Released: 2016, Victory Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Texas trio Seeker aren't ones to mess around. The band's 2013 album Unloved – recorded as a foursome - offered 10 tunes in a pummeling 28 minutes. Their latest is even more brutally efficient, blasting out its 10 tracks of self-described “loud, pissed, chaotic heavy metal” in just 26 minutes – and that includes the eerie two-minute instrumental “Without” that leads things off.
With the bruising “Throat,” the hammer comes down and the rest of the album is a veritable battering ram. And not of the one-dimensional grind variety you might expect. Seeker's bluster is all over the map here, mixing in post-metal, thrash, hardcore, death metal and doom, with a smattering of industrial histrionics.
Though the bracing start of Loss continues with rapid-fire ferocity of “Void” and the equally corrosive “Rot,” it soon becomes an album of whiplash stops and starts – or, more accurately, slogs and sprints. The minute-long blitzkrieg of “Welcome Death” and “Self-Harm” are offset by the droning “Swallowed” and title track that echo the likes of Godflesh and Unsane in equal measure.
The pick-sweepy “Empty Vessel,” at 4:26 the album's most “epic” track, accomplishes both extremes in the body of one song, opening with full-thrash velocity then lurching to a finish on guitarist Andy Torres' crashing, dissonant chords and Bryce Lucien and Alex Curry's creepy-crawl tempo. The calamitous “Submit” is similarly bipolar, though in this case it morphs from straight-up thrash to noise rock din with screeching vocals and a keening wall of guitar over its back end – it's also half as long as “Vessel,” for what it's worth.
Through it all, the one thing that rarely changes are Lucien's mad dog vocals. Vitriol is pretty much all that's on the menu here, and Lucien serves it up with a vehemence that can be downright startling. Dude sure seems pissed, and it gives the album an unsettling air that makes its relative brevity almost a relief. Not sure how much more of it he – or we – could take.