Quick Review: “Vatan” by Samavayo

Even though I’m used to listening to industrial quantities of new music every week, there always comes the time when I come across to a record released by what I think to be a new band, but then, as soon as I check on google, it turns out that the formation is active for a long time. And when the music played by the band is as interesting as what I found in the new album by Samavayo, the pleasure of having finally filled a gap in your musical knowledge is combined with the regret of not having followed the musical growth of the band, which means not having enjoyed in full what they did in the past. In any case: better late than never.

Samavayo is a trio of German rockers based in Berlin. The band is active since 2000 and with their newest LP, called Vatan, they have published to date six full-length records. When approaches them for the first time (as I did) it’s fairly unlikely to guess that they come from the heart of Europe. The style played by Samavayo, in fact, is absolutely impregnated with the flavours of desert stoner and alternative metal, two kinds of music that usually accompany the production of American bands. Regardless of their Country of origin, however, what really impresses of Satamayo is that they play a kind of music that’s absolutely enjoyable and exciting to hear.

Vatan offers a sequence of truly amazing tracks that you will start to appreciate from the very first listening. From a musical point of view, their sound is basically what you would get by injecting heavy doses of fuzz and stoner into the music of Tool. This comparison is anything but risky, given the fact that really many passages that we hear in Vatan are clearly inspired from the songs of the legendary band from California, starting from the very first notes that we hear in Vatan‘s opening track Prevarication Nation.

The resemblance with Tool is more than just a hint, and this is at the same time a positive aspect of Vatan but also, in hindsight, the major limit of this record. It’s not by chance, thus, that most of the tracks that impressed me the most are those where the stoner and psychedelic influences become more strong, like for example in the title track, or the closing song Children of Kobane.

My final rating is a convinced 7/10. Favourite songs: Prevarication Nation, Sirens, the title-track Vatan, and Children of Kobane.

Samavayo’s new album is avilable on Bandcamp, and it can be streamed also from Spotify.

May 2017, Best Alternative Metal Album of the Month: Poison the Parish by Seether

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Alternative Metal is a genre that here in this blog we have little overlooked, despite in 2017 there have been already some interesting releases. After listening to the last album by Seether, the post-grunge metal band from South Africa, we could no longer ignore the genre and so we’re now dedicating a special entry for a beautiful alternative metal album.

Poison the Parish, the seventh full-lenght work by Seether, arrives on the shelves three years after their previous release and it signs a new heavier direction for the band, which started initially as a post-grunge rock outfit and that now can be considered in all respects as a metal group. The change is also reflected by the new logo that the four guys from Pretoria choosed for the new album, a logo which is now characterized by a definitely metallic font and style.

Based on what we can hear in the album, however, the change is for the better. Their older mainstream rock motifs left the way to a clear american-inspired alternative metal approach, which gave the songs a greater depth and power. Somewhere there are a few clear references to the masters of alternative metal (Tool and Alice in Chains to mention the most evident sourcse of inspiration), but the album never trascends into a mere imitation of a model and it generally maintains a specific style and musical autonomy. Darkest and sinister sounds, moreover, get along better with the heavy themes that the band addresses in most of the songs.

If the last couple of works by Seether left us a bit disappointed. with Poison the Parish the band made a very strong and energic comeback. At this point, it remains to see if such a change of musical direction is just a temporary step in their career or wheter it marks a definitive transformation of their sound and overall approach to music.