SEETHER‘s new single, “Beg”, can be streamed below. The track will be included on the band’s eighth album, “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”, which is due on August 28 via Fantasy Records.
Three years after releasing its critically acclaimed record “Poison The Parish”, SEETHER returns with “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”. Translating to “If You Want Peace, Prepare For War”, the LP features 13 new tracks, a primal mix of euphoria and misery, undoubtedly some of the strongest material of their illustrious career, including the beautifully tormented first single “Dangerous”. An animated music video for the track was created by noted Turkish director Mertcan Mertbilek (Santana, Ray Charles, Ravi Shankar, Elvis Costello).
“These songs are carefully crafted to nestle in your ears like a tiny velvet rabbit clutching a switchblade,” says frontman Shaun Morgan, his flair for vivid imagery on full display. That bold openness strikes a chord musically and lyrically on songs that explore and eviscerate demons both personal and cultural. “This whole album is kind of me going through that process. I’m exposing myself to a degree I’m not normally comfortable with,” he says. “But I think it’s okay. I’m proud to be a little bit more vulnerable on this album.”
“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” was produced by Morgan and engineered and mixed by Matt Hyde (DEFTONES, AFI) in Nashville from December 2019 through January 2020. The band is joined on the album by newest member Corey Lowery (ex-guitarist/vocalist for SAINT ASONIA and STUCK MOJO), Morgan‘s friend of 16 years, who also assistant-engineered the album.
“Corey has a lot of experience and is an inspiring guitarist as well; he’s the older brother I’ve always wanted,” Morgan said. SEETHER‘s rock-solid rhythm section is bassist and founding member Dale Stewart, and drummer John Humphrey (who joined in 2003).
The new album’s haunting, unforgettable “Dangerous” is an instant standout. While the band prefers to leave “Dangerous” open to interpretation, lyrics like, “It’s so dangerous all this blamelessness / and I feel like I lost all the good I’ve known” are a passionate and pointed indictment of self and society at large. “Beg”, where Morgan snarls, “See hope fading out of your eyes / This time the pain is going to feel unreal,” is similarly unrelenting. The chorus’s point-blank demand, “beg, motherfucker!” is a primal rock rallying cry. “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”‘s brutal but beautiful lyrics infuse these songs with cathartic urgency like this from the track “Failure”: “I live my life like a broken-hearted failure / I’m trying to shed some light on the scars left by the razors.”
The push-pull on “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” is as dynamic as it is memorable as Morgan brings his intimate singer-songwriter sensibility to the band’s heavy rock grooves. Drawing on influences including the dark and raw honesty of grunge’s epic guitar attack and the South African underground punk and metal that Morgan (and Stewart) grew up on, SEETHER‘s sonic brew is unmistakable and timeless.
“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” track listing:
01. Dead And Done
02. Bruised And Bloodied
06. Can’t Go Wrong
07. Buried In The Sand
08. Let It Go
11. Drift Away
12. Pride Before The Fall
13. Written In Stone
Morgan spoke about “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” during a YouTube session on May 24. He said: “A lot of it was written over the course of about 10 months. There were about 40 to 45 songs in contention for the album. We ended up settling on recording 21 tracks, which is more than we’ve recorded before. And yeah, we’ve kind of whittled down the album to include 13 tracks.”
He continued: “It’s my favorite album we’ve done to date — by far. The songs, I think, are the strongest songs we’ve written. I’m really super proud of it. I produced it again, with Matt Hyde [SLAYER, DEFTONES] engineering and Corey Lowery [guitar], my boy, as assistant engineer, and I think it turned out killer. We worked in a little place called Dark Horse studio [in Franklin, Tennessee], and we did 21 tracks, I think, in about 17 days, which, I think, is a testament to everybody having had the demos for a while and having learned it, so by the time we got in there, we didn’t waste any time. We worked long days — we started at about ten o’clock in the morning and worked till about ten o’clock at night. So there was no noon-till-six-type stuff that I’ve had to deal with in the past.”
Morgan and Stewart formed SEETHER in South Africa in 1999 under the name SARON GAS. The band released its first album, “Fragile”, in 2000, and eventually caught the attention of American record label Wind-Up Records.
SEETHER has undergone several lineup changes over the years, with Morgan and Stewart remaining constant.