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Music Review: Seether – Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray [Deluxe Edition]

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Shaun Morgan, SeetherAlthough shaken with the recent departure of guitarist Troy McLawhorn in March, Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray is a diversely interesting album from the South Africa-based post-grunge alternative metal band Seether. It’s interesting because the album plays more mainstream than metal, with only some selections having any bite.

Ironically, the song with the most bite, “Fur Cue,” wasn’t written for the album. It was a soundtrack song written after the album was completed. When the song was dropped from the movie, the label immediately added it.

It’s a good thing they did. “Fur Cue” is the only song that could have prompted a review. It starts the album strong before the entire thing meanders back-and-forth between mainstream and wannabe hair rock.

Along with “Fur Cue,” “Country Song” and “Forsaken” add some listenability with grittier guitar work and more emotive vocals. But that’s the rub. You have to hunt and peck before dumping the rest.

Frontman Shaun Morgan has been in interviews saying that the album started as a 10-track LP and they couldn’t stop producing. They should have stopped because the balance of the 12-track album (16 tracks with the bonus material) is forgettable radio filler.

Some people might like that because the album highlights Morgan’s melodic vocal talent. However, producer Brendan O’Brien didn’t do Seether any favors while the band was fawning all over him (and continue to do so). Most people expected angst indicative of the producer behind AC/DC and Velvet Revolver.

Instead, songs like “Here And Now,” “Master of Disaster,” “Fade Out,” and “Roses” leave the impression that this was a Nickelback copycat album and not even a good one. The same can be said for the bonus tracks. It’s more sameness and that sameness isn’t so special.

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About Rich Becker

  • AC

    …and subsequently, you also could’ve stopped your review somewhere in the middle, because no one is taking this seriously. You didn’t even get into why you don’t like any of the other songs and appear to be hating on Seether just because they don’t put out heavy-heavy-heavy songs all the time. In fact, if you ever listened to any Seether albums at all (I imagined you only briefly skimmed over this one actually), you would know that a lot of their songs aren’t very heavy and they weren’t meant to stay underground for long. Seether never marketed themselves as a metal band or even grunge, just rock.

    Besides, if you get the feeling of Nickelback listening to such a well-written track as “Master of Disaster”, you must not have actually listened to it.

  • Jeff Hunt

    This review is spot-on. Seether is my favorite musical artist ever. The three songs you picked out are the only 3 good ones. The rest are simply Nickelback…or, strangely enough, really bad Lifehouse.

  • johan

    well im no longer a seether fan because of that album.u gota be fucking brain dead to like that dull plain shit album.i tossed all my seether stuff.i knw bands have bad albums now and again.but 4years wait for this.im sorry but they fucking wished.if this is what it takes to be succesful in the states.then people shouldnt bother trying to make it in a band.i dnt wana hear music in 10 years from now.fuck look at beetoven HUNDREDS of years ago and lightyears ahead

  • johan

    people who like this shit are destroying seether cause seether is changing for those morons.grunge crowd obviously dnt pay their salaries enough.days of because of me and like suicide or fade away are loooong gone

  • johan

    look at the song eyes of the devil fucking awesome.i never saw one review speak highly of the song.so what happens band chooses to write shit and get praised for it walla job done.

  • Wietze

    The comment is spot on. Seether, one of the last bands that could play good music without a focus on mainstream unfortunately has lost the battle with this “long awaited” new album.
    Only very few songs that you can listen to without falling asleep and there seems to be a focus other then making music for the original Seether fans. Must be difficult to focus on music rather then on money.
    Only Fur Cue has any original raw power, other songs focus mainly on the singing talent of Shaun Morgan. The talent is is there for sure but it should not have been promoted under the Brandname “Seether”. Seether is dead, god save Seether!.