Sikth: Opacities EP

Tech pioneers rewrite the rules again

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

The risk for a band like Sikth returning after nearly a decade away is obvious; after influencing an entire subgenre of metal, the sounds that they created back then are now far more commonplace, and churning out yet more of the same just isn’t going to cut it.

So to listen to Opacities is a rare treat – an example of a band who are more than happy to face their legacy head on, and then not just match it but better it. Any old chancer can grab an eight-string guitar and palm-mute the hell out of it, but how many bands could dream up the kind of complex vocal melodies and call and response lines as Justin Hill and Mikee Goodman do on the mind-boggling math of Philistine Philosophies?

How many bands would see that the tech boom that they spawned has swiftly run out of genuine ingenuity, and thus decide to incorporate the kind of doomy, arcane grandiosity that is usually associated with Opeth or Behemoth on the frankly jaw-dropping Days Are Dreamed?

Only Sikth spring to mind. Still visionary, still unique, still a good few steps ahead of the game. This is a comeback of the highest calibre, from what is a truly one-off band.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.