REVIEW: The Sepia - Demo & Sampler

By Pat Hawkes-Reed

Chain Border

Based in London, England, this three piece (JK Seifert, K Rhodes, and JDR Smith) have been working hard to establish themselves in the industrial/goth/EBM scene. Various performances around the UK (including a spot at Elecrofest in March) and a performance slot at the January indoor version of Eurorock prove that they are gaining fans and interest in their music. They describe themselves as "Industrio-Ambient-Electronic-Fusion," though from what I listened to on the two CDs I had to review I wouldn't put ambient in there as part of a description of their sound. The Sepia also have songs on various compilations in the US and UK, have done music for UK television and are responsible for mastering or remastering albums for Marc Almond.

The Demo has two versions of their song Stutter: the Fluid Edit and the Abrasion Edit. I preferred the Abrasion Edit of the two versions on here but, if given a choice, I thought the version on the Sampler CD was the best of the three I listened to. That version I could easily see filling a club dancefloor and I also thought the vocals were the best of the three.

Also on the Demo CD is a song called Dominate which was probably my favourite of all the songs/versions on both CDs. It has a very crunchy guitar/heavy bass sound that at times reminded me of We Will Rock You by Queen (that floor-stompin' beat), but had lots of echoes of late 80's Ministry and NIN. Very industrial.

The Sampler consists of four songs: Stutter, Blade, Polaris D, and The Shallows. As mentioned above, this is the version of Stutter that I preferred. Another club floor-filler is Blade due to its beat/bassline. Polaris D is the closest to ambient that these songs seem to get. I liked the fact that it was *almost* an instrumental. The Shallows has a haunting melody which made it feel it was a bit of a ballad.

I have yet to see this band live (they haven't played any of the fests I've been to this year or the part of England I live in) and would like to hear more of their music.

Contact Information:
Post: The Sepia, PO Box 2396, Mitcham, CR4 3UB, London, England
Phone: +44 (0) 7092 149635

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