SEIGMEN — Total (review)

SEIGMEN — Total album cover Album · 1994 · Metal Related Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"Total" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian rock/metal act Seigmen. The album was released through 1:70/Voices Of Wonder in October 1994. The cover artwork features a different colour depending on which label version you own.

To begin with "Total" pretty much continues down the same dark and heavy rock/metal path as "Ameneon (1993)" walked. Depressive moody vocals, occasional more raw vocal ourbursts, heavy riffs but also more atmospheric guitar playing, busy and challenging drumming, and unconventional song structures. The atmosphere of total despair and sadness which "Ameneon (1993)" was drenched in, is also present on "Total" and is still a central element in the band´s sound.

Tracks like "Colosseum" and "Ohm" represent this part of the band´s sound, but Seigmen have a few surprises up their sleeve. "Total" is generally less "metallic" in style than the case was on "Ameneon (1993)" although it was always debatable if the band´s music should be tagged metal. A rock and metal hybrid is probably a more correct description of their early output. Even though the metal element is not as prominent on "Total" as it was on "Ameneon (1993)" it is still a bit surprising when "Sort Tulipan" kicks in. It´s an atmospheric and quiet track, drenched in melancholi and featuring violins. A kind of dark chamber rock track. So for about 6 minutes right there, in the middle of the 10 track, 58:12 minutes long album, it´s like the storm dies down and we´re left to mourn the damages it caused. The pace and intensity of the tracks pick up again after this but again dies down on "Nephilia" (and pretty much stays that way for the remainder of the album), which is another dark chamber rock track with cello and chanting vocals. So as mentioned "Total" is not as intense and heavy as "Ameneon (1993)" is. Instead it´s more dynamic and varied. At 58:12 minutes it´s also a pretty long album, but because of the variation on the album the almost hour long album flows by in an enjoyable way.

The musicianship is excellent. Everything is delivered with conviction and once you get used to Alex Møklebust´s rather expressive and distinct sounding vocal style, it´s hard not to appreciate how much his efforts mean to the music. "Total" is also packed in a clear and powerful sound production and this is just the kind of album that screams high class from a mile away.

"Total" is overall a great successor to "Ameneon (1993)", which itself was a really great album. While I don´t find all the features equally interesting or entertaining (sometimes the music becomes a bit too self-important and repetition is also a slight issue at times), it´s great to hear a band have the courage to develop their sound and branch out into new territories like Seigmen do on "Total". Boldness that proves to be even a partial success, should always be rewarded and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
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