Aside from Meshuggah, British prog mathcore sextet SikTh were known to be one of the first creators of the term ‘djent’. And after returning to the spotlight, SikTh have resurrected themselves with a fresher dosage of progressive metal with their first full-length record in eleven years entitled “A Future In Whose Eyes?”.
For the most of what SikTh bring to the table, is a blend of progression and technicality in the sense of mathcore and even some avant-garde metal. There’s a heavy selection of grooves and significant detail into a lot of these pieces placed on “The Future In Whose Eyes?”, and it doesn’t take much to see why just by listening to even one song. Tracks such as “The Aura” and “Weavers of Woe” are two examples of the band’s hereditary that has been passed down to the many acts that have followed their footsteps in djent. But, they’re also still not afraid to show off their idiosyncratic side in Vivid, Century of the Narcissist and Rides of Illusion. “Weavers of Woe” and “Riddles of Humanity” are also prime examples of the evolution and complexity within SikTh’s disposition as a six-piece. Even in the standard 4/4 time signature, the band are able to incarnate several rhythmic patterns that separate themselves from a majority of the 2010-era prog bands that follow this djent movement.
From my understanding, “The Future In Whose Eyes?” isn’t particularly a concept record, but SikTh give the impression that it is, just by listening to the LP from the start to finish. At the same time, its aura is very futuristic, dystopian, cinematic and post-apocalyptic which feels like the lyrical components are transcribing what will or what is happening.
The musicianship between SikTh’s set of troubadours is on an impeccable level of creativity and synchronisation between each other. The dual guitars between Dan Weller and Graham Pinney is technical, catchy and groovy all the way through the album’s progress. And with the organisation amongst bassist James Leach and Dan Foord, there’s plenty of craziness rhythmic patterns they share together to help the band follow a persistent and stimulating direction. And of course, both vocalists expose interesting and diverse sides of themselves in each and every section of the tracks they partake in. Mikee Goodman displays a Serj Tankian/Mike Patton-esque persona to his aggressive voice at times, while applying an intimidating tone to his screams and presence overall, with Joe Rosser’s vocals being more cinematic and symphonic in his own approach.
With all of these features in SikTh’s latest effort, it’s quite transparent that their methodology of djent is cleaner and is driven in a more natural process, than most groups who tend to sugar-coat their own final products. Don’t get me wrong, I love bands like Periphery and Tesseract, but SikTh have proven to have shown a much more mature and formulaic side of djent, while having this record in a very tongue-in-cheek kind of flair to their name. That being said, it’s safe to say that SikTh have secured their spot in not only many top ten lists for 2017, but also what I can easily consider as their best album to date, and my most favourite of the year, so far!
THE FUTURE IN WHOSE EYES AVAILABLE NOW