Even with fans clamouring for just shy of a decade, the prospect of tech-metal pioneers SikTh jump starting their career once again was always fraught with uncertainty. Looking past the somewhat cynical nature of many recent reformations, the biggest hazard here is that, given the tech boom which went on to ape their sound and erupt in their wake, a regurgitation of values just won’t do. ‘Opacities’ however immediately quashes any ideas that SikTh‘s return was a gamble, as the Watford sextet’s fearlessly experimental mindset both puts their musical offspring in the shade and, incredibly, more than matches the legacy they left behind.
‘Behind The Doors’ dense slabs of riffing and brooding melodies, the wide-screen chorus and acopalytpic contortion of ‘Philistine Philosophies’, are all thoroughly SikTh, revisiting all those signature ears agog complexities and frantic vocal interplay yet, perhaps due to a slightly more refined and linear attack, never sounding in the least bit rehashed or dated. The mutant rhythmic violence which dominates ‘Under A Weeping Moon’ is the sound of a band at least still two steps ahead of the game.
The real glimpse of SikTh‘s enduring visionary ethos however comes with closing wonder ‘Days Are Dreamed’ a ghostly six minute journey through huge, cavernous soundscapes and the sort of grandiose, haunting ambiance usually reserved for the likes of Neurosis et al. It is counterpoints and curve balls such as this that mean SikTh are still as unique, inventive and downright thrilling as we remember them at their untimely parting. True one offs, and still setting the rulebook ablaze.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)