Shaun Morgan of Seether at Electric Ballroom, Camden

Seether: Words as weapons

Seether | Electric Ballroom, Camden | 27 August 2015

It’s been less than a year since Seether last played London. So, obviously, not much has changed. Shaun Morgan, focused on the brutal riffs and bruised vocals, keeps between-song chat to a minimum. Dale Stewart, a bass-playing blur of rock star poses and horn-throwing, again picks up the slack. John Humphrey gets to show off his speed and power with a brief drum solo. And, as they’re still touring latest album ‘Isolate and Medicate’, the 90-minute set’s almost the same.

But what’s different tonight is the band’s intensity. Perhaps it’s down to guitarist Bryan Wickmann becoming an integral part of their sound. Maybe it’s that new songs like ‘Words As Weapons’ and ‘Same Damn Life’ have been road-tested to the point that they now sound like classics. Or the quartet could be so used to playing larger stages that they’ve approached Camden’s cosy Electric Ballroom with the same energy as they would, say, The Forum, the site of their November 2014 London show.

Whatever the reason, Seether give no quarter. Played as ferociously as it was back in 1999, opener ‘Gasoline’ sets the venue alight. The giant choruses of ‘Rise Above This’ and ‘Tonight’ completely fill up a room already overrun with people. The swinging duo ‘Country Song’ and ‘Fake It’ sound bigger than ever, no doubt thanks in part to the aggressive backing vocals of 1100 punters.

Only a fragile ‘Broken’, performed by Morgan, Stewart, and the Electric Ballroom massive, provides a momentary breather during a night that’s clearly all about triumphant rock anthems played at full volume. Like the raging ‘Needles’ earlier in the set, thunderous closer ‘Remedy’ drives that point home, slamming the door shut on a show that’s been both musically and emotionally explosive.

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