Syk - I-Optikon album review

Technical Italians with a very undjentlemanly approach

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Phil Anselmo’s Housecore label propagates everything from black metal to drone, so it makes sense that Syk call it home.

For their second album, the Italian four-piece have toned down the spasmodic glitchiness of debut Atoma without sacrificing any intensity. The Dillinger-isms may still pierce through Mud’s time signature-bending riffs, but mostly this is akin to Meshuggah ripping on Black Sabbath’s bong with a shot of noise rock to wash it down. Vocally, Dalila Kayros is Björk reciting Beelzebub’s diary; every whispered word and slipping of pitch during album centrepiece Disintegrate pulls influence from the Icelandic legend’s larynx, mercilessly warped on Kayros’s whim. Sinomi’s distorted, monotonous riffs and the cry of ‘Consume my flesh!’ on Fleshworms are unlikely to make your jogging playlist despite Fong and Absense’s initial thrashing. With I-Optikon, Syk have refined their racket and applied Meshuggah’s guitar tone to amount to something other than ‘Ooh, look how clever we are.’ And it is terrifying.