Seether have been doing the rounds all over the world since the early 2000s. Their latest full-length, ‘Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum’, hasn’t been able to see its full potential in front of a live audience, much like almost every other release in 2020, but they’ve opted to extend on its offerings with ‘Wasteland – The Purgatory EP’.
There’s nothing wrong with sticking in your lane. If the fans like it – and it looks like they do, given that Seether are steadily headlining amphitheatres and playing festivals across America for the rest of this year – then it’s a no-brainer to continue down that path. However, to the fair-weather listener, it feels somewhat lazy to release another collection of songs that don’t deliver anything remotely different to the previous three decades of music.
It’s not to say that this EP itself is bad, because it’s not. It’s perfect for die-hard Seether fans who are more than happy knowing what their favourite band will sound like with each new release. ‘Wasteland – The Purgatory EP’ is another solid selection of hard-hitting rock numbers from the South African four-piece, who smash out one gutsy riff after another. From the powerful guitars, contrasted with buttery vocals on opening track ‘Wasteland’ to the rip-roaring outro of the dark, brooding ‘Will It Ever End?’, there’s plenty for guitar junkies to get their teeth into.
The sad fact is it’s just not that exciting. The only track on the album that makes ears prick up upon first listen is ‘What Would You Do?’, which is surprisingly one of the record’s slower songs and touches on coping mechanisms and substance abuse, all while showing a more reflective, pensive perspective that only really comes with age and experience. It shows at least some signs of progression over the years.
It’s a shame, but there’s just something missing from ‘Wasteland – The Purgatory EP’. Whether it’s the refusal to dare tip-toe outside the box, or the fact that even on a short five-track EP they have included a filler alternative version of ‘Wasteland’, it just doesn’t feel like their heart was in this one.