "your so excited to bread" on "Desire For Need", "let me heal on my own, with those empty cruel promises" on "Master Of Disaster". The colorful vocabulary of Seether as always helps sets them apart from say "Three Days Grace" with phrases like "whimisical lie" and "burned out on your etiquette". Personally, I like the vocal change although it can be bland at times, it is a breath of fresh air for me after being a huge Seether fan for years.
Overall Impression — 9
With heavy guitars, a new vocal style, and a crisper and more polished sound, Seether have certainly made a lasting impression on me. Don't expect anything all that creative for the post-grunge / alt. metal genre overall, but you certainly can expect catchy melodic choruses and an awesome guitar. The only let down for me is that not all the songs are not as good as "Fur Cue" or "Country Song". There seems to be some fillers which you can find out for yourself which I'm talking about. Despite some weak songs, I like this album better than their previous one where there seemed to be a lot more weak songs. The last twenty minutes of that album was painful to listen to (not counting "Careless Whisper"). With "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray", real Seether fans will not be disappointed. They should be happy the band is evolving away from that false Nirvana angst (gradually) and changing their style. But most of all, that they are still alive and kicking.