It’s been a busy 12 months for Canadian Sludge Metal band Seum.
A year ago, they put out Summer of Seum, their debut EP, and they followed it up this year with Winterized, an EP that shot to #18 on the Doom Charts, helped them sign to Electric Spark (for vinyl release) and Ruidoteka Records (for tape release), and earned them a favorable Monster Riff review for its mix of humor in its infectious low-end carnage.
And on top of all of that, they even put out their own hot sauce! Here’s our Instagram review of their hot sauce:
Now Seum has put out another body of work—a live EP featuring some of the best songs from Summer of Seum and Winterized, plus a new song called “Blueberry Cash.”
Seum is made of French ex-pats who formerly played in Doom bands like Lord Humungus, Mlah!, and Uluun.
- Fred – Drums
- Gaspard – Vocals
- Piotr – Bass
Live From the Seum-Cave EP Review
Release Date: September 16, 2021
Track One – Seum
I’ll admit that I was worried about how Seum would come across on a live album. It’s not always easy to capture bass live, and I was concerned that Seum’s signature sound would come across as muffled or distant.
“Seum” quickly put most of those worries to rest. As one of the standout tracks from Summer of Seum, “Seum” features many of the excellent grooves and momentum shifts the band is known for.
All in all, “Seum” kicks off the EP in energetic fashion, pulling the listener in for additional bass-driven blitzes.
Track Two – Sea Sick Six
“Sea Sick Six” was an excellent track on Winterized, and it’s another standout here—even if some of the vocals are muddled and lost on the live recording. With an extra minute tacked on onto the end of this one, there’s plenty more bass solo and even some intriguing vocal tracks to enjoy before its conclusion.
Track Three – Super Tanker
Another track from Summer of Seum, “Super Tanker” offers a slow, gradual opening for the starting riff—until the song explodes and rips forward.
As with many Seum songs, “Super Tanker” is another example of the band’s ability to quickly switch between multiple time signatures—a strength that often leads to fascinating moments on the drums and bass.
Track Four – Life Grinder
“Life Grinder” is another strong track from Winterized, and fans might remember that the original EP version kicks off with a quick scene from the Boogie Nights film that is, unfortunately (but understandably), missing here.
Still, “Life Grinder” has some of the best riffs in Seum’s catalog, and it’s just as satisfying when Seum rips into it for Live from the Seum-Cave.
Unfortunately, the sound quality dips on this bass-heavy production, and the lo-fi final product sounds like the tape is giving out during parts of the listen.
Thankfully, the problem is short-lived, and Seum is able to finish strong.
Track Five – Winter of Seum
If you’ve ever listened to “Winter of Seum” with the lyrics in your hands, you know this is actually a Sludge Metal-styled complaint about the cold Canadian winters, and that sort of humor is part of the charm throughout Seum’s performances.
“Winter of Seum” on Live From the Seum-Cave is a faithful reproduction of its original version and features great sound quality, which makes it a strong track on this live EP.
Track Six – Blueberry Cash
Unlike the rest of the songs on this EP, “Blueberry Cash” kicks off with a textbook Stoner Rock riff that sounds like it could have been plucked from the Kyuss catalog.
Ultimately, “Blueberry Cash” is a fun, quick song with some extra dynamics in the vocals, and it could very well be my new favorite Seum track.
Disclaimer: As with our review of Winterized, we’ll preface all scoring by reminding listeners that Monster Riff specializes in Stoner Rock first and foremost. Sludge is a little outside of our typical range, so all thoughts and observations come from someone who rarely steps into the Sludge territory.
Final Score: 7.5/10
Standout Tracks: “Sea Sick Six” and “Blueberry Cash”
Pros: Live From the Seum-Cave features only the best tracks from Winterized and Summer of Seum, and that fact should please both existing fans and new listeners alike.
Seum also deserves praise for their energy levels. These aren’t easy songs to play or perform, and the band brings it on each and every song.
Cons: Although this EP is strong, Live From the Seum-Cave loses major points for its sound quality. I will admit here that lower sound quality is to be expected on a live recording, but the dips here are enough to interfere with the overall listening experience.
Those dips in sound quality then interfere with scoring factors like memorability. Sure, the band did a great job picking out killer tracks for this EP, but each one is really pushing me to revisit the studio versions instead of riding out Live From the Seum-Cave. In that way, this live EP may best exist in the Seum catalog as a sampler that helps listeners discover Winterized and Summer of Seum in the future.