The Pitch: UK's Sikth follows up their fantastic comeback mini-album with a full length release through Millenium Night. Are the riffs still spectacular? Can Joe Rosser fill Justin Hill's shoes? Find out for yourself. FFO Periphery, After The Burial, Car Bomb, Within The Ruins
General Thoughts: So once more a disclaimer here: I am a huge Sikth fanboy. Many of you know this, but I want to be crystal clear that I have been forcefully jamming their sophomore album into people's earholes for the better part of a decade at this point. That said, I was curious how The Future In Whose Eyes? would turn out. I have always been of the opinion that Mikee and Justin had the perfect vocal dynamic between them, so the thought of throwing someone else into this role was a little concerning.
Overall, Joe does a fine job. It's not a HUGE leap in sound, but they don't quite have the same range and chemistry that comes with years of working together just yet. There are some highlights, however, as on "The Aura" which has some really strong writing and dynamics when it comes to both vocals and the bass guitar. Spencer of Periphery also makes a guest appearance on "Cracks of Light," though even as a fan of his work this track didn't exactly blow me away..
As for Mikee, he continues his usual Jonathan Davis-meets-mathcore-meets-performance-art trajectory. While Dan, Pin, James, and Loord make this band a technical powerhouse with their frenetic, schizoid rhythms and riffs, Mikee has always been the wildcard that makes Sikth such a unique entity. His ever-changing voice arguably rivals even that of Mike Patton. As much as I love everything that he brings to the table, I think there is a bit too much spoken word on this album. I cannot recommend "When Will The Forest Speak" enough from their debut, but the scattered prose on this album lacks the same concentrated impact. In fact, this is the first time, despite all of the melodrama over the years, that I found a few of these moments to be on the cheesy side.
Fortunately their brevity makes them only a minor detraction from the overall product. Aside from the somewhat flat "Golden Cufflinks" and sometmes silly "No Wishbones," the tracks on this album are pretty top notch. As always, the shifting guitar hooks, clanking bass grooves, and energy of the mathy drumming make for a multitextured and engaging listening experience that makes me bang my head in all sorts of unpredictable directions. It's the kind of album that makes me cower at my own meager guitar skills.
The Verdict: Not Sikth's best album, and probably a step below Opacities, but one that continues to display that even comparably average Sikth is leaps and bounds above their competition. The Future In Whose Eyes? is a fine display of technical proficiency and enjoyable material with a fresh twist on the vocals. Buy it today everywhere, STREAM IT HERE.
Flight's Fav's: Vivid, Century of the Narcissist, Weavers of Woe