Date: September 15th 2018
Venue: Hangar 34, Liverpool
Support: Our Divinity / Vulture Cult / Lotus Eater / Loathe
Fifteen years since their first full-length album dropped, SikTh are veterans of the progressive metal/djent scene. They’ve brought on the road with them a supporting line-up of heavy hitting newcomers to the scene; bands that have grown up listening to them, so there’s a lot of love between the bands on the bill at the Liverpool stop.
Up first is part Leeds and part Liverpool based Our Divinity . This is clearly one of the biggest shows that they’ve played so far, and their nerves are evident. Frontwoman Zara Saunders has a good set of pipes, but their brand of hard rock doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the evening’s heavy sound. Their hearts are in the right place, openly discussing mental health awareness, but they need to get a little more experience under their belt before they start truly making waves.
Next up are another set of locals, Vulture Cult , whose melodic post-hardcore is also a little out of place on this line-up, but they start to peak the crowd’s interests with their distorted feedback based tracks. With a blend of styles that sound influenced by ‘Just era Radiohead and At The Drive-In, Vulture Club pack a punch, and are ones to look out for.
Getting the first big crowd reaction of the night are Glasgow harbingers of gloom, Lotus Eater . They bring with them a level of attitude and rage that is unmatched throughout the rest of the night. Launching into the brutal ‘Crooked’ the crowd starts to move for the first time. Their chaotic and mismatched timings make sense in a live setting, generating a frenzied energy through the room.
This is something of a homecoming gig for rising metal stars Loathe , and their supporters are out in force. They burst onto the stage with a non-stop onslaught of technical riffs and the right blend of melodic clean vocals and heavy, guttural growls. Vocalist Kadeem France has this hometown crowd in the palm of his hand, jumping into the middle of the pit for the anthemic ‘Rest; In Violence’, uniting everyone in the room.
As Loathe bring their set to a close, France asks the crowd to shine their phone lights; a trick usually reserved for uniting cavernous arenas and stadiums, but on atmospheric set closer ‘Babylon’, it brings this small venue in Liverpool’s industrial Baltic Triangle to life.
SikTh  have by far most technical musical prowess of the night, but lack the energy and heart of their support during their first few songs. Once they find their rhythm, the contrasting vocals of joint frontmen Mikee Goodman and Joe Rosser create interesting patterns and bang-on harmonies.
Having only released three albums in their fifteen year career, the set is a mixture of new and old, with deep cuts such as ‘(If You Weren’t So) Perfect’ mingling seamlessly with tracks from last year’s full-length output, ‘The Future In Whose Eyes?’. ‘Cracks Of Light’ is melodic and uplifting, yet not worlds away from their older material.
Fifteen years down the line, SikTh have stuck to their guns by continuing on with the same style that’s made them such a respected band in the first place, and their influence on their contemporaries is undeniable, but maybe a bit of flexing is required to ensure they’re not overtaken by their younger peers.
Usually found teaching A Levels, drinking gin, digging for vinyl or dancing like an idiot.