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Seether - O2 Ritz, Manchester (UK) - 16 October 2017

Possibly the stormiest night of the year so far finds me in Manchester again, the third time in as many weeks. During all my previous Seether reviews (album & live) I've likened the band's style to Grunge Gods Nirvana, though I've always commented that I never liked Nirvana. Seether still channel a little Nirvana but Shaun Morgan & Co. are no mere clones and have established themselves in the Modern/Alternative Rock community on the back of high quality studio releases and intense live performances. The recent 'Poison The Parish' album is hard-hitting and melodic in equal measure, continuing to be the outlet for any number of grievances the band may have with the world.

It may be stormy outside the venue tonight but inside it is very hot and sweaty. There is a strong indication there may be a deodorant shortage in the city and it's a struggle to understand how so many people are wrapped up in a dozen layers when the temperature is pushing boiling point. Following a low-key entrance, we get under way with the opening track from the 'Poison....' album, 'Stoke The Fire'. A very apt song when you consider the atmosphere, complete with a barrage of riffs and some caustic vocals. The meagre lighting shadows the stage but merely intensifies the music and highlights Seether's reliance on the songs to generate an impact rather than flashy theatrics. There is no between song banter, just a noisy darkness to act as a break between songs.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery has joined Morgan (vocals/guitar), Dale Stewart (bass) and John Humphrey (drums) for this tour to bolster the sound and his addition (both guitar and vocals) certainly gives the music more depth. Newer songs are mixed in with fan favourites and the set has a good balance and flow. 'Gasoline' adds more fuel to the fire, whilst 'Rise Above This' and 'Nobody Praying For Me' showcase the more commercial side of the band. Sing-along moments come in the shape of 'Country Song' and 'Fake It' without any drop in energy and emphasises just how good Morgan, Stewart and Humphrey are at crafting powerful yet catchy material. 'Broken' may be missing Amy Lee's female contribution but it's still emotionally charged and finds Morgan wringing every last drop of hurt from his tortured and passionate delivery. 'Let You Down' and 'Remedy' bring things to a close and the band leave the stage in the same unassuming way they entered. Only seventy minutes and fourteen songs but I don't think anyone feels short-changed.

The cold gale-force winds encountered on exit are both refreshing and painful, but all good things, if only for a short time and the next tour, must come to an end.

Dave Bott

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