If there is one thing you are guaranteed with any SikTh release it is that it will not be an easy listen. No relaxing, sitting back and quietly enjoying it. No sticking the tunes on in the car to while away those kilometres. No headphones on to relax you off to sleep in bed at night. SikTh requires your attention, demands attention, almost threatens you to pay attention or something bad will happen.
After what appears an eternity of a break since the last full album, Death Of A Dead Day, in 2007 and the EP Opacities in 2015, SikTh are back and have delivered an album that is the SikTh we all know but with even more SikTh added on top. Is that possible? And what does SikTh plus SikTh equal anyway? In this case it equals The Future In Whose Eyes?
The album is jam packed with progressive concepts and ideas and at times has to be taken in small doses to give you time to reflect on what has happened. A full run through from start to finish can be punishing. And rightly so, this is not for the faint hearted and was never intended to be.
Vivid – A progressive djent masterclass to start sets the bar high with all the band playing a prominent part and providing us with a sing along opportunity, who would have thought it.
Century Of The Narcissist – Mikee Goodman and Joe Rosser playing off against each other with the vocals is shown at its best here.
The Aura – The bass heavy and poetic start leads into another face off between Mikee and Joe and another sing along moment. It is apparent by this point that this album is definitely more mature and tuneful than its predecessor of 10 years ago. A different beast altogether.
This Ship Has Sailed – A slight respite for this spoken word only track.
Weavers Of Woe – The full spectrum of the SikTh catalogue in five and a half minutes.
Cracks Of Light – Kicks off full heavy metal style and the vocals apart remind me of back in the day when Living Colour were on point.
Golden Cufflinks – The new single recently featured on the Daniel P. Carter Radio 1 rock show. Definitely the most accessible and radio friendly track on the album and a good choice by the band to draw an audience.
The Moon’s Been Gone For Hours – Spoken word only, and needs several listens to pick over the bones and even then, a different slant is found each time. Everyone will have their own take of what this says to them.
Riddles Of Humanity – Musically this is what Meshuggah could have been if they wrote songs that you could head bang in time to.
No Wishbones – A thumping machine gun drum start and more of that manic vocal face off. Likely the least radio friendly on the album and for that it is for me the stand out track.
Ride The Illusion – Starts in the usual manic direction but transforms halfway through to focus on some surreal dreamy guitars. A wonderful surround sound experience.
When It Rains – In the context of the album this is the equivalent of the warm down after a football match, something to bring your heart rate down and allow you to reflect on what has gone before.
To back up the album, SikTh have also returned to the touring circuit and are sounding great. They are sure to be a highlight at Download. As all the band members are involved in either producing or featuring in other bands, if you get the chance to see them live grab it with both hands while you can. Having seen them back in February supporting Trivium at the Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom the enthusiasm is definitely there along with the technical musicianship that we hear on the recordings which is as sharp as ever live.
We have been waiting a long time for The Future In Whose Eyes? and SikTh have presented us with a history lesson and a slice of futurology for the progressive djent styles in one neat package. Those genres now have their latest lesson delivered by SikTh and they better learn quick or be left behind. Just about faultless.
- Vivid 4:29
- Century Of The Narcissist- 4:09
- The Aura 4:03
- This Ship Has Sailed 1:20
- Weavers Of Woe 5:32
- Cracks Of Light 4:13
- Golden Cufflinks 4:08
- The Moon’s Been Gone For Hours 2:46
- Riddles Of Humanity 3:46
- No Wishbones 4:31
- Ride The Illusion 4:38
- When It Rains 2:36
Release Date: 2nd June 2017
Label: Millennium Night