on 31 May 2005
Bizarre, twisted soundscapes are painted out for the listener by this album. No words can really describe this album fully, as to do so would take reams upon reams of paper. Despite it only being their debut, Sikth have already reached a high level of lyrical and musical proficiency. One song can jump from calm melodies to schizophrenic guitar riffage. Then there's the duel vocal attack of Justin and Mikee, with the latter being the oddest sounding vocalist I believe I have heard in a long time. His vocal range comes across particularly in the song 'How may I help you', which according to the CD inlay is based on the chapter of a novel Mikee is writing. The song sees him going through a range of accents and voices which tell the story of the characters in his novel. Some of the songs can be overly long though, and on the odd occasion the wailing vocals of Mikee can grate a little, but on the whole this album shows great promise for the future.
on 12 January 2006
Okay, I'll be honest - over the years I've seen Sikth live on three different occasions, each time supporting some other act that I'd come to see, and each time I thought they were total shite! An incoherant mess. This kind of music isn't easy to appreciate on first listen and certainly not through the sort of sound mix that support bands are usually afforded. Perhaps then it was unsurprising that my friends and I always wound up laughing when we noticed that Sikth would once again be supporting whatever band we were heading out to see.
Well let me hang my head in shame. Shame at having ignored one of the most talented, electrifying and all round talented groups currently operating in Britain (the world?). My friend gave me this CD for Christmas with the simple comment, "Mate, we were wrong"!
What startles me most about this CD, each and every time I put it in on, is how incredibly coherant it is. A lot of hardcore bands can sound like they are just trashing their instruments with little thought for concocting something that's actually interesting to listen to (because melody and sensible song structure isn't cool, right?), but this is not the case with Sikth. Though they leap from one time signature to another faster than you can yelp "Dillinger Escape Plan", everything is tied to a brilliant sense of rhythm, and (shockingly) melody. The twin vocalist thing has become something of a cliche of late, but the two blokes in Sikth really do have a sound of their own, while of course still sticking to the kind of screeching/crooning one might expect.
Beyond the blindingly fast riffs, frantic drumming and genuinely exciting nature of the music (I haven't felt this euphoric and thrilled since the first time I 'got' Converge!), there is a real epic quality to the album. Many tracks will suddenly go from guitar acrobatics and freewheeling percussive lunacy to the kind of beautiful, ethereal soundscape one usually associates with a totally different kind of band. Of particular note is the song "Can't We All Dream?" which eschews the band's hardcore tendancies altogether, creating instead an epic, brooding post-rock (whatever) style track that builds from a quiet beginning to a staggeringly beautiful finale - the sudden introduction of a mournful violin at JUST the right moment is the icing on the cake.
Of course, many people will prefer the manic hardcore stylings, and that is fine. This band do intelligent hardcore with real flair, but even if that isn't usually your cup of tea I highly recommend you give this a try - you may be as surprised as I was!
A beautiful, frantic, exhilirating album. Thank you, Sikth, and sorry it took me so long to figure it out!
on 29 July 2004
OK. To start I'll just say that (as mentioned in many of the reviews here on Amazon) this is not for fans of Linkin Park, or other standard radio-play rock bands. This is hardcore metal at it's very best. Alot of people would just comment at this as being "noise", but as another reviewer mentioned, this is technically amazing music. Yes, it may well be very, very 'insane' but the middle of the album shows off SikTh's mewlodic side (which I was very surprised at, being a fan of the older, heavier music). Anyway, here's a rundown of the songs;
1. Scent of the Obscene - A brilliant opener, with a fast paced intro before it breaks into the verse with an opening line comparable to that of "Blind" by KoRn (YEAHHHHHHH!! I See your second face...). The vocals in the verse are almost rap, and would seem to any first listener to be "easy" to perform, but taking into account that both Mikee W. Goodman and Justin Hill (the vocalists) are swapping lines very rapidly, it's technically brilliant. The song cuts into the more melodic chorus, before cutting to a interesting breakdown. 4.5/5
2. Pussyfoot - My personal favourite off the album, that is full of amazing technical guitar work, fast paced drumming from Dan "The Loord" Foord (as always) and brilliant lyrics. Even better than the EP version. 5/5
3. Hold My Finger - Not as good as the version off the EP, still brilliant though. It seems to be faster than the original, but lacks the hard-hitting edge of the first version. However, it is probably the most technical song on the album, and features the fastest bass drums I have ever heard from Dan (just before the outro). Outstanding. 4.5/5
4. Skies of Millenium Night - Another Amazing song, which is probably better when they perform it live, because of the power of the "LOOK - AT - THE - SKY" part. But that could be said for all the songs. The outro does drag on a bit though. 4/5
5. Emerson Pt.1 - I'm not going to give this a rating because of it being instrumental, but it is a nice relaxing piano peice, and marks the end of the first part of the album. After this the songs get less heavy and more melodic. However, the song would be given 3 out of 5.
