By: Garviel Loken
When you mix up and ingest too many kinds of hard liquor, you can find yourself praying for death the next morning as you suffer the consequences of your debauchery. This too applies to some albums, where bands fail to write good songs and try to cram in disproportional amounts of stylistic changes into the mix. This creates a quantity over quality scenario and what you get is a jumbled up piece of crap that leaves the listener feeling cheated and wanting to throw the music onto the ash heap of history. Thankfully, Seas Will Rise avoids this pitfall by a very wide margin on their new album, "Disease is Our Refrain".
The opening track A Sleeper's Cell launches straight off the rails with a hardcore punk assault that recalls the good old days of the genre and proceeds to drop into a doom-laced groove, all of which is contained in two minutes and four seconds. Follow on tracks like Wash Out and Rust and the title track demonstrate the band's strengths in writing lean and venomous riffs that will shatter your bones at any tempo they choose to employ them in and for what length of time. This is no sprawling prog work, but the howl of a voracious predator that's going to chase you down in less than thirty minutes.
The variety of pacing on this record is great and makes for a rewarding listening experience, the different textures and dynamics from song to song are top notch. For those of you who like grind, have no fear, for tracks such as Population Zero will give you your fix in one minute doses. Seas Will Rise also is good at laying down the post-metal soundscape and channels the Neurosis mood perfectly on the track Razed, but this reviewer wishes it was just a little bit longer than a minute and fifty-two seconds. However, this slight disappointment is more than made up for by the album's longest song, the closing track In Warmer Graves. Beginning with a stoner rock dirge, the song kicks up into a galloping fury that is flavored with a little thrash and melody, and even a guitar solo at the end, before dropping into a piano outro that acts like an audio palate cleanser, polishing off the sonic meal that was just enjoyed by the listener.
So there you have it, short and brisk like a shot of fine gin. Seas Will Rise have built a compact and powerful doom machine that spits hardcore punk in your eyes and kicks you in the ass with the boot of down tuned thrash. There is nothing wrong with long songs or drawn out compositions that take time to build up, but sometimes you just need the punk rock approach and to be in the moment, and this band is a great example of what happens when that approach works. Be sure to check them out at a show as soon as you get the chance.
Final Score: 8/10