SikTh – ‘Opacities’: The Tech-Metal Bar Has Been Raised. Again. [Review]
Back in 2003, SikTh tore the metal world a new one with The Trees Are Dead And Dried Out, Wait For Something Wild. In 2006, the already respected legends pushed proceedings to another level with Death Of A Dead Day. Then came the split mourned by fans the world over.
Today, things are different. Tech-metal has undergone a titanic transformation thanks to the likes of Periphery, TesseracT, and Animals As Leaders. Bars have been raised, boundaries broken, new names forged in the fire.
And SikTh are back, with new six-track mini-album Opacities. And in terms of outright stunning, mind-bogglingly bizarre, infectiously groove-heavy and utterly singular originality, the bar has been raised once again.
Opacities takes precisely zero seconds to get going. Behind The Doors throws everything including the kitchen sink into the mix immediately, begging the question: Where can you even go from here?
Over the top. That’s where. Hearing a band stretch themselves past their own limits can be a thrilling experience – and when you’re talking about SikTh, well…fucking hell, dude.
Opacities is a fucking monolith, the kind of release that causes metalheads to wake in the night to moistened bedsheets. Philistine Philosophies‘ ten-dimensional dissertation on digital culture and Under The Weeping Moon‘s circle-pit-ready whirlwind keep up the pace before Tokyo Lights manifests as Opacities‘ a cappella moment. Hearing that last one live will be interesting…
From there, Walking Shadows freaks out amid frantic tapping, ultra-tight bass stabs, and machine-gun kick drums, and Days Are Dreamed forms an uncharacteristically low-key closer complete with soaring hooks, mournful harmonic textures, gorgeous tremolo-picked guitars, and a gut-wrenching build that represents a side of SikTh you’ve never heard before.
By the time it’s over, Opacities will leave listeners salivating for more. Then, the big question looms: Will there actually be more?
Time will tell – but Opacities will last you until it does. From fears that it would never even emerge to its full and gloriously immediate realisation, Opacities represents a major chapter in tech-metal history. It is what it is: overflowing with standout seconds and minutes, gratifying to the core, and as batshit crazy as any SikTh fan could ask for.
TMMP RATING: 100% (Seriously. Essential Listening!)