The Metal Archives 74 of 100 2019-08-12
Return of the wolf – 74%
Wolves have always played a prominent role in terms of black metal. Remember the eponymous song of Marduk, Venom’s ”Cry Wolf” or ”Impaler’s Wolves”, released by Graveland in 1999. Dragonflies or hamsters do not show up that much, if I am not mistaken. However, now Seid, hailing from this fascinating country called Sweden, have discovered this cute animal and they dedicate their third album to it. ”Ulv” boasts with an adequate artwork, so far, so good, but let’s check the music itself.
Seid are able to write gripping, atmospheric lines that draw the listener into the song in a matter of seconds. Their compositional formulas do not work without exception, but who creates only highlights? Usually, they realise their musical vision successfully. ”A Gift for the Wanderer”, for example, mirrors the song-writing talent of the dudes in an impressive manner. The track unveils a sonic kingdom of darkness and has the potential to teach the guileless audience the meaning of fear. It’s a mid-paced song, but it does not lack tempo changes that create a dynamic appearance. Moreover, it cannot hide its Scandinavian roots (and this is something that can be said about each and every piece of this album). No doubt, this wanderer walks through a dark Swedish forest, maybe on slightly trodden paths, but with a firm step.
The album does not hold too many high speed sequences. The band still rather focuses on moderate velocity and especially the more or less dragging parts remind me of Hades every now and then. Okay, the songs are not as thick as the highlights of ”The Dawn of the Dying Sun”, but Seid create a more than proper density, to say the least. The mix of melancholia, power and aggression has its charm and sometimes tragic and desperation shimmer through the notes as well. But no need for panic, the album has nothing in common with this whining sub genre called suicidal black metal. Just concentrate on the coarse and and raw vocals. No doubt, he homogeneity of the material results in a coherent, but not monotonous package of melodic black metal. I don’t say that each and every track hits the bull’s eye. Unfortunately, exactly the opener suffers from quite mediocre and somewhat viscous guitar lines. But, as mentioned before, the overall impression is a positive one.
Unlike the music, the lyrics seem to be influenced by Unleashed. Or what would you say about lines like ”We raise our horns as true men of our lands”? Johnny Hedlund smiles and I do the same when listening to tracks like ”Odal Lands”, because they combine venomous harshness and rather relaxed melody lines. Finally, the production also contributes to the positive impact of the album. The guitars do not lack power, the drums are transparent and especially some double bass driven sequences generate a more or less massive wall of sound. Thus, I can recommend this output of a band that obviously sees no reason to modify its style significantly – and neither do I. And if there is any wolf with another opinion, then it should be shot. By Felix 1666
The Metal Wanderlust review 4 out of 5, 2019-07-10
Black metal of today is more and more about trends. There are feuds that spread through social media and people start taking sides. There are rules of what is allowed – of what is cool and what is not and these things keep on changing. As soon as somebody creates something exceptional and groundbreaking it becomes a “movement” and in a year or two a full bandwagon comes rolling down the sonic highway, everybody onboard claiming to have a life-long dedication to the thing. Black metal is obviously no longer a genre born to break the rules. Hell no. It seems to be mainly creating them instead. Then again, this is the way with life and music. Things change and the pendulum swings, like it or not.
Fortunately, there are still occasional exceptions to the rule too. Now and then comes a band that obviously does not give that famous rats arse of what one is supposed to do or sound like. Seid from Stockholm is one of those faith restoring units that defy the modern day black metal stereotype. Everything they do declares independent thinking and attitude. They are proud to disconnect and they actually even mean it. Main figure Seidr – along with his brothers in arms, drummer Arant and bass player Alex (also in Craft) – follows his vision of a sound and approach in black metal as he goes. With the backwoody atmosphere of Hammerheart-era Bathory present and that early 90’s Norwegian black metal sound of all things joyless and dry audible onboard, he has the guidelines set for a somewhat timeless goal. It makes his music a modern picture of bygone times, more or less.
