In Need of a Remedy
On their long-awaited second full-length album Karma and Effect, Seether seems complacent, willing to maintain the status quo while never venturing into different areas, instead remaining content to churn out monotonous angst-filled nu-metal. While portions of the album see the group varying slightly, the divergent periods of the album are spaced far apart, buried underneath a multitude of chugging riffs, mid-range singing, and lyrics that never stray from misery.
Beginning with a plodding, heavily distorted riff and a not particularly convincing scream, “Because of Me” gives a clear indication of what is to come. Throughout the song, the band utilizes a pedestrian formula with frequent alternating volume shifts in guitars and loud pseudo-screaming. Sadly, this exact pattern pervades almost the entire album. Hit single “Remedy” comes across either as the uninspired, weaker brother to Nirvana’s “Come as You Are”, or an insipid, bland homage. Most of the album continues in this vein, yielding a feeling of deja-vu several times in less than an hour.
Not that all the work is completely without merit. The production is excellent, with the band sounding very clear and tight. “The Gift” finds a nu-metal power ballad which seems a natural successor to their earlier hit single “Broken.” The album closer “Plastic Man” and the “secret song” find a slow, ethereal acoustic and a humorous way of goofing off in the studio, respectively.
Fans of Seether will discover Karma and Effect to be exactly what they expected and slightly more. However, those who aren’t may have a more difficult time responding to the album, as its lack of variation leaves something to be desired.