13 Jul 2021 - Thorsten
Doom | Release date: 11 Jun 2021
Sludge without a guitar? Is that really possible? SEUM from Montreal are a threesome with no six-string attached but man - they are the sludge record for the summer!
As soon as Winterized kicks in with the opener ”Sea Sick Six” it will be hard not to be on your feet, bangin and noddin your head while at the same time also stepping from left to right. The record sounds like a blackened version of Queens Of The Stone Age or Fu Manchu always with the pedal to the metal. The songs are real ”hits” (if one may say so) with a lot of respect for the scene as the trio never tries to make fun of it. That might also be a result of the origins of the three participants who are all French ex-pats now living in Montreal and all have background in various French Doom-outfits. Thus one can also explain the sheer amount of technical finesse on Winterized.
The sound is warm and dirty, feeling like a bowl of your grandma’s best soup you just want to jump right in because of all the emotions, memories – and above all, probably, because of the amount of lard or fat grandma put into it. The fuzzy is just right yet never turns to real noise, the reverb is well-balanced but never outshining the song and the drums are pumping iron, however not dropping any of these onto your foot. Mesmerizing is their cover version of the Ramones’ classic ”Pet Sematary” (here aptly titled ”Red Sematary”) as you really have to listen closely for they take some of original speed away, but when you listen to the chorus it all becomes clear. To a certain degree, they turn the chronology around a bit as this horror version follows more along the lines of Stephen King’s book of the same name, even though it was named after the iconic song which is not a horror-filled as the book. Nevertheless, a really good version.
Generally, one has to assess that the first four songs are a bit faster while the second half of the record (starting with the instrumental, slow-motion-interlude ”Six Six Six” and ending with ”Red Sematary”) is a bit slower and a bit more introspective in a way. Interestingly the first four tracks are also a bit less greasy as if the higher speed has knibbed off some of it; for the second half it is the complete opposite. Here one might take Big Business or Unsane as a reference.
If you need a record for your car stereo this summer, which will make you enjoy the ride to work more and which will make you grin before you pull into the parking lot - Winterized is one of the suggestions for Sludge and Doom fans and their tailgating party!