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Friday, 9 June 2017

Reviews: SikTh, Antichrist, Tombs (Review By Rich)

SikTh: The Future In Whose Eyes (Millennium Night)

British progressive metallers SikTh return with their eagerly anticipated third album The Future In Whose Eyes? their first in eleven years! I remember when SikTh released their debut album back in 2003 and it was a mind blowing piece of music sounding like absolutely nothing else at the time. SikTh released one more album before splitting up. In their inactive years they massively influenced bands who would go on to form the current djent scene. SikTh finally returned in 2013 and released an EP in 2015. Back to present day and album number three and the big question is does it meet expectations? The answer is a resounding yes.

The elements of previous SikTh releases are all on display - insane technical playing, crazy time signatures and rhythms and huge soaring melodies but their sound is a bit more refined and dare I say it mainstream leaning this time round. The musicianship on display throughout this album is absolutely jawdropping. This is also the debut of new vocalist Joe Rosser who puts in a fine performance. There are a few pointless moments throughout the album such as the three atmospheric spoken word tracks which detract from the rest of the album and end up an annoying distraction especially when there are three of them. Overall though SikTh have released a fine comeback album which will please all their old fans and hopefully gain the band a whole legion of new ones. 8/10

Antichrist: Sinful Birth (Electric Assault Records)

Sometimes you hear a band who are so far up your street that you are kicking yourself that you have never heard them before. Antichrist are such a band. These Swedish blackened thrashers have struck gold with their second album Sinful Birth and fans of old school thrash and early black metal are gonna absolutely love it. Antichrist sound like they have been magically transported from 1985 to present day. This is pure old school worship of the highest order bowing at the altar of bands such as Slayer, Celtic Frost, Possessed, Venom and Bathory. This is blackened thrash metal straight out of the gates of Hell with a sound that combines speed, ferocity and technicality but which is absolutely dripping with evil. 

It is impossible not to throw your horns and bang your head to such vicious tunes such as Savage Mutilations, Burned Beyond Recognition and Fall Of The Temple Of Soloman. In Sinful Birth Antichrist have crafted an album which what it lacks in originality more than makes up for in songwriting, playing and sheer enthusiasm. Minor criticisms would be that there is a lack of variation throughout the album and instrumental Chernobyl 1986 maybe goes on a little bit too long but these criticisms are pale compared to the moments where the album really shines. Essential listening for fans of nasty old school metal. 9/10

Tombs: The Grand Annihilation (Metal Blade)

New York black metallers Tombs strike back with their fourth album of bleak and misanthropic black metal the suitably titled 'The Grand Annihilation'. Tombs have always been a band to push boundaries and experiment within the realm of black metal and The Grand Annihilation is no exception taking cues from doom metal, post-metal and gothic rock.

 There is also far more of a straight black metal sound to this album as well with some of the most straightforward and hooky songwriting and riffs that Tombs have committed to tape so far. The vocals by frontman Mike Hill add layers of dread and malevolence to the proceedings ranging from throaty black metal screams, menacing clean vocals to mighty roars. Overall this is a mighty fine record which evokes darkness, despair and the horrors of humanity. At a time when it truly feels like the world is going to Hell this is the perfect soundtrack. 8/10

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