Lifeless Goth Fodder
I was looking forward to hearing Seasons End. There's a buzz about them on the underground, and after our glorious editor in chief, big wig and lord and master gave them a good live review in May of this year, I was intrigued as to what all the fuss was about. Had merry ole England finally produced a band that could rival that of Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, After Forever? Could we Brits gate-crash a purely European dominated genre?
Curse the timing of the set as myself and my mate were embroiled in a game of makeshift cricket with the owners of one of the stalls. One bout of bowling and an excellent cover drive later, I found myself near the front, the sun in my eyes watching seven home grown musicians churning out fairly hum drum goth fodder, not too dissimilar to the previous band Ashtar.
There was definitely a Seasons End following at the show, and the band did draw quite a number of the crowd. The number of Seasons End t-shirts were perhaps testament to their hard work and female fronted goth metal appeal. For me personally it was all a bit too lethargic, slow paced, lacking any kind of drive.
The mix was slightly muddy. The guitars were drowned out by the bass (as was the problem with most bands on the day) and the keyboards were practically non-existent, which caused synth player Dave Smith to look like he was intensely giving his fingerprints to the police rather than emitting any electronic atmosphere.
An oddity was the inclusion of a drum solo. Although it wasn't very long, the choice of having a drum solo in only a 30-40 minute set beggars belief. Paul White didn't really do anything special as was confirmed by my drumming counterpart, and it certainly wasn't to give the band a rest because up till then they'd just plodded through a slow tempo set. My own theory is that Paul is a good drummer but can't drum like he wants to in the drawn out material, I could be wrong, and the band are probably livid at me right now for saying so, buy hey! I can only write about what I see.
Becki Clark is an asset to the Seasons End camp. She has a powerful clear voice but does suffer from that oooooh and aaaaah syndrome rather than singing a definite melody. She never seemed to push herself, which can be said for the rest of the band. This is a shame because they come across as a classy professional act. They went down well with the crowd, so who am I to say? I think with the plethora of female fronted goth bands around at the moment, I think Seasons End should try to push the boundaries and themselves a little more. It was clear on this performance there is a great band hidden within an 'also ran' band.