Slaydies and djentlemen, SikTh are back after a gargantuan near-decade break, and mini-album ‘Opacities’ comes not a moment too soon.
After such a lengthy studio absence, you’d be forgiven for thinking SikTh had lost their magic touch. A lot can change in a decade, particularly for djent which has matured and almost made itself irrelevant. However, miraculously they’re still as relevant and alive as ever, if not even more so in a 2015 environment of versatility and diversity.
Menacingly groovy from the onset, ‘Behind The Doors’ makes its presence acutely known, as duochops Mikee and Justin deliver soaring high notes and pull no punches. Meanwhile, ‘Philistine Philosophies’ conjures 5 minutes of pure chaotic beauty, with a dreamy chorus and their signature tempo-bending to boot, showcasing drummer Loord at his devastating finest. Mikee’s hell-bent tones and racing pace speak a thousand words of how much they’ve missed the studio, despite the break’s lessons in how to turn any venue’s roof to dust, as Download’s fourth stage in 2014 soon found out.
If Lucifer’s doorbell was wired up to an amp, the seductive lull of ‘Under the Weeping Moon’ would no doubt signal a visitation. It’s edgy, it’s risky and it’s testament to their continued relevance. “Don’t forget to smile,” chants the sinister tales of the unexpected throughout ‘Tokyo Lights’. It’s the last thing you’ll want to come on shuffle when you’re making your way home in the dark this winter, but at least you’ll be alert and prepared.
Past the glittering techy opening of ‘Walking Shadows’, the displacement anthem races at a rate of knots, puffing its chest out proudly as if they’ve barely been away five minutes. Tense, tentative and tumultuous, closer ‘Days Are Dreamed’ appropriately presents itself as ethereal and dreamy as ever, closing a brief return to leave listeners both satisfied and longing in equal measure.
As brief as it may be, any new SikTh material is enough to set pulses racing, fuelling the promise of a continued future for the djent giants. ‘Opacities’ in itself is a signed, sealed and delivered precious stone – not quite the full-length gem which was to be expected from so many deprived years.
’Opacities’ by SikTh is out now on Peaceville Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)