A late addition to 2015’s trend of big metal comebacks, SikTh return from the shadows to reclaim their djent throne with mini-album Opacities. This may be an EP but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a half-arsed release – these six tracks are guaranteed to blow your head off and leave you wondering how you ever survived with that SikTh-shaped hole in your life.
Despite having only released two albums and being on hiatus for most of the last decade, SikTh have left such a legacy and having become one of metal’s most important bands, it’s needless to say that expectations were high for Opacities. Lucky then, that from the opening of ‘Behind The Doors’, we are immediately introduced to something special. A heavy riff and furiously paced verse with manic screamed vocals give way to a colossal melodic chorus, evolving the composition into new heights of grandiosity. ‘Philistine Philosophies’ combines mind-boggling mathcore with heavy groove, whilst Mike Goodman‘s erratic vocals contrast nicely with Justin Hill‘s soaring melodies.
From the elaborate artwork to the creepy spoken word track ‘Tokyo Lights’ which is recited almost like a mantra, Opacities is a work on a cinematic scale. ‘Days Are Dreamed’ is a devastating and contemplative end, slowly building tension as tremolo strings tease and transfix into a dreamlike sequence, incorporating an element of foreboding doom. In deviating from the typical tech metal formula, SikTh show they are still frontrunners of the genre, pushing the boundaries and again making them inexplicably impossible to define.
Something that resonates so much on this record is the vast amount of depth to each track. There are so many layers and textures that become more apparent with each listen that several replays are a must in order to fully comprehend. SikTh have not only outdone themselves; they have set the bar even higher for their peers to follow. Opacities is the work of a band who continue to be pioneers, producing a sonorous soundscape all of their own. A truly unique entity to behold.