6. Peep Show - A nice melodic track, that is entirely Justin singing (Mikee gets his chance later). The riff in the chorus is brilliant and the vocals match it perfectly. Fans of heavier music may consider this as filler material, but it is still brilliant music and isn't any less amazing than any of the heaviest songs (Pussyfoot, Such The Fool etc.) 4/5
7. Wait For Something Wild - For some reasong, I was expecting this to be a really crap song (before I'd even listened to it). It is easily the heaviest song in the section (between the 2 Emerson's), and is technically brilliant coming in a close second to Hold My Finger for most technical song on the album. At 1:20 the instruments stop apart from a slightly distorted melody from Dan Weller, then the instrumental part comes in with amazing drums from Dan F again. Before turning into psycho screaming from Mikee and Justin again. A brilliant song. 4.5/5
8. Tupelo - As has been mentioned, (and as most people will probably know), a Nick Cave cover. Probably the "darkest" song on the album, but I find it more amusing than anything, because of the voice that Mikee uses throughout (See the line "A Big Black Cloud Comes....Yes A Big Black Cloud Comes") It is probably better than the original, as well. 4/5
9. Can't We All Dream - My least favourite song off the album, although it is still good. It is full of effects, and is less technical than the rest of the album. But the thing I like the least is how repetitive the vocals get, especially at the outro. Plus, the repetitive vocals stretch on for 9+ mins. 2.5/5
10. Emerson Pt. 2 - The Second instrumental, marking the end of the middle section, and the beginning of the second heavy section of the album (equally as heavy as the first 4 songs). This track is better than the first Emerson (in my opinion). 3/5
11. How May I Help You? - Probably SikTh's most recognised song, but, as is evident in the re-recordings of al the old songs, is not as good as the original off the single. Lacks the power of the original, and at points (I hate to say it) Mikee seems to be trying to be TOO funny with his voices. Still contains the amazing technical work, and the hilarious lyrics towards the end of the song. 4/5
12. (If You Werent So) Perfect - Another song that I often skip. Probably not as good as the original off the EP, but is still good. The strange intro that appears to have a very strange time signature, this time though, the verses contain more melodic vocals. 4/5
13. Such The Fool - This is my most favourite SikTh song of all time, but not his recording (the version off 'Let The Transmitting Begin EP' is far better, as any SikTh fan knows). It has been slowed down, and more effects are used, but the brilliance is still there, and the delivery of the second "Butt Cheeks" by Justin is the most hilarious moment of the album. Even though it is not as good as the original, it still gets...5/5
14. When Will The Forest Speak...? - The spoken word track. It is a poem written, and performed by Mikee, with him delivering the lines in a variety of amusing voices ('I Spit, I Spit, I SPIT UPON THEE' being the best). A nice, and unexpected, close to the album. 4/5
Overall, this is a must for any fan of Harcored music, especially if you are proud to be british. The british metal scene has needed something like SikTh for a long time. Iron Maiden, I hate to admit are becoming less popular, and maybe SikTh are going to be the ones that reignite the interest in British metal music. Lets hope so....
on 9 November 2003
It's nice to see a British band take on a style of music most often performed by American bands and show them how it's done. Sadly, Sikth don't quite manage this, though they do give it one hell of a good effort. The type of music I'm referring to is the ultra-technical hardcore played by the likes of Converge, The Locust and current kings of the scene, Dillinger Escape Plan. Sikth are very good, make no mistake about it, but DEP are still the boss. With some cracking songs like Scent Of The Obscene, Skies Of Millenium Night, and their astounding cover of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' Tupelo, they can match anything The Locust can throw at them, but in my humble opinion, both DEP and Converge are still ahead of them, although Sikth do have points in their own favour. For starters, the use of twin vocalists is inspired, and gives them a very unique kind of sound. Also, from time to time, DEP do get a bit technical-for-the-sake-of-being-technical and it all becomes a bit much, something Sikth stay well away from which keeps the listener engrossed rather than confused, always a good thing. In the final reckoning then, Sikth are the finest technical hardcore band this country has to offer, and we should be grateful for them, but they are not quite scene leaders just yet. Superb first effort, though.
