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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 70 - 06/24/02

Seid
Among The Monster Flowers Again
LuftWaffel Records

Three years ago we brought an interview with Seid, a young and promising quartet. Since then drummer Ole Thomas has left, the band has been established in Trondheim and has recruited a new local drummer and an organ player. Rumours tell me a sixth member, a synth player, has been included by now, but he is not present on the album.

In the interview the Seid members revealed ambitions to make a long lasting album with several short tracks woven into an entirety. The recordings started in June 2000 and were finished more than a year later. And a long lasting album it surely is, although it only includes 10 tracks (well, 11 if you count an intermission halfway through). Some tracks are short and there are lots of variations within the longer ones and hardly any pauses between the tracks. Way back in the former millennium Seid described their music as funk-grunge-metal-progressive-psychedelia, which still stands. That way the album might seem too overwhelming or schizophrenic to some; a delightful melting pot to the rest of us. The funk elements are probably the least obvious.

I guess the album sums up Seid's best self-penned songs of the last 10 years, with some funny studio instrumentals thrown in for good measure. Live the songs and their length may differ substantially from gig to gig. Here they are obviously more disciplined. The songs are usually shorter, but the number of instruments used much higher, to great effect. "Jellyfish" starts out as a straight little funk-grunge-metal song (with bubble synth and discreet sitar, though) that transforms into something Arabic sounding delight from planet Gong. "King Leon," probably the very first proper Seid song - from the early 90's - picks up where the former ended, in a psychedelic meadow with some delightful lazy bass and guitars, until the hard rockin' king himself arrives. The album is filled with contrasts and small surprises. The psychedelic elements are evident throughout. You don't need to go any further than the album title and cover. And especially the title track that includes a homage to the mentor from early on, The Smell Of Incense, but also Edvard Grieg, probably the most covered Norwegian composer of them all. Those not too keen on psychedelia will also find enough to satisfy here. Most of the songs have a metal or grunge edge with beautiful soft parts in between. That might be progressive in its own right. Add mellotrons, Russian psynths (whatever that may be), theremin, harpsichord, bass clarinet, banjo, space echo etc. etc. and you have a unique but well proportioned and tasteful soup. Parts of "Lois Loona", "Jellyfish" and "Fire Song" are well suited for headbanging. Parts of "Sleep" will make your dreams even sweeter.

The only slightly disappointing track to me is "Red Planet", too short and almost straight forward compared to the other songs. My girlfriend tells me "The Tale Of The King On The Hill" sounds like Judas Priest? I don't know - it sure is only rock'n'roll, but I still like it. (JP were cool, JP - editor's note). The vocals and probably the lyrics seem to be Seid's weakest points. The vocal efforts are way ahead of any of their live performances I've witnessed, though hardly of choirboy quality, fortunately. The lyrics are not printed on the cover. I suspect they're hardly poems in their own right. But who cares as long as the singing fills the needed moods of the songs.

A lot more could be said. Why don't you check it out for yourself instead. I'm about to move house and have only listened to Among The Monster Flowers Again on a half-crap CD-player and even crappier car stereo. It sounds grrrreat all the same. With proper equipment and played loud I believe this debut album to be a little long lasting monster. It might be ordered via Seid's own home page.

NB! 35g Records released a single by Seid recently, but I haven't had the chance to listen to it quite yet. Maybe before the next full moon ...

Copyright © 2002 JP e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Seid articles/reviews: Creatures Of The Underworld, Magic Handshake, Meet The Spacemen, Mines of Moria EP, Silver Messenger, What Seid said - an interview.

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