Home > Music > SikTh – Death of a Dead Day (2006)

SikTh – Death of a Dead Day (2006)


Well, what do we have here? SikTh combines multiple genres in a way that would, some years later, be popularized under the name of “djent”… at least as far as I understand it. I’m sure this isn’t the earliest prototype, but it might be the first one I ever listened to, albeit not predating my various experiences with Meshuggah. Given that THAT band did much to popularize the “polyrhythmic” approach this band often uses (and further popularized), the comparisons are going to flit about like mosquitoes unless we get them out of the way.

Compared to Meshuggah and comparable to… let’s say Sybreed for academic purposes, SikTh showcases their prowess in adding melodic, poppy elements to a fairly extreme metal/core permutation. The vocalists here have that high pitched lilting peculiar to the style of pop rock (post hardcore? I don’t actually know) that substrates much of this, but they also channel a certain unnameable demented quality that makes them more effective than you might expect otherwise, especially in their harsher moments. Add that to the more obvious vocal duels, used to great effects on tracks like “Flogging the Horses” and “When the Moment’s Gone”, and you start to hook listeners where less distinct bands would fade into nothingness. Funny enough, the lyrics don’t really stand out to me, although there seems to be a lot of British-isms even considering that the band is literally from the United Kingdom.

Perhaps most important, though, is that all of this is tossed into some surprisingly elaborate compositions. These are compact songs with a lot of distinct sections. Transitions tend towards the jarring and abrupt, but I think that’s considered par for this style of music. Such has its ups and downs – when you’re going for a chaotic and dissonant effect it obviously is going to work to your favor, but this is SikTh! More often than not, they’re trying to attract listeners with their big choruses and solos as much as with the anti-melodic, chromatic, heavily offbeat riffs. Sometimes, if you want to be accessible, you need to be a bit more coherent than some of these songs end up. As a listener who doesn’t exactly want most musicians to make concessions, I tend to prefer the underorganized and occasionally somewhat random material on here to more obvious songwriting ideas. Even then, that’s not an absolute, and the band deserves some commendation for making their fusion work.

Like the last post, Death of a Dead Day was a relatively early listen (late 2009/early 2010) chosen because it filled niches in my music player that hadn’t quite been explored. I even made a fan-video of sorts for it involving Dwarf Fortress,  but it was glitchy and weird at best, and not in a marketable way. Very different days, those.

Highlights: “Bland Street Bloom”, “Summer Rain”, “When The Moment’s Gone”, “Part of the Friction”

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