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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 123 - 10/07/06

Creatures Of The Underworld

So this is goodbye. By now, Seid is history...

Creatures Of The Underworld is the most self-confident and overall band recording they ever achieved. Compared to Creatures..., Seid's debut album Among The Monster Flowers Again sounds lightweight and partly fragmented. Though the ingredients are not very different. Seid still offers an unholy blend of funk-grunge-metal-space-progressive-psychedelia with a little bit of eastern folk thrown in now and again. And the boys of the band are still not afraid of in-jokes and out-jokes as garnish. The intermission halfway through the album called "Opus Vulgaris" and the album cover are only two obvious examples. The former is fascinating and quite beautiful at times, then interrupted by a hilarious fun fair organ driven theme in 3/4.

The development probably has to do with a stable line-up for about five years and some tours of Norway and continental Europe especially during the first three of those years. Several of the songs of the album have been part of the live set for some time. Two of them, "Café Lola" and "Do As You're Told", have even been released earlier, as B-sides of seven-inch singles. The quality of the re-recordings has been substantially improved. The vinyl versions sound muddled and fragile compared to the album recordings, especially the former which opens the new album. Instrumentalwise, the greatest difference between Seid's first and second album has to do with the inclusion of keyboard-wizard Organ Morgan who joined during the recordings of the first album and drummer Jan Spaice who joined soon afterwards. Latter-day Seid is a steady organs and guitars driven combo with occasional offshoots into the unexpected. The similarities with the music of the early mentors in The Smell Of Incense are less obvious by now. None of the smelly members are present this time around and the sitar sounds have been abandoned. Instead new guests add momentum to some of the songs, not least some grrrls choiring and saxes.

It's easy to divide Creatures... into two, before and after intermission time. The first half is the heavy one. A little straighter band could've sounded close to a dirty grunge band of the early 1990s or a metal-progressive outfit twenty years earlier. Seid is - thankfully - too undisciplined or imaginative to fall into easy categories. The title track for instance, is a tough heavy-rocker with razor-sharp guitars and smouldering keyboards. Then suddenly interrupted by a lightweight merry almost ska theme. It cannot be all gloom and doom in the underworld, after all, which also the album cover indicates. "Dragons & Demons" on the other hand, starts as a sort of synthesizer ballad, that gradually turns heavier and faster with Hammond crashes and howling guitars. "The Evil Gnome" is heavy with some hilarious breaks, while the instrumental parts of "Swamp Doom" really stand out, not least the organ and harmonium parts and twin guitar solos, duos.

The second albumhalf starts in the same vein as the first. "Do As You're Told" is quite a tough little heavy-rocker disturbed by a another unprovoked 3/4 interlude that mysteriously manages to find its way back to the original theme. "Starla's Dream" is the weakest track of the lot. An almost straight and almost uncommittedly sung little ballad'ish pop-rocker with too few surprises. The light organ and guitars are fascinating, but only the saxophone towards the end manages to release some sparks. "Moonprobe" wanders off in a very different direction, a calm and guitar-melodic instrumental, almost laid-back. We gain even more heights with the other instrumental "Flight Towards The Sun". It proves Seid can be as excellent a space-rock band as can be. It goes on and on, swirling and floating, up and away... A real treat!

So this is goodbye. By now, Seid is history. Pity but understandable. Seid set out on a similar quest as Norwegian Motorpsycho but unfortunately never reached any considerable recognition beyond the underground, smaller clubs and ditto festivals. There are other aspects to life than driving up and down endless motorways and autobahns in an overcrowded band bus... Seid played three gigs last August around the release date of Creatures Of The Underworld, and that was it. Luckily the album will stand as a long lasting testament. Also, the video of "Meet The Spacemen" has been added to the disc as a multimedia bonus.

Copyright © 2006 JP e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Seid articles/reviews: Among The Monster Flowers Again, Magic Handshake, Meet The Spacemen, Mines of Moria EP, Silver Messenger, What Seid said - an interview.

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