Seeker Searching More Low Than High on Unloved

  • Sammy O'Hagar

Seeker’s Unloved is a mean fucking record. The elements of it—squiggly mathcore, unsanitary dissonance, and violent, violent grooves—have been sanded down by nice-looking guys with expensive gear. So Unloved is a throwback in that regard: remember when all of that stuff sounded offputtingly mean? Seeker does. They want you to, too. The release is remarkable in its coherence, in that it’s pretty incoherent.  They cram all the split lips, concussions, seizures, night terrors, and felony assaults they can into just under 28 minutes. With an anger this dense, it feels longer. Not a lot of bands have revisited that kind of disarray since it mutated into something approaching palatable. Seeker remember it, though, and they’re liable to catch you the fuck off guard.

Despite all the chaos—and there is a shit-ton—Unloved never feels tedious. It’s a short burst of hyperviolence that could be a collection of b-sides from Fused Together in Revolving Doors.  Chunky low-end riffing is bisected by shrill discordance almost constantly, and the larynx-skewering vocals of Bryce Lucien put across a believable anger. The few breaks don’t provide a moment for breathing so much as an instant to process what in the hell just happened to you. The scorched-Earth doom of closer “Escape” is preceded by “There is Nothing,” a tech-hardcore bruiser whose only discernible words are “fuck you.” The 50 instrumental seconds of “Regret” lands in between the disintegrating hardcore of the title track and the solid time signature-averse “Dominance,” which spends its running time schooling all of djent for using Meshuggah incorrectly. “Regret” doesn’t ease tension so much as build it. And considering what comes before and after it, that’s some bold shit. Unloved is all gritted teeth and white knuckles. Frankly, if it went past a half hour, it might be too much to sit through. Seeker are fucking pissed, and they hope you are, too.

The band are so tightly wound that, in their unspooling, there are little squawks and rhythms that you missed while being pummeled. Unloved lacks proper breakdowns, slams and the like, but hearing something like the subterranean plate shift riffing that swallows up the last third of “Salvation” is all the heavier because of it. It hearkens back to that time in the early-to-mid ‘00s where it seemed like The Red Chord, Cephalic Carnage, Into the Moat, and Ion Dissonance could rule the goddamn world. Like those bands, Seeker heard the angriest music they could find and decided it wasn’t nearly angry enough. Hardcore is music to fight to; Seeker are what’s on your stereo when you run your Acura through the playground of a burn ward.

Seeker’s Unloved is out now on Victory. Stream the track “When Hope Fails” here and buy it here.

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