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Album Of The Month July 2017
Sikth | ‘The Future In Whose Eyes?’


I’ve been thinking about the future a lot recently.

Not sure why; but thinking of the pervasive panopticon we’ve all plugged ourselves into has led me to rediscover stuff like ‘Neuromancer’ and ‘Brave New World’ with renewed relevance.

It’s happened with aesthetics as well. Again, I can’t quite explain it, but I now lap up various Retrographix almost every day.

They bring me back to the 8-bit video games of my youth, while at the same time making sense of what’s happening right now.

When Sikth’s ‘Opacities’ came out a few years ago, I caught quite the bug for a band whom I’d never really paid much attention to before. It was the artwork, firstly, which speaks to everything above. Very quickly though I realized it was the music too, and the EP was lodged on play for weeks of rotation.

Unbelievably, ‘A Future In Whose Eyes?’ wallops even that fantastic little gem. It’s now a full album of steamy backstreets and Blade Runner neon, enlivened by some absolutely incredible and memorable tech metal.

Multi Layered

If you’re new to them, or think they’re just some sort of UK version of System Of A Down crossed with Mushroomhead, allow me to explain further.

What we have here is an album of stories and characters that are all a product of the multilayered voices on here, both multi-vocal and musical.

There are enough personalities and situations in here to fill an issue of 2000AD, and the music goes such a very long way to painting those exact strips.

Think of each song as a different artist (the Ennises, Mills and Izquerras of my day) applying their idiosyncratic brush strokes to Dredds, Strontium Dogs, Rogue Troopers, Indigo Primes… it is all in this album, even if I’m just superimposing them there.

Listen to how ‘Aura’ opens. A narrator in gruff cockney, who appears a few times on here, leads us into an underground of cannibalised electronics, motors, lights and foodscraps. The chorus is absolutely irresistable, while the mood is heady.

I am reminded of several great bands who’ve tried to capture the sounds of their cities with intricate urban extreme metal – notably the Akercocke-aligned Voices, whose ‘London’ album seems to have been an influence here for sure – but also classic early Strapping Young Lad and the much missed She Said Destroy.

Great company to be sure. Weave in a little Dillinger, Textures and Tesseract, and you’ve basically got Sikth’s sound sorted with the above mix.

Split Personality

I just love it. It’s so musically and graphically rich.

Recently when we talked to Medulla Nocte and Barrabus frontman Paul Catten in MI Podcast 36, he said of Sikth’s vocalist ‘Don’t even try to be like Mikee Goodman, because there’s no-one like him’ – and how right he is.

Between himself and fellow vocalist Joe Rosser the multiple personas they describe are riveting from the start. That’s not to forget the rhythm and guitar sections as well, which are surely at a genre high. This is djent with absolute power and songwriting nous.

Highs include ‘Aura’, the blastbeat heavy ‘Cracks Of Light’, the dizzying ‘Riddles Of Humanity’ and the beautiful ‘Ride The Illusion’, but the truth is that it is all great. There is not a dud and not a boring moment on here: not on your life. This band are just too immersed in the Sim.

An undoubted album of the month for July: not just because of where it brings you back to, but where it brings you forward to. That’s the brilliant dissonance of it. Enjoy it.

5/5 – GRAPHIX
4/5 – SPRITES
5/5 – SOUNDTRACK
4/5 – GAMEPLAY

you might say.

4.8 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 17/07/17



10 Comments
  1. A bit of Mastodon in there too, maybe? The kind of thing I would normally swerve away from based on the description, but that song is damn catchy.

  2. earl grey Says:

    Yeah it’s great – this track isnt really representative of the album at all, it’s quite slow – there’s just a lot to relish across the intensity of the whole thing. Defo Mastodon moments. Throw it on Spotify amd give it some time, dont do it track by track.

  3. The dreadlocked fella ruins that song for me.
    If it were just the clean vocals, I’d enjoy it a lot more.

  4. Eoin McLove Says:

    The clean vocals are the stronger of the two, I agree.

  5. Yeah those vocals are throwing me off especially the high pitched wails, song itself isn’t bad, not something I’d listen to regularly.

  6. Great album. Not up the highs of the first two for me, dont think they will be bested. The new vocalist took a while to warm up to, but he’s fitting in nicely I feel. Looking forward to the upcoming Dublin gig for sure!

  7. Sedgebeast Says:

    Lovely 2000AD references up there… bringing back some great memories of late-80s comic-sifting. Song isn’t bad actually, surprised at that as it’s not the sort of thing I normally go for. Recently rediscovered SYL’s ‘City’ which might explain that… clearly requiring soundtracks to catharsize the neon nightmare!

  8. Leatherface Says:

    Album art drew me in but vocals threw me off.

  9. Sikth are always great for the storytelling, especially on that track ‘How may I help you’.

  10. Sounds pretty good apart fromt he vocals, I have a very low tolerance for that not quite clean not quite over the top vocal.

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