Seedna - ForlornFifteen minutes ago I just woke from one of the most terrifying nightmares of my life. A pregnant woman dies in the Grier home, her unborn child transferred to my abdomen, and a bloodbath birth like none other. The doctor found nothing odd in the slicing open of a man’s belly and giving birth to a toddler-sized boy. Nor did he find it odd that the newborn looked identical to my actual son. But a sinister air hung over the house as long as that boy remained. Then, one day, he was gone. But gone too was my son. I set out in search for him, knowing full well he was in danger. And as I hauled ass in a stolen pickup truck, every stoplight hindered my quest and every road seemed to stretch on forever. Then a storm appeared, turning the sky a pitch black and extinguishing every light around me. A crack of lightning lit up the black and there he stood: that menacing black-haired boy. Not a smile, not a sound. He just stood there beyond the truck’s hood, staring into my eyes. And then I woke up. Dreams like this always make me wonder about my activities of the previous evening. Was it a movie, a book, or a something I ate that bring on these abominations? After I woke, I discovered my buds still in my ears; having fallen asleep while listening to music. Did Seedna‘s Forlorn bring about this ungodly nightmare? If not this, then what?

Sweden’s Seedna is a captivating brew. Taking cues from bands like Alcest, Cobalt, and Shining, they overlap post-black soundscapes and blend their seams into one smooth surface. But 2016’s Forlorn stands as the band’s most intricate stitch-work to date. Debut Tindalos had some decent moments, but the simplistic atmospheres lacked originality. Post-Tindalos, the band added personnel and some sorely needed inspiration to Sulphur. And Forlorn proves the maturation didn’t stop at the sophomore outing.

Not only does opener “Hourglass” set the album’s mood, its beauty and haunting spoken-word grabs hold of you like a bear trap. But this is only the beginning of the hypnotizing instrumentals that litter the record. Like the opener, “Passage” and “Eternal” provide unique touches to the album’s theme—much like what 1349 did on Demonoir. But Forlorn does it better than Demonoir. Both instrumentals supply clean guitar leads and melodic atmospheres, while the latter even drones on with a Sunn O))) disposition. But closer, “O,” trumps them all. After Forlorn carries you through an hour-long nightmare, “O” closes the album with hopelessness more depressing than death.

Seedna 2016

These instrumentals do a lot to round out the concept of the album, but the heavier tracks (“Wander,” “Frozen,” and “Abyssus”) are the body. Of the three, “Wander” is the strongest. It’s a dark journey; epic, with just enough originality to keep one’s interest. Over its twenty-two minute length, the listener careens through blackened chaos, chilling soundscapes, post-metal chugs, and eerie Shining-esque dissonance. This wild ride finally reaches its climactic peak toward the end. This climax makes it my most repeated track of the bunch. On the flip side, “Frozen” is the weakest of the three. It provides some aggression and Shining-like moodiness to the surrounding “Passage” and “Eternal,” but it just doesn’t stick like the others. “Abyssus” opens with the pulsing thump set by “Eternal” before it cracks open like a century-old egg. This monster also delivers the most venomous vocal delivery of the disc.

In the end, Forlorn‘s approach is simple, but it has complexity enough to enhance the nightmarish qualities. But what grabbed my attention the most was the vocals and production. The heavier tracks are respectable (DR6-7), but the instrumentals (DR10) truly shine. This allows even the drowned-out bass to share the limelight from time to time. And the guitar harmonics of “Hourglass” ring through crystal clear. The vocals are your typical black metal rasps, but on Forlorn (unlike previous releases) they actually contribute something to the music—rather than act as background noise. If given the proper patience, Forlorn is a captivating work of art. But you’ve been warned. The nightmares are real.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Transcending Obscurity
Websites: seednametal.bandcamp.com | www.seednaofficial.com | facebook.com/Seednaband
Releases Worldwide: July 15th, 2016

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  • Stefunal

    Glad I don’t remember my own nightmares.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I get them every night.

  • Why is your nightmare so much like the Abigail album?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Right?????? That is problem #2.

      • [not a Dr]

        Just after the 7th day of Julyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Holy shit……. Favorite commenter ever.

