When SIKTH announced their return from hiatus in 2014 with a reunion slot at Download Festival and then followed up with new material at the end of 2015 with the Opacities EP. After touring extensively in America with PERIPHERY and in the UK with huge names such as SLIPKNOT and TRIVIUM, they finally set to work on producing an album that they would later clarify to be their ‘defining work’ in 2017 – The Future in Whose Eyes? From the outset, it is important to clear up that SIKTH have done exactly that with this album – over the span of its 12 tracks they perfectly summarise the evolution of songwriting over their career, whilst keeping firmly grounded to their trademark, chaotic and progressive sound.
One thing that many of their fans will have been anxious to find out is if SIKTH still sound like they used to, it’s been 11 years since the landmark album Death of A Dead Day, and with the massive influx of bands in the ‘djent’ genre following in SIKTH’s and MESHUGGAH’s footsteps, many fans may have been worried that their sound will have adapted to this modernisation over time. Admittedly, 2015’s Opacities EP did have a slightly different sound to their older material, with more clean vocals provided and an atmosphere provided by a selection of spoken word tracks. However, what The Future in Whose Eyes? does is retain their classic sound, whilst interweaving their newer experimentalism and a touch of the modern – especially with the guest vocals of PERIPHERY’s Spencer Sotelo on Cracks of Light.
Whilst Mikee Goodman and Joe Rosser’s stellar harmonising vocals are almost certainly the star in their new material, this is not to say that the instrumentals are underwhelming. SIKTH’s guitarists Dan Weller and Pin, bassist James Leach and drummer Dan Foord provide incredibly technical, tight and chaotic rhythms throughout the album. Arguably most iconic instrumentally to the band are their slapped basslines, which are pushed forward noticeably in the mix for The Future in Whose Eyes? What results is a collection of songs so iconically SIKTH that diehard fans can’t fail to fall for it, and newer fans of the ‘djent’ genre may very well be hooked in by Joe Rosser’s catchy, soaring vocals and the PERIPHERY guest spot.
Strong points of the album come evenly spaced throughout, in The Aura, with tapped lead guitar leading into a groove-driven tech-metal classic, the aforementioned Cracks of Light, as a guest spot of that calibre cannot go unnoticed, and the slightly different sound of the band’s last single before the release of the album, Golden Cufflinks. Three of the tracks on the album come in the form of spoken word transitional segments, where the themes of existence, time, materialism, the moon and the rain are explored by Mikee Goodman. His hypnotic and deep Watford accent creates images of night-time speculations on our society and poses many rhetorical questions that certainly contribute towards the atmosphere of dissonance and chaos that the band aim for on the album.
Goodman stated when speaking to the band’s label that “SIKTH have made incredible music, brutal, technically warped mixed with some psychedelic moments. I think we’ve done something special here.” He’s not wrong. For fans of the genre and the band this album is bound to be a winner – perhaps their music is too niche to draw in too many new fans, but in 2017 The Future in Whose Eyes? will go down as their defining moment.
The Future in Whose Eyes? is out now via Millennium Night. SIKTH are featured on the cover of Issue 25 of Distorted Sound, buy our latest issue right here.
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