SikTh at Academy 1
In a relatively short space of time at the start of this millennium, SikTh went from a new band heralding from Watford to having two heavily influential albums and overall becoming one of the pioneers of the technical metal movement; especially the younger “djent” style of progressive metal we see becoming ever popular within the contemporary world of metal.
How did they manage to achieve this? In a similar way that you could argue Meshuggah did this. With a wild flurry of technical riffs, pounding drums and a vocal style that was all unheard of they carried the torch, lit the fuse and ran away from what they had started by taking a hiatus in 2007. Since SikTh all sorts of bands such as Protest The Hero, Periphery, Monuments, the list is endless. The technical metal genre and community is thriving now more than ever, especially amongst the younger fans. But these younger fans who have found out about SikTh through extensive internet researching who love the band never thought they’d have the chance to see them live.
This all changed in December 2013 when it was announced that SikTh were getting back together for a one off show at Download 2014 and then another to headline at Tech-Fest the following year. This enticed a lot of people to go and check out these once in a lifetime time shows, including myself. After the success of these shows it was announced that SikTh would be doing a headline tour of the UK and needless to say excitement amongst the community was through the roof.
The room was filled with a very mixed crowd, it was plain to see who had seen SikTh before and who had not by the age gap, but the one thing keeping everyone together was the anticipation for what the crowd were about to witness.
Taking to the stage and opening with arguably their most famous song Bland Street Bloom they set the tone to the evening; it was a night of celebration. From the moment they took the stage the entire venue erupted like a bunch of kids in a candy store, albeit a candy store of technical proficiency and madness.
The riffs from Manchester’s own Graham “Pin” Pinney and Dan Weller were frantic and full of energy, it’s difficult to take your eyes off their fretboards all night but with someone surfing over the crowd every minute and a room with as much energy as their riffs it’s easy to be distracting with the simple task of having a big tasty mosh.
One thing that has always stood out for SikTh for me personally is outstanding bass lines that really back the madness of the music very well but also take on a mind of their own and this was ever present this evening through songs such as Scent of The Obscene.
With two vocalists fronting the band it’s easy for one vocalist to look a bit lost on stage whilst the other is doing their job. This isn’t the case for the SikTh boys. The atmosphere makes it so easy for the vocalists to be on stage belting out their lyrics with such power and ease as every other voice in the room screams along from the heart. This was made present as Mikee Goodman takes the microphone and screams “FLOG.GING. THE HORSES” from the top of his voice.
The night was a night to remember for all involved as the band ploughed through their setlist firing out classic from their monumental repertoire such as Peep Show and Pussyfoot. Many people including myself did not think they would ever get to see such an influential and legendary band live. Leaving the venue and making my way home I was pinching myself to make sure that this had really happened. A night of celebration and a message that show the boys in SikTh, who have been asked to get back together since they stopped in 2007, were correct when they said they would reform when the moment felt right. They were on top form and it’s exciting to see what is next for the technical metal legends.
Words: Mike Lewis | Photos: Lucy Lamb