Virginia indie-hip-hop act SEER SEEKER is here with an electrifying blend of genres on their debut release, the eight-song TO THE CORE. Blending hardcore intensity with a hip-hop core (and more than a bit of glorious late ’90s/early ’00s nu-metal nostalgia), this batch of songs pairs dank guitar sludginess; emotive vocals; and filthy bass tones with shiny and intense electronic production. This is truly a genre-defying effort – whether you’re a fan of hip-hop or guitar-driven music, TO THE CORE would fit perfectly on a shelf next to your favorite Linkin Park, Orgy, and Papa Roach records.

The opening few moments of TO THE CORE are laden with piano twinking and a fuzzy, vinyl record effect. Called “Starlight,” this song is reminiscent of the iconic intro of “In The End” by Linkin Park; it’s an apt beginning to an album full of emotional turmoil; epic twists and turns; and theatrical buildups. Soon, chest-rattling bass comes in to shake you to your core, while gently auto-tuned vocals bring that ultra-produced shimmer to the song’s overall appeal. At its core (pun intended), this is definitely an intro track, but it’s also a harbinger of what’s to come.

Song two, “DIRT TO DUST,” begins with a lilting flute melody – an interesting instrumental choice but ultimately a perfect demonstration of what SEER SEEKER is all about. It’s evident that TO THE CORE is pushing genre boundaries while embodying a very personal journey for SEER SEEKER as an artist. WIth lines about rising up from the grave, lining up the kill shot, and urging enemies to lock their doors, it’s clear that SEER SEEKER has been knocked down before – TO THE CORE is their phoenix moment.

Our favorite song on TO THE CORE is “GONE TOO LONG” – the industrial guitar tones are chopped and processed until they sound mechanical with a percussive presence that whips and whirls with processed-but-intentional squelching. SEER SEEKER’s rapping here is at its best with a flow that feels powerful and natural – he also includes a surprisingly melodic chorus that may be the catchiest moment on the album. Runner up goes to “LIGHT IT UP” – it feels like a natural progression from the sounds found on “GONE TOO LONG” and continues the gut-punching energies established by its predecessor.

There’s a whole heap of intensity to dip into here on TO THE CORE – “CHASE GOLD STAY COLD” has the same intensities as our aforementioned favorites, while “ALL THE WAY” takes a grindier, pulsing approach with much-needed moments of introspective crescendo. “ANIMAL SPIRITS” leans heavy on arpeggiated flourishes and gangster-rap inspired synth leads. Finally, “FOUND IT” summarizes the album with it’s mid-tempo brooding – it brings a perfect finality to this otherwise mind-blowing collection of tracks.

TO THE CORE was released December 13, 2023. You can find it via YouTube (below) or on Spotify and Apple Music.