Some bands just scream out their adjectives to you. There’s no need to dig deep to find words to describe them because the music itself screams (get it) them at you. SEIMS is one such band. For the last few years, the Australian jazz-fusion, prog-rock, something-experimental group have released album after album which can be described as intense. Happily enough, it seems as if the band like to be intense, cultivating those unbridled energies over the last few releases and preparing for FOUR, their, uh, fourth (technically) album. And let me tell you, intense doesn’t do it justice; the album’s has more of their almost-improvisational energies, the feeling of a band constantly about to fall apart at the seams. Which is why, as always, we are proud to premiere new music from them.
In this case, this music comes to us in the form of “The Mountain’s Scream” and it’s accompanying, illustrated video. It tells the story of something that should be, sadly, quite familiar to all of us: the world ending. Its apocalyptic visions coincide with the emotional weight of its lyrics, the weird, haunting Jupiter/ocean/space images around its middle, and the interesting and evocative vocal section which signals the ending of its first passage. All of this comes together into a vision of catharsis, of rebirth through destruction, and of the reconstructive aspect of music and art. Says Simeon Bartholomew, the band’s bassist:
This whole album is about perspective through conversation, and the birth of my daughter was another avenue that influenced me strongly. Babies can only cry to signal communication, and how crying can translate to tears of sadness or happiness. This song is all about the two sides of her “crying out of the void she can’t see”. To illustrate this (pun intended) – the whole clip is a similar journey – having a child feels like it destroys the world that you knew, and at the same time, gives birth (pun not intended) to a whole side of life that you never knew you wanted.
Musically, “The Mountain’s Scream” is a further exploration by SEIMS of the limits towards which jazz-fusion can be taken. From the intricate drum-work of the first few minutes of the track, culminating in some intriguing time-signatures right after the two minute mark, through the sweeping tremolo picking that runs through the center of the track, and all the way through to the mounting, cataclysmic energy that runs through the entire track, “The Mountain’s Scream” is a SEIMS track through and through. The rest of the album is just as powerful and would honestly take over a thousand words to describe completely (expect those words closer to the release date, of course).
FOUR releases on the 22nd of October via the excellent trio of Bird’s Robe Records, Art As Catharsis, and dunk! Records. You can head right on over here to pre-order it.