ArticlesMusic ReviewsSeethe : ZEN (0) is Anything BUT Calm and Peaceful

Jana Lee MachecaJuly 20, 2021

We’ve mentioned the name here various times since the beginning of the creative madness called Seethe began in 2020. Before we dive into his latest release, Zen (0), let’s walk through a brief history lesson on the dark angel himself. The man behind this insanity is Patrick McElravy who, apparently, decided that taking on ownership of a music label, having a metal band and being part of multiple collaborations wasn’t enough. He must have only had 23 of the 24 hours allotted in a day filled so during the time that music all but died, he delved into a space that few have gone before and succeeded – Solo, industrial, metal… trap… sort of.

Hear me out on this trying to nail down a genre thing. Seethe is something broken and uninvited that steps in and grabs hold of the mind, but rather than forcing you to listen, it’s like that dark voice that invites you to a place you enjoy, maybe just a little too much. The demon in the movies that tells you to open the door and you see no reason not to. There’s no real ability to look at influences here because they are vast and mostly unknown, but there have been comparisons along the way. Most agree there are elements of 90’s style music; the industrial movement, electronica, gravely screams along the lines of Korn, and yet it’s something of its own and very modern. Is there a genre description for “I traveled back in time to some of the best music there was, took notes, and brought new life to it.”? With the thousands of genres out there I’m certain he falls into at least one specific category, but honestly it escapes me at the moment.

Seethe is an artist I consider a lyrical storyteller, but he’s rather stingy on giving information on his music, both before and after the release. The few times he’s been approached with a direct question about the meaning to songs he’s written he’s refused a direct answer. According to Seethe, the way he writes is to not make it so much about him, but rather to bring the emotions and story out of the listener themselves. You may not understand the tale, but you connect with the story as it brings forward the moments you’ve felt these emotions. This was evident in his first released track “Anywhere But Here“. It was raw emotions mixed with the harried writings of a madman. Vocals screaming as it drug you along a tightrope akin to a Lovecraftian tale. You’re never certain of the exact picture the author was painting so vaguely, but your own mind is enough to dream up the concepts. He has sometimes focused more on the level of sound in his music, allowing it to almost drown him out. As with most modern and heavier metal sounds his vocals are growling to the point of making his lyrics almost unintelligible at times, thank goodness for the release of lyrics with most of his music. Over the next several albums and EP’s he began to grow as an artist. This is especially important in a solo artist as they can easily become a one trick sound with no one to introduce new concepts. It’s difficult to make the music as you see it and not become stale. Thankfully for Seethe fans he has found a way to change while remaining true to the sound that burst forth from the start.

With Zen (0) we see something even more interesting than growth though. With only three short tracks Seethe has written a glitchy, industrial metal, symphony of sorts.

With each release before, Seethe teased his audience with a single or two before the full album dropped. Simple, straightforward, here’s a taste, now here’s the full release type stuff. The only theme has been focused inside of the music itself. For some it has been the eternal fight of a good man against the demon inside. Others have given insight that rather than a demon or dark angel, what you hear is the growling voice of the Angel of Death himself as a tortured human soul screams alongside for release. As Seethe tends to leave it up to the listener to decipher, it could be anything really. Which now makes me concerned about my take on the demon thing. (Great, I’ll be up most of the night working on my own “Blueprints for Introspection” and why I see it that way.) However, with ZEN (0) he released one single video on YouTube containing all three tracks the day they became available everywhere. Again, no explanation, just a simple release statement and link but this time no lyrics either. Overall, the play time on the video is about the length of a normal music track. Seethe has often been condemned for the shortened length of his tracks, and so it could be assumed that he found a way to suit both himself and his commenters. However, if we’re to create our own experience from his music, then allow me to tell you mine.

I mentioned that, to me, this was a symphony of sorts. The most basic definition of a symphony is “an elaborate instrumental composition in three or more movements… usually of far grander proportions and more varied elements.” We tend to give those grander elements orchestra form but as we’ve seen, Seethe fits no simple genre. He’s been meshing music types from the beginning. Zen (0) brings you three tracks with varied elements and grand proportions that flow through one story. Beginning with “A Fools Errand“, an introduction that reminds me of possibly a Linkin Park substance hidden within the industrial covering. Unintelligible screams with various layers of vocals continue the demonic ideals set in place from previous releases but with a quick turn into soft, melodic thoughts in play. He’s listened to those who wanted to understand more of what he’s saying and paced it well with the screams of darkness inside the mind. The beast that refuses to sleep, tortured and angry. Immediately we roll into “Perch“, where¬† we are now fully into a Nine Inch Nails feel refrain. If this is a tortured man, he’s now screaming right along with the voice in his head. Without lyrics it can be difficult to say for certain but if my ears don’t deceive, one of them has decided, “God is laughing”, and his demon is grinning large. We’ve already been taken through a journey of musical styles, ups and downs, but then we reach “A Means to an End”. I truly don’t know how he chooses the beats he uses but this one he practically had to have said, “Hey, can you create something that starts with the steady closing of an old wooden door?” I’m not really sure how to express it but, again perhaps it’s my own twisted fairytale of a dark mind that leads me to the conclusion. The picture I see from the start of this track is one of a cellar door, darkness in the room beyond, a broken man against the corner with only the light from the outer hallway reaching towards him, dimming rapidly as the door closes. No longer aware, no longer caring, simply tired of the fight. The door closes and, like any good madman will, he throws himself towards his last hope fading as he screams. Is ability to fight in this battle renewed or has the madness finally won?

I have an affinity for lyrics, for storytelling of various sorts as opposed to songs that rely on the music’s groove and no lyrical support or structure, and with Seethe I find that a direct pull, along with the various tastes of artists I’ve loved for years. I’ve also been in love with the electronic craziness of industrial and growls of metal for most of my life, so the music Seethe releases is right up my alley. With the various mix of genres this music will probably suit you if your interests run anywhere in the line of heavy, angry, industrial, metal, or if you just really need to get something out of your system. Don’t just take my word for it though, check out Seethe on your favorite music platform today and let me know what you think. I believe we’re all holding out hope that this creature isn’t behind the doors for long, but I do dare wonder which side of his soul we’re rooting for.

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