Saturday, January 30, 2010

Seed Of Pain - Blindfolded And Doomed (Review)

I already own this record for a while and wanted to review it all the time, but I always felt (and in a way, still feel) too incompetent to express this piece of art in proper words. A record of this monumental greatness isn't easy to describe, because it offers so much in so many layers, you really have to take your time and dig deep into it to discover everything. Anyway, I'll give it a shot:
Seed Of Pain from Lucerne and Zug (Switzerland) is a band I was into since the first time I heard of them. We played with them in Mannheim, and at that point (which was in late 2007 or something) SOP perfectly played Hardcore in the vein of Über-bands like Burn and 108, and I was always impressed by Samuel's guitar playing (and his collection of effect pedals hahaha). And although they, even at this time, were (and of course still are) better musicians and song writers than most other Hardcore bands, they have kept such a refreshing "don't give a fuck" attitude. They don't have 12 different shirt designs and, most important, they don't act as if they want to be the next big thing by any means. Although they easily COULD, and that makes them great alone.
The gatefold LP (released on Cobra Records) looks from the outside like a Hardcore LP, like a good one though, just a b/w picture, you can't see really much, some fingers, something that looks like black paint spilled over the photograph itself, that's it. Open the gatefold, now it doesn't look like a typical Hardcore, or Metal, or Punk record at all. Just the lyrics, printed black on a plain white background, and nine photographs that look as if arranged by accident, showing things like an embryo, a hand, a foot, a brain, a box, and some stuff I can't perceive. So the inside of the gatefold makes you think about it, at least it does that for me, why those pictures, what's the relation to the songs etc.?
Describing the music without perverting it is nearly impossible; you can still hear that the backbone of it is Hardcore like the aforementioned Burn or 108, the second mainstay is heavy music like Neurosis for example. Those two components are fused and held together by elements of Post Punk, Industrial and Shoegazing, add loads of samples, countless layers of guitar tracks, reverb and delay effects (among others) and sometimes instruments like a piano or a mandolin to get at least a small picture of what to expect.
The record starts with a poem by Gottfried Benn and builds up a tension that lasts until the final, fading notes of the last song. My favourite track maybe "Blindfolded", because it features vocals of Remo Helfenstein from the Swiss Post Punk outfit Les Yeux Sans Visage, whose voice perfectly matches the music and athmosphere, so perfect you'll get the chills.
If those four (sometimes five) guys would give a fuck about it they really could be big, not necessaraly in the (anyhow quite limited) Hardcore scene, but really in bigger spheres. They are one of the most exciting, refreshing and greatest bands anyway. 
Seed Of Pain on

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