Foreword: This review was written at the time of the EP release and posted on Amazon.
Getting back together as a band after a long time away is always an interesting move. Fans are looking for the band to pick up where they left off, as if they hadn’t been away, while the band members have aged and need to get to know one another musically once more. In 2014 when Watford’s SikTh announced their return, fans were delighted. But what did they expect from new material?
I’ll be honest and say that on both full length releases I felt the band were guilty of scratching around for extra songs to fill out the format and there was always some material that could happily be cut. Less is more when it comes to Sikth. “Opacities” picks up stylistically where the band left off “Death Of A Dead Day”, with tech-metal and nods to Mathcore and DJent. The reassuring growled chorus on opener “Behind The Doors” confirm that the band haven’t lost what we loved about them. Brutal breakdowns and epic closing on “Under The Weeping Moon” is a true piece of genius. Spoken word track “Tokyo Lights” serves to split the EP into two halves and act as an introduction to “Walking Shadows” which shares the same spoken line tone in its post choruses. This may have been better served as the first two songs on the EP rather than mid-way as “Tokyo Lights” does break up the flow of the release even if it is a perfect partner for “Walking Shadows”. Closer “Days Are Dreamed” is highlighted by Abi Fry’s Viola playing skills which serve to lift the song’s industrial overtones. Saving the most epic of the songs until last, with lyrics more like poetry than song. 27 minutes of magic from a highly influential band who seemed to have disappeared as fast as they appeared. Hopefully this is the start of phase two rather than just a final flurry. [8/10]
Note: “Opacities” became the forerunner for “The Future In Whose Eyes?” With many ideas appearing on it being fleshed out.