Sikth, the Hertfordshire sextet have returned from their 2008 hiatus with their first full-length since 2006’s Death of a Dead Day.
To state new release The Future in Whose Eyes? is perhaps the most anticipated release of the year would be doing it a large degree of injustice. Since their hiatus the progressive metal/djent movement they are considered the godfathers of creating has exploded in their absence, with the likes of Periphery and TesseracT having built on their foundations, and so, understandably, there was a concern that Sikth would pick up where they last left off, or feel the need to play catch up by emulating the very bands that are inspired by them, rather than build on the unique niche they carved for themselves, despite the success of the Opacities EP.
Thankfully this is most certainly not the case. Musically Sikth clearly put their break to good use. ‘Century of the Narcissist’ and ‘Golden Cufflinks’ are almost effortlessly good. The usual mix of brutality, technicality and melody are all there, yet with indescribable nuances that add a new element of interest that seize hold and cause ‘The Future…’ to become a completely engrossing piece of work. It really needs to be heard to be believed.
Lyrically however is where the wheels fall off a bit and it all becomes a bit awkward. ‘This Ship has Sailed’ and in particular, lead single ‘Vivid’ are prime examples of this, just read the comments of the official video for the latter, and even hardcore Sikth fans are unconvinced that this is “the Sikth standard”. There is also a trend throughout this album of forced gravelly spoken word elements that completely ruin the pacing and, in the case of ‘The Moon’s Been Gone for Hours’ actually took repeated listens before I could get through it. This is the only negative point I could muster from repeated listening, and while it may not be an inconvenience to those of the hardcore among the fanbase, those coming to Sikth for the first time may struggle.
Overall though, there is no doubt that this will be their most successful album to date, and hopefully inspire a new generation to create something equally as exciting and absorbing.
For the video of lead single ‘Vivid’ check here: