Album: DOUBLE DOUBLE
Release Date: February 2nd, 2022
Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada
Seum, the Canadian lords of distortion return with another offering of filthy bass driven stoner sludge. If I’m being honest this could be their finest work to date as they simultaneously refine their sound and amp up their grime and bite.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the band, the first thing you need to know is that their music is HEAVY. This is in part thanks to the fact that rather than having a guitarist the band are fully bass driven, and what a bassist Piotr is. The depth of tone and the sheer power delivered by this bass gives the music a monstrously large sound. This is backed by an unstoppable energy and momentum, due in larg part to the drum work of Fred. The second thing you need to know is that if you’re a fan of bands like Eyehategod, Weedeater or Bongzilla then you’ve come to the right place. DOUBLE DOUBLE could easily fit into your regular rotation with albums from any of these three acts.
As much of a fan as I was of both of the band’s previous albums, I have to say that this is my favourite release to date. There’s just a whole new level of grime, filth and raw aggression that wasn’t quite as developed on the previous albums. Having said that, there’s still a massive amount of groove present and this ensures that the songs remain catchy and memorable despite their edge.
A huge amount of the aforementioned edge is delivered by Gaspard, whose vocal style is easily one of my favourites in the world of sludge. There’s a rawness and a rasp to them that makes you wonder how he can possibly create them without shredding his vocal cords. They perfectly suit the lyrical themes of the album, which cover topics of depression, substance abuse, poverty and violence.
As far as favourite songs go I would have to say Razorblade Rainbow, Dog Days (feat. Noureddine) and Seum Noir. Razorblade Rainbow had to be picked thanks to the underlying groove hidden below the fuzzy, grating exterior. The opening segment of the song where Gaspard’s vocals tower over the dulled, slowly rising instrumentals is one of my favourite moments on the album. More so than that though I love the track due to the amazingly morbid story it tells, about accidentally taking bath salts, eating a person’s face and then being shot dead by the police. How can you not love a track with lyrics like:
I always dreamed of fucking a mermaid
Marry a blonde sardine Queen
It’s a long road from my bathtub to her love shell
How will I crawl under her skin?
I’ll peel them all with my teeth one by one (with my teeth)
Fish scales falling like red tears Is it me or these petals seem familiar? Looks like I am chewing through someone’s cheek
Oh shit, I think I fucked up
Oh shit, I know I fucked up
I am Satan
Surfing on blood
Diving in flesh
I am not myself
Like a living dead
Walking to the unknown
Dog Days (feat. Noureddine) was an easy choice with how much energy it brings to the table. The track goes hard but remains incredibly headbangable from start to finish and features some of the grooviest riffs on the album. The segment starting 3:35 and running through to 4:15 launches the song into a full-speed gallop that’s impossible not to be excited by. I also appreciate the theme of the song, which focuses on struggling to get by while trying to achieve some level of success as a stoner doom band.
Seum Noir is probably my favourite track on the album. It’s just stupidly raw and hits with the force of a sledgehammer musically, vocally, and lyrically. I think this may be Gaspard’s finest work with Seum in the entire history of the band. It sounds as if his vocal cords will fray if he pushes them any further than he does here. The segment from 3:17 through to 4:05 is easily one of my favourite moments on the album, just such high energy, so much groove and yet such venomous vocal and lyrically delivery. Speaking of lyrics, the track talks about weed dependency and struggling to get over past hurts and relationships, with lyrics like:
Slowly as a snake
Black clouds of fate
Blinded by the smoke
You didn’t see the light
Blinded by the dope
Our story could end that night
Overall, the album is a modern sludge masterpiece and I can see it eventually being seen as an underground classic. It’s been a truly enjoyable experience watching the band on their journey from Summer Of Seum through to here and I can’t wait to see what comes next. In summary, if you enjoy NOLA style sludge then do not miss this.
Listen to and order the album: