Review Summary: Nine to five ain't the same in the wild...
Don't forget to smile!
It is possible, though not explicitly clear, that the length of SikTh's new mini-album Opacities
is a rumination upon its major theme – that of shortening attention spans, convenience and instant gratification. It is the phenomenon that has led to six seconds being the maximum length of a Facebook video that the average person can be bothered to watch; to eBooks and .pdfs of entire comic book series'; to the expectation that online articles and reviews should start with a snappy and often barely relevant line to hook the reader in – just quote a cool lyric and you usually got this in the bag.
The most impressive thing about SikTh's two full-lengths was how they managed to drag songs out to five minutes and beyond while sticking to an almost breakneck pace in their whirlwind of screams, yells, growls, mumbles, scats, soaring cleans and hyper-technical music. Opacities
absolutely still sounds like the half-human half-cyborg brainchild of aliens with British accents, but manages to does so in a refreshingly concise manner.
It is when "Tokyo Lights" kicks in that SikTh fans will really start feeling at home. The third in a series of spoken-word tracks by singer Mikee Goodman, following "When Will the Forest Speak?" and "Mermaid Slur", "Tokyo Lights" feels like an extension of – even improvement upon – an essential facet of SikTh's unique style. There is no better indication of Opacities
' message than the way the world of "Tokyo Lights", one full of neon and chrome and synesthesia, contrasts with the one Mikee was immersed in now twelve years ago when writing The Trees Are Dead and Dried Out...
- one of mysterious and unfathomable nature, yetis and monkeys and millennial skies. SikTh claim in "Philistine Philosophies" to have "watched the golden age digitally decay", and they have a few choice words about the neon-lit nightmare that they see in its place.