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Seraphim advances in Heavyweights Competition at The Intersection

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Photo: Matt Oberski / Grand Valley Lanthorn

GVL / Matt Oberski
Jalen Buer – Seraphim

If you’ve been looking into the metal music scene of West Michigan itching for something new, look no further. Screaming out of Hudsonville, Mich., Seraphim is a five-piece metal band ready to shock anyone that doubts their musical talent.

The five members met in high school, but didn’t decide to form Seraphim until two years ago. They started writing music in the winter, and that summer they recorded an EP with Johnny Franck, former guitarist of Attack Attack!

“We all were playing music together, so we decided it’d be fun to actually be a band,” said Noah Smethwick, bassist for Seraphim.
Their EP, “The Passage,” was released later that year and then the band began booking shows.

“Honestly, once we decided to go to the studio, it was just natural progression that we’d start playing shows,” said Jordan Radvansky, Grand Valley State University student and lead vocalist.

Seraphim has toured most of Michigan, but is still working on booking concerts out of the state, mostly because of financial requirements.

Booking shows outside of West Michigan causes them some trouble because they aren’t well-known throughout the state, but they’re working diligently to change that. Recently, they did an interview with Alternative Press Magazine as a featured artist, to be published in March.

“We have the potential to be something more, and when we play shows, that’s normally what people see,” Radvansky said.

They draw influences from major names in the post-hardcore scene, including Attack Attack!, We Came as Romans and others. But they always bring their own style and energy to writing and playing music, which is one thing that usually sets them apart from other metal bands.

“A lot of bands in the metal scene like to write songs that are kind of negative, and that’s fine,” Radvansky said. “For us, we may have sadder moments in our music, but we want to end the songs on a positive note and lift people up instead of bringing them down.”

They hinted at a similar theme for their upcoming album, which is recorded and in the final processes before release, tentatively set for spring.

Along with several other local bands, Seraphim competed Jan. 11 in the first round of the Heavyweights Championship of Rock competition at The Intersection in Grand Rapids. The audience voted to advance two of the six bands to the finals after each finished their set.

“They definitely have potential,” said Parker Holthof, a senior at Hudsonville High School who went to support Seraphim. “If they seriously want to go places, they will.”

Along with Muskegon’s The Severed Process, Seraphim advanced to the final round. They expressed their excitement later in a Facebook post on the band’s page, “We advanced to the final round thanks to you all! Congrats to The Severed Process as well! We can’t wait to play the finals with you!”

The Heavyweights Finals are Feb. 9 with two more rounds of bands competing in January to get a total of six finalists competing for the first prize package, which includes $2,500.

Guitarist Ian Bybee hopes that with each performance, the audience has a genuine experience and thoroughly enjoys the show.
“Coming away from it, I’m hoping that we outdid their expectations,” he said.

To see them before the finals, Seraphim will play a show later this month with other local post-hardcore bands at the Division Avenue Arts Collective. For more information on the show, go to www.thedaac.org.

Seraphim can be found on Facebook and Spotify, and their EP “The Passage” can be purchased on iTunes and Amazon.com. To find out more about the Heavyweights Competition and to follow show results, go to www.grheavyweights.com.
moberski@lanthorn.com



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