Still, none of these influences alone make Seid that highly independent or original band we spoke earlier on. It is the performance and the sound that really underline it for me. Their new record Ulv sounds like an album that could not care less of what is going on in the musical map of the globe in year of 2019. The sound consists of sandpaper-like guitars, harsh, semi-screamed growls and riffs that are not exactly catchy, but strangely mesmerizing instead. Ulv (wolf in Swedish) is a record that will hypnotize you, if you give it a chance to do it. Ulv uses none of the flashy productional tricks to shake you awake, though. No choirs nor chants, no bombastic drums, or hooded semi-mysticism. The album just is, whether you care or not. Wolves seldom care of anyone else’s opinions anyways. When you think of it, Seid of today sound a lot like Helheim could have sounded, if had not taken as progressive routings as they have done since their vehement first albums.
Fans of bands such as Mork will find plenty in songs like Spider in the Web of Urd and Odal Lands. Dedicated followers of more epic, yet not overtly bombastic folkish metal will adore A Gift to Wanderer or Magnum Tenebris Die Conversion, or title-track Ulv in similar fashion. Shamanic outro of Visa Från Wotanmyra closes the album in a fitting fashion and makes you realize the fact that 35 minutes of the remaining album have already passed almost in a sneaky fahion.
The album is a huge step up from the previous Seid release Darkness Shall Fall, which I really liked a lot too. Those early Cradle of Filth-esque moments often audible in the past have gone now totally absent and the result is therefore way more serious in sound. So, to cut the long story short: Ulv is an misanthropically meditative collection of nature mysticism oriented black metal from the Northern twilight and like the animal in it’s title, it pretty much wanders the paths of it’s own in the wilderness of marginal. And therein lies the magic of it too.
Unholy Black Metal review 2019-06-23
”Once again, I need to write this article to update you about Seid, one of the most interesting bands of the Swedish scene in recent years. Yes, because after the EP Neocrome released in October 2018, the Stockholm band has already returned with a new full-length, the third of their career, called Ulv after the first-born of the group’s mastermind Seiðr. Ulv marks a significant step forward in the development of the band’s soundscape, and, as a matter of fact, it encompasses a lot of ideas, styles, and approaches; therefore, defining Seid a black metal band is an understatement because their music is melodic, atmospheric, epic, folk, and much more at the same time. On the one hand, the band pays tribute to the Swedish tradition, on the other hand, this tradition is transformed into something new and personal. Furthermore, the album surprises continually and keeps the listener’s interest alive thanks to variation, which makes the songs individual and different from one another; additionally, micro-variations within the individual songs contribute to this sense of both transformation and solid structure. For example, while tracks like “Monolith” and “Spider in the Web of Urd” have a relatively traditional structure, “A Gift for the Wanderer” almost crosses over into jazz with an unexpected bass solo, and “Ulv” and “Visa från Wotanmyra” are practically folk songs. The themes are, as always, mythology and occultism, around which the whole concept of the band Seid revolves. In conclusion, Ulv is an album to be discovered and listened to; highly recommended”
Stockholm Metal Mania 2019-06-13
Video pod/review of SEID’s new album and Serpent Omega.
Review from Black Metal Reviews 2019-05-27:
It’s been almost 2 years since I last reviewed the previous full-length SEID ᛋᛖIᛞ release. Although I enjoy it immensely, their latest release ‘Ulv’ is undeniably a big step up in production. It has been recorded, mixed and produced by Seiðr, the founder of SEID, at Dark Prod Studios.
The album remains true to the melodic nature of the previous releases but doesn’t seem to stick to any formulas. Each song is full of its own unique character.
It starts with a gloomy and melancholic sounding ‘Monolith’ making you patiently wait for something to come. It picks up a couple of minutes in, still dark sounding, but now introducing more elements to the song, such as low, croaky vocals and layered clean singing creating a perfect choir-like effect.