on 29 March 2004
Putting what these guys do into words is difficult to say the least! Sikth have a very unique and refreshing take on hardcore, combining the usual fast paced drumming, crushing guitar riffs, sporadic time changes and screaming vocals with plucky rhythems, lovely melodies, chaotic structures and a dark sense humour that gives the album a nice tone throughout. Add to this mix the two lead vocalists, both of which have superb voices, creating an almost conversation like structure to some of the songs where the two bounce of each other making it all rather confusing at times!
All of this together creates a sound that is heavy, interesting and completely schizophrenic. The instrumentals and poems are also very good, giving a very weird element to the album which I absolutely love! I am yet to see Sikth live and I hope they can keep together the chaotic sound on this cd when on stage. All in all, this album for me is a bit of a landmark in the UK hardore metal scene and I urge all fans of metal/noisecore to give it a look. Stand out tracks are "Scent of the obscene", "Skies of the millenium night" and "Such the fool".
on 8 December 2003
I've been a fan of sikTh for some time, since the first EP in fact. This album was delayed for quite some time, but was it worth the wait? Hell yes! This album is excellent from start to finish and the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because everyone knows the original version of "Such The Fool" is much better than the version the appears on the album. But despite that, I still love this album. You MUST buy!!
Album opener "Scent of the Obscene"
"Peep Show" Vocalist Justin goes in alone on this one
"How May I Help You?" I luv the new ringtone style opening to the song, although the EP version is still better
"When Will The Forest Speak?" Such a great piece of poetry, delievered by Mikee in a variety of comical voices.
on 3 September 2003
At last someone has released something truly original. This album is a thing of immense power and beauty, stunning in its complexity; from the mournful piano of 'Emerson' to the brutality of 'Such the Fool' it is a work of genius. Sikth make most nu-metal bands seem shallow, weak and musically under-accomplished. I have been both playing and listening to loud and complex music for the last 20 years and I had come to the conclusion that nothing would surprise me anymore, I was wrong.
Fans of Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park beware, this is not a pretty boy pretend rock band, there is no compromise here.
Buy this album, it is the real thing.
on 30 June 2004
Another excellent debut from another suberb underground, British band. Nobody does diverse better than SikTh and this album proves it.
Unfortunately a lot of reviewers can't understand the intricacies and hard-work that has made this album. This album includes tonnes of successful experiments some artists could never pull off as superb as SikTh can.
If you're open to new styles and don't have a footing on a certain genre this is the album for you. Just go and get it, NOW.
on 18 August 2003
Having already heard many of the songs on this album on previous releases I thought I knew what to expect. However after giving the album a listen I was pleasantly surprised by the range of music on offer. If you've never heard of Sikth I think the best way to describe their music is heavy complex and interesting. They use a range of time signatures, speed changes, musical virtuosity and sonic madness to create a sound unlike any other. Although other bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah utilize similar musical devices to create their sounds Sikth manage to do it in a different way and go in a new direction. One minute theirs chaos, then theirs beauty, and then theirs the bizarre (usually courtesy of vocalist Mikee Goodman.) All in all I think this is a great album which will offer the open minded listener many hours of intrigue and enjoyment.
on 8 July 2004
WOW. A breath of fresh air finally, this music could be described as being "progressive hardcore" or whatever but who cares because quite frankly its awesome. Firstly when listening to this take time to appreciate how well these songs are put together and how musically talented everyone in this band must be, the strange timing of the drums rhythems, the crazy bass lines with lots of harmonics and slapping, the insane guitars which have the strangest but one of the nicest tones i have heard and finally to the voices of the two vocalists Justin and Mikee which are great. These two sound like they are schizophrenics (spelling?) as when you read the lyrics and listen to the songs each one of them posses about 4 different singing/screaming voices and its good
If your a fan of normal hardcore and wondered where someone could take it from there, then i strongly suggest you listen to this as its brilliant. It might take a bit of getting used to but i guarantee you'll love. Standout tracks on the CD are definately, Hold My Finger, Scent Of The Obscene(especially for the awe inspiring chorus) and Such The Fool.