Standing before you is a chasm—an opening filled with a blackness so tangible it feels as if it is practically ensnaring you, wrapping itself around your limbs and dragging you inside. Behind you? Nothing. Just the past. Broken homes, broken hearts, broken bones—nothing new to excite you nor is there anything warm and familiar. Your only option is to proceed, forward into this unknown pitch that whispers your name—in a sense, it feels more like home than anything you’ve ever known. This darkness, this foreboding, looming monstrosity is Seeker’s Unloved. A cavernous goliath of relentless gloom, brutality and dissonance which crushes the listener’s spirits and wears away at their mind like acid through paper. Bitter, corrosive and destructive, Unloved is the sort of beauty which can only come through unimaginable suffering.
At first, the darkness was welcoming. It greeted you as a friend, an old acquaintance, and wrapped you in its enormous arms. Its grip was deceptive—as deceptive and enticing as the sheen from its razor sharp teeth. Unloved lulls the listener in with the introduction to “Alone,” a track which shows Seeker at perhaps their most harmonized and organized—crushing, mammoth percussion providing a beat which allows the galloping bass and rollicking guitar to keep in perfect candor with. However, rapidly, “Alone” morphs into a dissonant hymn of disorder and despair. Chugged, deep—yet organized—guitars turn shrill and chaotic. The percussion becomes harder and harder to follow as the lyrics and vocals take a turn for a dark and dismal territory ruled by death and destruction. The light from the opening of Seeker’s immense chasm becomes fainter and fainter. Unloved prepares to swallow the listener whole, making a meal out of their mind, and a snack of their sanity—“Alone” is just the supremely palate-whetting appetizer.
The further you foray into the depths of this pit, the more and more it becomes evident that it was a mistake. You think you’re going in circles—or at least, they might be circles. You can hardly see enough to make out even obvious details through the darkness—even after your eyes have adjusted to it. No amount of blinking, winking or retinal refocusing can make anything any clearer—any sense from the missense surrounding you. Unloved transgresses into just that—disorder. Driven by darkness and nothing but pure dissonance, Seeker create an album which is as dense and deceptive as pure darkness. Whether it’s the snaking twists and turns of the fretwork in “Unloved” and “When Hope Fails” or the sheer punishing heaviness of the short-but-sinfully-sweet “Regret,” there is very little that is predictable about Unloved. Every bone-blistering breakdown and skin-shredding riff—every shrieking scream or bellowed growl—leaves the listener wondering “where in the Hell did that come from?”, but forcing them to hope that, wherever it came from, it brought friends that sound like it.
What started as curiosity and morphed into worry has transgressed into full-blown panic. Out of breath, drenched in sweat, you collapse, panting. It hits you—you are alone. There is nothing ahead of you but more nothingness. There is nothing waiting for you but more darkness. There is nothing you can do to stop what you have started. What appeared as a simple cave—laced with mystery and ambiguity—turned out to be Unloved, an ancient labyrinth of dissonance and anguish. Built with mammoth, crushing musicianship and detailed with emotive, intense and angry vocal work, Seeker have created one of the most well-rounded and addicting chaotic hardcore experiences this side of Converge. “Alone” is simply a masterpiece—catchy and crushingly heavy at the same time—while tracks like “Regret” or “Salvation” that catch the listener off guard with invasive brutality or mesmerizing technicality keep them coming back for more. True—at times, Unloved finds itself perhaps even too intense or dense for its own good—but this only amplifies the listener’s feelings of confusion, anger, depression and despair, forcing this wellspring of conflicting emotion to erupt in a maelstrom of perfect magnitude.
You will die alone. There will be nothing to mourn your passing—no collection of friends or family to attend your funeral. No funeral to begin with. Unloved drains the very lifeforce out of you before you have a chance to be found. Seeker have made a bastion to chaotic hardcore so demanding and awe-inspiringly magnificent that at the end of the day, the listener will never be forced to seek an alternative.
For Fans Of: Converge, Bermuda, Barrier, Kingmaker
By: Connor Welsh