The album then proceeds with a variation of black metal approaches from the simplistic faster style to the more melodic, evolved and rapidly changing. ‘To Stain the Fields of Vigridr’ was the closest to the familiar melodic Swedish black metal to me, but instead of being predictable I found it fresh but familiar. ‘Margnum Tenebris Die’ proved that fast riffs and Gregorian chant can be a strong combination. And no-one can deny that the members of SEID are proficient musicians, able to evolve their musical ideas and prevent songs from stagnating without drifting too far from the whole concept of the album.
‘Ulv’ is probably the folkiest sounding track of the album and also exactly what rings in your head when someone mentions ‘Norse Black Metal’. Very powerful, incorporating traditional instruments, clean vocals and folk melodies into one epic experience. The song is titled after Seiðr’s firstborn (and the whole album is dedicated to him).
With ‘Odal Lands’ we go back to more melodic black metal. Lead guitar is really prominent in this one, with its own sorrowful melody, only occasionally interrupted by a change of chugging chords.
The last song of the album is a traditional Swedish folk song, complimented with drumming an rattling, some airy singing and a slightly unsettling keyboard melody in the background.
Overall, a very complex and beautiful work by SEID guys, best consumed on a cold winter night.
‘Ulv’ is coming out on a stunning clear LP on the 1st of August 2019: https://www.urtodrecords.de/product/seid-ulv-lp-bundle/
Review 8/10 Undergrounded
Aus der Hauptstadt Schwedens rollt ein Gewitter auf uns zu, dass arktische Kälte und gewaltigen Sturm mit sich bringt. Was wir damit sagen wollen: Seid liefert uns im Herbst diesen Jahres das bereits dritte Album „Ulv“ ab. Nachdem Undergrounded offiziell das erste Musikvideo der neuen Scheibe drehen durfte, namentlich zum Titel „Spider in the Web of Urd“, obliegt es uns nun, exklusiv einen ersten Blick auf die Scheibe zu werfen.
Und dieser verspricht Gutes. Bereits die ersten Gitarrenklänge des Openers „Monolith“ verraten, dass es sich hier um Black Metal mit paganen Einflüssen handelt. Kalte, schnörkellose Klänge, die schon nach einer Minute in ein ordentliches Spektakel übergehen und auch rhythmisch überzeugen. Ein großes Plus liefert außerdem der pointierte Gesang, der zwischendurch sehr an Agalloch erinnert und gut ins instrumentale Gerüst passt. Die sechs Minuten vergehen wie im Flug und bringen uns schnurstracks zum bereits genannten Stück „Spider in the Web of Urd“, welches flott beginnt, sich aber ab immer wieder im Midtempo wieder findet. Beidelei ist aber eingängig gestaltet und weiß vor allem durch die nahtlosen Übergänge zu überzeugen.
Tempiwechsel gibt es auch im folgenden „To Stain the Fields of Vigridr“, welches allerdings einige Zeit braucht, um richtig in Fahrt zu kommen. Im späteren Verlauf überzeugt der Song auch in den langsameren Passagen und bleibt vermutlich durch den namensgebenden Chorus im Gedächtnis. „A Gift for the Wanderer“ setzt dann den Fokus vor allem auf die Basslinie, die zwischen dem teils relativ generisch wirkendem Gitarrenspiel die richtigen Akzente setzt und vor allem zwischen den Knüppelsequenzen heraussticht. Apropos herausstechen: „Magnum Tenebris Die“ tritt gleich durch mehrere Aspekte in den Vordergrund. Erstens fällt natürlich der lateinische Titel auf, der sich von den englischen und schwedischen Songtiteln deutlich absetzt. Aber hier arbeitet Seid erstmals auch mit cleanem Gesang und einem richtigen Refrain, der für einen Höhepunkt der Scheibe sorgt.
