Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
Frequent readers of the Independent Spotlight are well aware of the bands and artists I tend to pick on. One of them that reigns king over my ridicule is Rush. The band in question this evening embraces many of the elements of Rush. The best part, though? They’re actually good. Let’s dig into a handful of tunes off of ‘The End Of Silence,’ a new album from Seagrave.
Seagrave, founded in 2004, embraces elements of 80s classic rock combined with some contemporary musings. ‘The End Of Silence’ is the Finnish band’s third studio record, but their first full length LP. The record is a sharply produced romp through their 80s influences that taps into the band’s own authentic aura as well.
As aforementioned, there’s a very ‘Rush’ feel to this band. Lead vocalist Michael Henneken embraces that vocal style. Also aforementioned, these guys are so much more likeable than Rush. (Or most bands they pull inspiration from, really.) Henneken has a superb voice; he’s never screechy and he never detracts from the listening experience. The band’s instrumentation is equally excellent - they really get rocking.
‘Airborn’ opens the experience up with a sonic playground of classic vibes and hard-hitting rock. The song is infectious to me; I found the choruses thrilling, the riffs invigorating, and the lyrics anthemic. ‘End of Silence,’ the title track, harnesses that power, too. Seagrave takes your hand and leads you into a descending chasm of chaos and creation. The lead guitars seem to have purpose: they aren’t just ostentatiously soloing around. I love that.
‘The Undertaker’ is a compelling tune. I’m not as big of a fan of Henneken’s performance here, but that’s purely a preference thing. He owns his role in Seagrave with admirable tact and I still find him far more enjoyable than his genre counterparts. ‘Into The Darkness,’ however, grabbed a hold of me from start to finish. It’s the best track of the six we’re touching on here. Seriously, just skip straight to ‘Into The Darkness.’ That song is my hard-rock indie tune of the year.
Hard rock bands are often excellent acoustically. That’s because their music is so inherently complex, that when stripped down, the talent is truly accented. The first half of ‘The Citadel’ embraces this age-old tactic, harnessing Seagrave’s acoustic prowess before delving into a killer rocker. ‘Black Clouds’ utilizes some of the outfit’s better lyrics. The imagery the band is crafting around these anthems is impressive; it certainly accentuates the atmosphere.
Again, as Independent Spotlight readers know, I’m so critical of pretty much everything in the lineage that led to Seagrave. I can’t stand 80s hard rock groups; I find them cliche and kitschy. There’s something about Seagrave that’s lovable to me, though. Their sound is authentic, the rock and roll is real as hell, and the musical talent is abundant. If anything, my own biases just make this review more notable. Go check out ‘The End Of Silence.’ It’s a record worth your time.