Information on SEA OF NECTAR (now that is an interesting name) is pretty scarce, but according to their website, they hail from Caracas, Venezuela and Washington, USA, and “Paramounts” was first released in 2001. From the start it is clear that there are two bands that had a major influence on the existence of SEA OF NECTAR – OPETH and KATATONIA. However, you need to move the clock back to the early and middle years of these legendary bands’ existence to get an idea how they musically influenced SEA OF NECTAR. The general flow and rhythm of the music sits somewhere between OPETH and EDGE OF SANITY, with the bleakness of KATATONIA giving the music a slightly droning edge. The subtle moods and soundscapes on the album are reminiscent of AGALLOCH, while a sense of despair usually associated with ANATHEMA adds the finishing touch.
The album suffers somewhat from a production point of view as the instruments and vocals are not always quite as clear as it perhaps could have been. This is not usually a big factor in the overall rating given to an album however, and the main motivation behind the average rating I give this album is something as simple as “originality”. There is nothing wrong with wearing your musical influences on the proverbial sleeve, but when I had to check up a couple of the tracks to make sure they were not in fact cover versions of OPETH songs, alarm bells started to ring. While it is commendable that a band managed to compose tracks that had a staunch OPETH fan looking for some unknown OPETH bonus tracks, it certainly is not the way forward and will earn no respect.
In the end, even though “Paramounts” does not bring an awful lot of originality to the table, it is a neat album with good performances from the members and decent song writing. This album was released quite a few years ago and there are no indications whether SEA OF NECTAR are busy recording a new album or working on some new material. Whatever the case may be, “Paramounts” shows the band has talent and is worth keeping an ear out for.
(Online June 24, 2008)