Das hohe Niveau hält sich auch im folgenden Titeltrack „Ulv“, welcher sich mit einem kurzen Intro mehr Zeit nimmt, sich zu entfalten. Das Gitarrenspiel wirkt in den ersten Minuten erhabener als zuvor und ist gleichermaßen melodisch wie treibend. Begleitet durch die cleanen Schreie im Hintergrund entsteht hier eine dichte Szenerie, welche sich durch die gesamten fünf Minuten zieht und diese zu den bisher besten des Albums werden lässt. Seidhaben an dieser Stelle aber noch längst nicht ihr Pulver verschossen und bescheren uns mit „Odal Lands“ noch einen weiteren Titel, der wieder ins Muster der ersten vier Songs der Scheibe springt, dabei aber verhältnismäßig wuchtig ist und auch in der Mitte nicht an Druck verliert. Völlig ohne Druck kommt dann „Visa frän Wotanmyra“ daher, welches als Outro von „Ulv“ zu verstehen ist und sich daher auch eher auf atmosphärische Klänge konzentriert und letztendlich im Sausen des Windes von dannen zieht und den Hörer befriedigt zurück lässt.
NEOCROME Cassette/metal pin- bundle (Released 2018-10-04 by Urtod Void)
Finally we proudly release this cassette/metal pin- bundle! (Limited to 50 hand numbered!) Neocrome was the band that Seiðr from SEID aka Jonsson was writing songs for in the early 90’s. The music of Neocrome was never performed live (well actually once… don’t want to talk about it haha) or recorded at that time, because Seiðr couldn’t find other musicians who wanted to play death/black- metal living close enough in remote rural Uppsala. He instead joined the crust band Abuse. But… the old Neocrome note book with riffs and lyrics remained and reappeared in early 2018, and now SEID has recorded it as an old school sounding demo cassette. This is a closure that Seiðr needed to be done with before completion of the next full length LP named Ulv. Order this bundle from Urtod Void:
SEID- DARKNESS SHALL FALL LP (Released 2017-12-17 by Urtod Void)
Proppaganda ”Quorthon would have been proud”
Crank it up 9/10 ”SEID has grown enormously much, in sound, as a band and as a concept since the debut The Woods (2016)”
Unholy Black Metal ”With a lineup of experienced and top-notch musicians, it is no surprise to me that Darkness Shall Fall displays a high-quality musicianship and a great deal of maturity in songwriting.”
Occult Black Metal Zine 8,5/10 ” In my opinion SEID are a very great sounding pagan black metal band and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE ”The Ancient One” ”I Will Carve My Runes Upon You” and ”The Awakening Of The Spawn Of Loki”. 8/5 out of 10. ”
The Metal Archives 72/100 ”SEID seems to consist of typical Swedish musicians. This assumption is particularly based on the fact that ”Darkness Shall Fall” reflects a high degree of maturity. Debuts and second works from Norway or Finland often express a loutish behaviour, for better or for worse. By contrast, the Swedes mostly combine harshness and musicality in a very convincing manner – and Seid are no exception in this context.”
”SEID, old Norse black metal, was originally born in 1992/1993, but their first full-length release took another 20 odd years.
Now, the original founder, Seiðr, along with two new members, Arant (Blackest, Witch of 1692) and Alex (Craft, Hypothermia, ex- Shining), have recently released SEID’s second effort, ‘Darkness Shall Fall’.
I am not familiar with their previous work, but ‘Darkness Shall Fall’ brought some nostalgic feelings with their very first song. Very melodic and very much Swedish. Influenced by bands such as Dissection and Marduk, with the sound close to my heart, but wait for it – that’s not the end of it.
Three tracks in and I was introduced to the title track – a short acoustic piece, just over a minute long, and it felt more like a break between two parts of the album than an actual song – maybe because I did not notice much of the folky influence during the first few tracks?
The second part, starting with ‘Valkyria Horizon’ felt much more what I would expect from a band labeled as old Norse/ pagan black metal. There you have keyboards, bits of the choir/echoes, clean male singing, very folk-influenced melodies (the type you can almost sing along to) and an overall atmospheric and mystical feel to it. Yet the change is not uncomfortable or abrupt, but rather intriguing, and the album still feels like a single great piece of work.
I would describe ‘Darkness Shall Fall’ as diverse, but mature and well executed. Their LP will be available mid-December from Urtod Void –
WALDHALLA (Germany, printed only)