Seething Akira – Nozomi
Release Date: 11/11/22
Review by Dark Juan
Running Time: 38:40
Rather annoyingly, Shell Energy Broadband has more dropouts than the cast of an American high school slasher and it has been presenting me with difficulties with uploading fantastic new reviews for you, the beautiful people out there, to happily peruse. Combined with the bout of COVID bastardness which is still affecting your good correspondent with extreme fatigue and a work schedule that has been somewhat punishing, even the good work of keeping the world in touch with the Metal underground has been too challenging recently and I was forced to take a break from writing while I reclaimed enough energy to write again. However, I have sufficiently pissed myself and Mrs Dark Juan off by doing nothing to clamp on the cans and tackle the increasingly extensive review list I have.
Today, we are remaining in jolly old Blighty and revelling in the stylings of a band from the (shudder) South of England, specifically Portsmouth. There’s a Portsmouth in West Yorkshire too, on the way to Burnley, but I can’t for the life of me understand why it is called Portsmouth because it IS NOT NEAR ANY FUCKING PORTS, and this fact pisses me off more than I can hope to explain to you. Nevertheless, I have now conquered my ire and I am ready to share views and opinions about talented people and their art again…
Seething Akira are a band of diverse and wide-ranging influences and it is important to note this from the beginning as they frequently take their music down unusual and challenging paths – these British bruisers gleefully smash Nu-Metal, Metalcore, Electronic Dance Music, Industrial, Emo and Drum and Bass together, shock it back to life with egregious amounts of amplification, set it loose upon unsuspecting record reviewers and sit there giggling like schoolgirls as said record reviewer tries desperately to make some sense of their day-glo painted Frankenstinian horror.
There’s a perfectly charming thirty-odd second opener that’s all synthwavey and gorgeous with female choral singing, and then the band crash into ‘Never Permanent’, keyboards chopping from left to right in my headphones and then…. Electric alchemy. Guitars slam into the back brain, and a very Emo vocal gives way to a (very Southern England-accented) Hardcore shouty bit, and then a staccato keyboard break links into a lighters-aloft chorus. It’s very glossy, highly polished stuff that will appeal greatly to any baby goths or Emos and people who also appreciate their Metal being a little different from the norm. This sad old goff is quite enjoying himself with Seething Akira’s music. It offers dimensions that Metal sometimes doesn’t. ‘Metaphors’ amply displays this – with a kawaii female vocal sample giving way to a punishing tempo and some fucking angry shouting and some pretty fucking stellar guitar work. The sample comes back in the break and forms the backbone to a pretty awesome Drum and Bass based (see what I did there?) second movement in the song. Also, absolutely COLOSSAL break with Star Wars laser noises and all sorts. This song is the highlight of the album, being bouncy and joyous and yet still possessing a spine of steel.
“Fuck it, let’s take the risk!” is a lyric from the aforementioned song and it could be Seething Akira’s motto as they ride wildly over genre and type and do donuts over the remains of them. However, next comes a bit of a weak point in ‘Lost At Sea’ where the guys channel their inner Britpop mop-tops for the chorus and verse and the noisier shouty bits feel a bit… Contrived really, but the keyboard work on this tune is fucking epic.
‘Internal Antagonist’ resets the balance though, with a meaty-as-fuck Metalcore / Nu-Metal stomper that should see pit virgins worrying for their personal safety, and with a massive chorus and absolutely slamming Drum and Bass break to boot that is melded seamlessly into the Metal to finish the song off.
I ended that last paragraph having written exactly six hundred and sixty-six words, which was incredibly pleasing.
This is a very intriguing album indeed, sonically, too. The production is some of the best work I have ever heard clarity-wise with every instrument perfectly placed in the mix and the vocals also forward, but not overpoweringly so, in the final work. Keyboard breaks and Drum and Bass sections join perfectly into the overall sound and the drums themselves (can’t tell whether they are sequenced or not – possibly they are) and the writing of the music is pretty fucking awesome as it melds influences that really shouldn’t work together but do – ‘Something In The Water’ transitions from Drum and Bass into an oh-so-very-Metal guitar solo and just works. The problem is that there is very little soul in the sound of the album – it is too clean and polished and there is a bit of a lack of quality control – ‘Frequencies’ is a pretty generic sounding Rap Metal shoutalong with added electronic wibbly bits and the chorus is rather bland and uninteresting.
Otherwise, it’s pretty good fun – the joining of Metal and Drum and Bass is an awesome sounding combo and reminds me somewhat of Cubanate and their attempted fusing of Metal and Techno, but I feel Seething Akira have tried to market to a more mainstream Metal crowd. And that might be their problem – the mainstream Metal audience is notoriously conservative and Seething Akira’s sound might prove too challenging for the bullet belt and black jeans brigade. If you’re willing to take a risk, though, Seething Akira are pretty fucking good technicolour, day-glo fun. You can dance and mosh – frequently in the same song.
Remember how I said ‘Metaphors’ was the highlight of the album? It shares that honour with ‘Dioxide’ that chucks an absolutely fucking slamming Drum and Bass keyboard bit into the mix that the guitar follows, and the result is something so breathtakingly bludgeoning that it has immediately found its way into Dark Juan’s favourite songs. But this is also the problem with quality control rearing its head again – if the band are capable of this absolute supremacy, why are they also writing heavier Britpop songs? And the terribly self-serving rap on ‘Reason To Breathe’ just sets this reviewer’s teeth on edge, even if it is about a baby girl. In fact, the whole song is tawdry Emo bollocks. Bleurgh.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Seething Akira 7/10 for a record of extreme peaks and troughs. When it is great its fucking sublime, and when the quality drops it is frankly horrible. Thankfully the good outweighs the bad.
01. Never Permanent (Intro)
02. Never Permanent
04. Lost At Sea
05. Internal Antagonist
06. Something In The Water (Intro)
07. Something In The Water
09. Punishment Instructions
11. Reason To Breathe
Kit Conrad – Vocals
Charlie Bowes – Vocals
Richard Ellis – Bass
Simon Williams – Guitar
John Corney – Guitar
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.