Even before you get down to the repeated lyrics ‘No hope/No future’ in SEA‘s inclusion on their new split cassette with KYOTY, a strong dystopian current runs throughout the release. Offering up the track and welcome reminder “Breathe,” the Boston-based double-guitar four-piece made a first incursion onto European shores for a tour last summer alongside Weedwolf from Germany, and the new split with KYOTY — released on awesome-looking, limited-to-100-copies-only tapes by Deafening Assembly — follows suit from that run in that the two bands will also be hitting the road together. It’s a quicker run along the East Coast starting in Boston on April 15, but it brings together the like-minded Massachusetts and New Hampshire outfits in a way that, as the cassette also shows, finds them complementing each other exceedingly well.
KYOTY‘s inclusion is the 10-minute “L,” which begins with creeping ambience before an airy guitar line arrives as the first inhabitant of the space created. It’s desolate, but evocative as a preface for the crush that soon emerges, and the progressive play between experimentalist atmospherics and a fully-weighted post-metallic assault is immersive, patient, and later, effective in its transition to more extreme fare that the trio of Rob Brown, Nick Filth and Nathaniel Parker Raymond rear back and loose at around seven minutes in, on the way — of course — to a wash of noise that’s manipulated to their purposes as they close out. The underlying story of “L” is one of control and the handle KYOTY are able to keep on what they’re doing, and as SEA undulate between abrasion and melody, harsher and cleaner sonic terrain, control is the thread that ultimately unites the two bands most of all.
“Breathe” follows the single “Return” (posted here) from the aforementioned Weedwolf split, and embarks on a similarly dynamic vision of post-metal. SEA started out with a self-titled demo EP (review here) in 2015 and showed an immediate predilection for the early work of Isis or some of Neurosis‘ rawer moments, and though they’ve been — let’s say — deliberate in making their way toward an initial full-length, the scope they demonstrate as “Breathe” spreads out across its eight minutes only offers further proof of how ready they are to take that step. Bassist/vocalist Stephen LoVerme (Olde Growth), guitarists Liz Walshak (ex-Rozamov) and Mike Blasi and drummer Andrew Muro not only have a clear vision of what they want the track to do, but they’re able to convey this sense of defeat and explore an emotionally grueling sensibility without actually alienating their listener.
The aforementioned lyrics, “No hope/No future,” are mirrored toward the end of the track by “Red sun/Glowing/Burning up,” and I’m not sure if the effect is to convey a sense of hope or final casualty — or if it needs to be one or the other, for that matter — but the feeling of culmination is palpable all the same without being overly theatrical, melodramatic or pretentious. As it builds off of KYOTY‘s ambience on side 1, it draws its audience further into a void in the creation of which we would all seem to be implicated.
You can check out the premiere of the Treebeard Media video for SEA‘s “Breathe” below, followed by the SEA and KYOTY tour dates. I’ve also included the Bandcamp stream of the whole tape at the bottom of the post.
Hope you enjoy:
Sea, “Breathe” official video
The video for “Breathe” visually evokes the bleakness and rawness of the music, as well as the lyrical sense of hopelessness and despair confronting our civilization. Washed out, degraded film footage of industrial pollution, gas masks, respirators, duck and cover drills, chemical weapons tests, and the destruction wrought by nuclear weapons paints a grim portrait of a civilization on course for self-assured annihilation.
SEA Tour dates with KYOTY
4/15 – Boston, MA @ Democracy Center w/ Courage Cloak, Big Mess
4/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Blackhouse w/ Supine, False Gods, Landstryder
4/19 – Washington DC @ Slash Run w/ Foehammer, At the Graves
4/20 – Richmond, VA @ Hell’s Door w/ Listless, Gemtone
4/21 – Frederick, MD @ Guido’s Speakeasy w/ The Mostly Dead, Cheshi, My Friday Anthem
Bandcamp link for split: http://deafeningassembly.com/album/kyoty-sea-split
Available April 15 from Deafening Assembly.
Vocals/Bass – Steve LoVerme
Guitars – Mike Blasi
Guitars – Liz Walshak
Drums – Andrew Muro