Thursday, 13 November 2014

Sikth "The Trees Are Dead And Dried Out Wait For Something Wild" (2003)

Sikth are a UK based six piece Progressive Metal outfit who have grown a noteable reputation and audience since there hiatus in 2007 which came after the release of their second album. With the growing Math Metal and Djent scenes Sikth have often been cited as a major influence on these new bands, and thus their reputation has grown despite their inactivity. After capturing the final show of their reunion tour I felt compelled to write about this exceptional debut album where Sikth defined there brilliant and unusual sound and stood apart from everyone else at that time. 

Sikth's sound is a beautiful and creative mess of musical ideas expressed with a wild and excitable energy that can most notably be heard through the sporadic and jolty rhythm guitar, energetic, bouncy rhythms and riffs, organic and sporadic in nature, almost sounding polyrhythmic and mathematic yet being neither. Although the guitar tone isn't full Djent, Sikth bang out tightly performed rhythms, crunching the isolated notes in the low end, It's clear to hear the influence they have had. The guitar leads, at the time, had a refreshing approach with hammered on melodic leads the group would use diversely in frenetic moments and to build captivating atmospheres. In the drumming department Loord Foord ads another creative and detailed layer to Sikth's sound, never settling for anything simple, he consistently decorates these tracks with fantastic rhythms, fills, patterns and provides a solid backbone. Vocalists Mikee and Justin bring more energy to the mix with their charactered and diverse presence, offering some memorable sing along melodic leads on tracks like "Peep Show" as well as playing to the frenetic energy of the guitars with sharp gruff screams sounding like a mad man on the loose. The bass is solid throughout and occasionally comes to the fore front with some bold baselines like on the track "Hold My Finger" as the notes slide up and down behind a hammered on lead.

For all they do different, their end product is not Avant-Guard or Experimental. Despite having an unusual sound, Sikth are a group with a great sense for song writing and Rock sensibility who's unusual and experiment elements are executed to a perfection that allows the group to explore their selfs in these songs that are progressive and well structured. As well as their Metal sound, Sikth also have a great appreciation for ambiance and atmosphere which can be heard in the longer tracks "Tupelo" and "Can't We All Dream", two very different but absorbing songs. The production of this album is solid. So much so I don't think I have ever given it a second thought, which is testament to its quality. Far from a squeaky clean sound, but their is no muddiness or technical issues and at all times it captures everything this band is about. A stunning record, one that has stayed with me over the years and has never lost its charm.

Favorite Tracks: Scent Of The Obscene, Pussyfoot, Hold My Finger, Emmerson, Peep Show, Tupelo, Can't We All Dream
Rating: 9/10