Seigmen: A Hidden Norwegian Treasure

Seigmen: A Hidden Norwegian Treasure

A Bit Of Seigmen History:

Seigmen are a band from Norway who became a leading light in rock and alternative music there. They released 5 albums between 1989 and 2000, most of which have never appeared on vinyl as well as the CDs having been out of print for many years. Well, Karisma Records have changed that by making them all available via places like Amazon.

The band seems to change styles as they went so they are hard to categorize. They were a 5 piece who’s line up seems to stay constant throughout those years and the couple of reformations since they split in or around 2000. The journey begins with music that is heavy, repetitive grooves and riffs with a mix of punk energy and progressive time changes, slowly through more atmospheric Tool style meanderings onto music heavily inspired by a mix of say Depeche Mode and Bauhaus. I confess from listening to all the albums several times in a row (no mean feat by the way) that for me it is all about the first 3. Not to say the latter albums Metropolis and Radio Waves (*Amendment below) are bad albums. They just aren’t fully my cup of tea. I would happily recommend folks into the bands that I mentioned for them should check these albums out as there is a good chance they will discover potentially a new favourite band.

Seigmen: First EP Pluto Cover

Seigmen: First EP Pluto Cover

Album Reviews – Pluto:

First up in these reissues is Pluto which is really an EP rather than an album in truth, but what a first release it is. From the opening song “Fra X Til Doden” with its riffs and time changes, spacey and incessant at times reminding me a little of Hawkwind but with the heaviness and craziness of Voivod creating a jazz experimental thrash vibe with screamed/harsh vocals which is fine as unless you understand Norwegian will mean nothing to you anyway, to the last song “Syndefloden” with its tribal chants juxtaposed with early Pink Floyd guitar work this is a superb EP.

Other tracks include the punky sounding “Mono Doomen” which has some fantastic bass work as well as drum rolls, “Korstoget” a much more eerie sounding piece, sparse with a mix of whispered then screamed vocals, hypnotic and enticing that takes it time and pulls you in completely to its madness. So Pluto is most definitely recommended here.

The First Full-Length Album:

The first real full-length album Ameneon picks up where the EP left off. The album’s songs all are one-word titles which may be some kind of theme, I don’t know. I will pick some of my highlights from this as follows. “Simone” has a slow build-up all acoustic guitar and light bass until the beat comes in bringing some solid drumming and a strong riff.

One of the differences on this to the EP is how far upfront the drums are, right in your face and this song is a good example of that. “Negativ” has a Type O Negative feel to it at points. The opening vocal is slow with each syllable seeming to take an age whilst the riff plays underneath it. It did make me think a little of Rammstein in delivery at times. The drum fills are here, there and everywhere on this. Dark and brooding, yet angry it captivates over 7 minutes including a real twist in the last moments musically! I will leave it at that so as not to spoil things. The title track is a lovely haunting piece, with a hint of the “death march” in it.

The longest track here is “Mesusah” which the first 3 minutes are a heavier Floyd, with its slow build-up and when the change comes in, well it comes in fast, frantic and with another shit load of drum fills! They manage to go funky in parts in between the craziness of the speedy guitar work. It jumps around quite a bit but still works as a piece, challenging but terrific. This first album per se takes from the EP and adds new quirks with a better production but still packs a fair punch with madcap riffs and vocals. Again I very much like this. Voivod meets Floyd whilst holding hands with The Mission. Or something like that!

Seigmen: Total Album Cover

Seigmen: Total Album Cover

Total – Tool Producer:

The third release is Total and once again moves on from the last album. Where Ameneon was about the drums, this is all about the bass (maybe this is what Meghan Traynor was really on about? Maybe not!) The album was produced by Sylvia Massey who had just done Undertow by Tool and it shows. Again to pick some moments that grabbed me I will start with first song “Colosseum”. Like Tool, there are those slow repetitive riffs along with interesting little bass runs between sections making the whole thing flow beautifully. Great atmospherics and some fine riffs this is a belter of a track.

On this album, they do stretch their wings with tracks showing different sides to their repertoire. For instance “Sort Tulipan” is lovely and melodic with high pitched vocals but with spoken word underneath and seems to have strings or synths on it. Closest I could come up with was this made me think of another Norwegian band but more modern called Leprous. Then “Lament” goes into jazz territory with whispered vocals with heavy screamed breaks. To confuse even more we get Gregorian style chanting on “Nephilla” which is almost a pleasant acoustic piece with gentle harmonies for the most part. “Monument” is my favourite track here. It has a Pink Floyd feel at the start, the tension builds into a Tool riff which kind of beats you into submission before dropping down to the sound of something like a heartbeat. Fascinating stuff. This album is challenging and is truly progressive as it floats through so many genres and tries new ideas constantly. A band on top of their game.

A Few Words About The Others:

The last 2 albums as I previously mentioned are by no means bad albums but are more for folks who appreciate gothic music. Pretty sure both Metropolis and Radio Waves would go down well in goth clubs. The latter of the two I have to say has grown on me.  *Just before going to post I listened to both again and Radio Waves has some industrial metal going on. Tracks like “A Modern End” have plenty of Nine Inch Nails attitude. And say “Bloodprint” has a sneering Marilyn Manson vocal, giving the album a harder edge than the one before. It is still goth as such but mixed with industrial.

Concluding Thoughts – A Treasure?

For me, I really love the EP and the first two actual albums from this band. They have proved to be a hidden treasure for me, in fact, a treasure trove of pleasures. Anyone who is willing to allow bands to explore different territories should check these guys out. Seigmen should be better known around the world. I hope this review (lengthy though it might be) might encourage others to check them out and enjoy something new in life.

Purchase vinyl via label HERE / Amazon USAAmazon UK


Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Tom Cornell

Tom Cornell

Email Me at: Tom Cornell