Sunday, 17 January 2016

Sikth "Opacities" (2015)

With the recent touring reunion of infamous English metal outfit Sikth, its no surprise to see this mini-record released after nine years of silence since their second full length in 2006. It consists of five songs and a brilliant acappella performance in the vein of 2003's "The Trees Are Dead And Dried Out..." weird and eccentric closing track "When will the forest speak?". It has been great to hear the group back together however nothing here stuck quite like the classics of their past but didn't stop it from being an exciting listen and a welcome return.

Opacities bares the signs of a band getting back into the groove of things, but not quite where you'd expect. What they have got right are the aesthetics. Their identity is intact, mostly in the vocal department with Mikee and Justin reuniting their distinctive chemistry, dynamic range from clean to guttural and theatric, playful performances, sounding as youthful as the decade gone by. The guitar tones are on point with many of the notable techniques, like hammer-ons, sounding the same as where they left off. The underlying music however doesn't follow the same flow as before and sounds somewhat more generalized of a modern Metal band.

Opening with a bombastic groove riff they quickly conform to more comfortable metallic styles unlike their previous unpredictable nature. Where they were once spectacular in the spectrum of unusual or unfamiliar musical ideas there are now echos of these ideas surfacing between the groove heavy poly chugs that take charge for most of this record. Given their track record and the sparks of excitement that crop up through the EP they sound like a band still reconnecting with their identity. 

It may sound a little gloomy but this is a band that have set high standards for themselves and Opacities is a charged, energetic ride of a record that never settles for a dull moment. Its ripe with enthusiasm and punch, plenty of atmospheric moments and inspiration to soak in, but its still just a sign of where they can go. If a full length is in their plans they have certainly shown the signs of getting back into their prime.

Favorite Song: Under The Weeping Moon
Rating: 6/10