SikTh are one of those bands that are truly hard to define and have made that “weirdness” a part of their trademark. Maybe it’s time to employ a new genre for the past decade – let’s call it New Wave of Progressive Metal. However, SikTh have been in the past and still are considered a key influence in progressive metal and are credited, next to Meshuggah, as one of the main contributors to creating the sound the metal community has christened as “djent”. The Future in Whose Eyes? is their third full-length studio album and has got some expectation to live up to, regarding the fact that SikTH base have been roaming the metal lands for 18 years and have recruited a new singer, Joe Rosser (Aliases).
The ambient audiobook interludes on The Future in Whose Eyes? continue the narration and commentary of their last EP Opacities. The messages of doom and ugly truths give the album a caustic sharpness and leaves space for interpretation as these interludes indicate social relevant topics. During the first superficial spin of this album, the texture of the pieces seem to be quite similar to another as they uphold a very evenly spread energy level. The more you listen to this album, the more you can explore the elements that withhold the beauty of
The more you listen to this album, the more you can explore the elements that withhold the beauty of SikThs delicate composition. The guitars dance a cheeky cha cha with percussive detail and there are enough peculiarities to fuck with your head decently. However, there are less juicy experimental treats than on their previous full-length albums.
Joe Rosser’s vocals are a little more even-tempered compared to his predecessor and match the energy of Mikee Goodman’s vocals. On most of the songs, the two voices are discussing, barking, rapping and slamming poetry. They push over the borders until their voices break. A special guest is featured on one song of this album: Spencer Sotelo, the new singer for Periphery. Even though the characteristics of all three voices on ‘Cracks of Light’ are very unique, they ride the wave of the instrumental music equally and with the same intention.
Musically, SikTh’s development on The Future in Whose Eyes? seems more crowd-friendly as the journey is a lot easier to follow, which makes the album in itself more balanced. The recipe for this album uses a little less avant-garde and a little more gritty metalcore, but it is yet an exciting blend of avant-garde, progressive metal and stabs of industrial such on songs like ‘No Wishbones’. The flow of the album is more or less constant, thanks to the fabulous blending between different tainted sections within a song. The undying high energy with a recurring rhythmical groove inspires the ideal drive for power-walking angrily to your destination. ‘Golden Cufflinks’ is musically speaking an oddball on this album, as the energy level is less dispersed in all directions. The vocal tones feature clear and emotional pleas.
The song is a criticism of the (music) industry, as live music venues across the countries are being shut (blabbermouth). This song is revolting against cities being turned into bland business platforms and calls for the preservation of (rock) culture.
On this record, SikTh also prove that they know how to write catchy choruses, such on songs like ‘Riddles of Humanity’ and ‘Ride the Illusion’. ‘The Moons Be Gone’ is pure narration over an ambient soundscape that latches onto the sociocritical and grim outlook this album suggests through gloomy poetry.
SikTh have returned and have given us an album that is a pleasure to dissect aurally.
Purchase your copy here!
© Overdrive, 2017.