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    Their logo looks a lot like Seance’s logo, which is neat. Demonoir always sounded like it wasn’t as good as it could’ve been, so if this does some aspects of that record better I’m intrigued.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I never liked Demonoir. That was when I stopped buying 1349 records. This one doesn’t so much sound like 1349 as use Demonoir’s alternating song/instrumental/song/instrumental. etc. album arrangement. It’s definitely a formula and no surprises from one track to the next, but it works SO much better on Forlorn.

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Demonoir fell pretty flat for me too. I listened to it a bunch because it sounded like one of those records where I was missing something, but I never found it. It was mediocrity executed in a mediocre fashion, IMO. At least Massive CoC was gnarly though.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Agreed. I still go back thinking I missed something, but, for me, there is nothing there to keep my interest.

          • AndySynn

            I love Demonoir. I think I actually listen to it more than any of the others!

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Of course you would.

          • AndySynn

            I’m not even being purposefully contrarian, I just love the hooks on “Atomic Chapel”, “When I Was Flesh”, and “Pandemonium War Bells”.

            Oh, and “The Devil of the Desert” is massively underrated.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Sigh… Ok, I will listen again…

  • Thatguy

    Thanks. Great review and I will check this out.

    The band photo is really clever and menacing…but is that blob in the middle a unicorn all bundled up and ready to leap?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Thanks very much. I appreciate it.

      Baby unicorn hatching from it’s baby unicorn egg.

      • Thatguy

        Ha! That’s it.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          No joke, when I was uploading the image, I had to zoom in because I had no idea if it was supposed to go vertical or horizontal. Then I turned up the light on my computer and it all finally made sense to me.

          • Bart the Repairman

            Wait, there is more! Look at the trees on the right!

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Holy shit!!! That must be the mommy unicorn!! Looking over its hatching egg!!!

          • These guys just HAVE to do a My Little Pony tee? I mean c’mon…

          • Well goddamn!

    • Bart the Repairman

      I thought it was just random photo of a forest, with some trunk near the pond. Your comment made me to look again and… Holy shit!

      Holy shit again!

      • Haha, it’s an excellent photo.

        Opeth’s My Arms, Your Hearse is one of my favourite albums and it took me years to notice the figure on the cover…

        • Bart the Repairman

          Oh come on, what’s next?!!
          *nervously checking the whole collection of CD’s with magnifying glass*

          • Don’t look under the disc to Zimmer’s Hole’s Bound By Fire! Just in case you’ve forgotten…

    • I do believe it is.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Awesome nightmare! You should turn it into a movie.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Fuck no! I’d have nightmares until I died.

      • [not a Dr]

        … Your point being?

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Oh yeah, that’s right. I love nightmares.

  • Alkaloid’s The Malkuth Grimoire has this short technical thing called C-Value Enigma that I hate somewhat. Not because it’s flawed in any way, obviously, but because the hellish thing gave me nightmares en masse when falling asleep on the couch sedated by the otherwise hypnotic music.

    • Bart the Repairman

      I never have nightmares, no matter what I listen to while falling asleep; but there’s one thing which seriously scared me when I was awake. The very end of „Dasein”, after silence. Creepiest shit ever.

      • I unfortunately haven’t heard the album, but I found it on Unique Leader’s bandcamp. That’s some eerie shit, alright.
        I rarely have nightmares, or I don’t remember them, but when I fall asleep with music on, it seems at times as if the music has an impact on the twist and turns of the minds cinematic antics.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      I gotta say, as much as I don’t really like that track, it has to be one of the creepiest programmed solos I have ever heard. The guitar tone and note choice is hellish.

      • [not a Dr]

        There is a video on their website where he explains what he was trying to accomplish. It may render the track enjoyable. Or not.

        • AlphaBetaFoxface

          Yeah, I watched it a while back. A commendable effort; haven’t heard anything like it before.

        • Thanks for the tip. I actually knew nothing about the intention of this track up till now.

  • 517H

    Hey Doc do you have a Spotify playlist I can check out?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Let me see if I can get one together.

  • Reese Burns

    Just wanted to say, I had a similar situation to yours the other night. I fell asleep listening to Electric Wizard’s Time to Die on shuffle and repeat, and man, it’s some dark stuff.