March 12, 2009 | | 4

Seance, Awakening of the Gods

Seance: Awakening of the Gods

Sixteen. That’s a pretty large number especially considering that it was a solid 16 years ago that Seance released their last album, Saltrubbed Eyes. So, has the band re-emerged from their hibernation sounding like the days of old or have current stints in The Haunted and Witchery kept them fresh and lively?

Let’s just say that the first few riffs on Awakening of the Gods opening track “Wasted” is proof enough that the band is back with a vengeance. While there are some influences from a few of the band members’ current endeavors, this latest from Seance combines thrash and death metal with surprisingly heavy and aggressive results. The overall approach of the album focuses on the almighty riff accompanied by blasting rhythms, yet has some slick soloing peppered throughout, as well.

“Wasted” starts off the album with a punishing riff and blasting drums. The vocals come in shortly after the start with a gruff, guttural delivery as the pace continues to bruise. There’s a nice slowdown just before the one minute mark before descending into a churning mass of bludgeoning riffs and manic drums. That was a hell of a track to reintroduce yourself to the metal world.

A slightly slower and more chugging pace opens up this next song with lots of thick guitars and well timed blasts. There’s a bit more of a lighter, melancholic feel to the guitars while the vocals reach a bit deeper for a more guttural delivery. There’s a decent breakdown like bit of riffing at the two minute mark that will have you head banging like a madman. There’s a bit of a Slayer feel to the guitars here and there, that’s a nice touch. The song ends with some pummeling drum work.

Your Time Has Come
“Your Time Has Come” gets off to an evil start with sneering guitars, a grunt and manic drum work. The vocals reach into the guttural depths again as this one settles into a punishing groove. The lead at 1:50 is short lived, but pretty damned sick, but luckily shows up again just moments later.

Trading riffs and a brief evil lead explode out of the speakers with layered growls. It’s like staring into the gaping maw of hell. This song is evil through and through as the pace is hell-bent on destroying anything in its path. There’s an eruption of evil at 1:45 with swirling guitars and layered growls. After a short lead at 2:35, there’s a brief sound clip that is accompanied with military like precision drumming and riffs.

Flight of the Wicked
This next one is sort of a fun little track that really serves no purpose other than to break up the pummeling first half of the album. It’s essentially a death metal tribute to “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

“Murder” brings us back into the churning madness with driving riffs, quick paced drum work and guttural growls. It’s a high energy song with plenty of head banging mayhem. I love the chugging breakdown/vocal combination just after the one minute mark. The rest of the track that follows is peppered with off kilter tempo shifts and pretty slick lead right before the two minute point and another at 2:35.

Choose Your Eternity
This next one has more leads in it than most of the album combined, but also has one of the catchier, more memorable riff combinations, as well. After a lighter start, Seance settle into a heavier than hell, bruising groove with thick guitars and barbaric drumming. The first lead appears at :37 and another at 1:42. “Choose Your Eternity” is one of the more groove oriented tracks on the disc.

Forever Haunted
“Forever Haunted” starts out with a more melodic approach to the riffs before settling into a crushing groove of pummeling drums and chugging guitars. The layered vocals on this one are a nice touch that adds depth to the song. Be sure to check out the lead at 2:45. The song ends just as violently as it began — chugging riffage and maniacal drums.

Revel in Death
This sub two minute track is all acoustic guitars and, unfortunately, takes away from the momentum of the previous song. It would have been better served as an outro.

Prisoner 666
Seance do a great job recovering the galloping momentum that was lost with the last track. “Prisoner 666” is a thrashing blur of death metal blasts and chugging riffs that will have you whirling like a one man cyclone in no time.

Burn Me
The final track starts with huge, burly riffs and thundering drums. The vocals are even more evil than the rest of the album, combining higher end, backing screams with deep gutturals. “Burn Me” is the culmination of everything else that has preceded it, delivering the goods with aggressive, in your face metal. The extended lead at 1:40 is real impressive, hitting highs and lows while still remaining within the overall flow of the track.

~ ~ ~

Seance have let loose the hounds of hell with their first album in 16 years. Awakening of the Gods is a full throttle, bludgeoning, thrashing death metal ride through the very depths of hellfire and brimstone, tinged with an old school feel that will have you grinning like a lunatic from ear to ear.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: