SIKTH — The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait For Something Wild (review)

SIKTH — The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait For Something Wild album cover Album · 2003 · Metalcore Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Conor Fynes
'The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild' - Sikth (7/10)

There is alot to be said about Sikth, a band from the UK that is now defunct. Although they fit into a particular sound of music that I have rarely been attracted to, I've been lately infatuated with their incredibly chaotic sound and adventurous musicianship. Although their second album would perfect their work, the verbosely titled debut brings a distinctive melange of styles to the table. 'The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild' is quite a mouthful, and way do well to describe the feeling the music gets across. Sporting some of the best musicianship modern progressive metal has seen in the new millennium, Sikth balance off their jackhammer instrumentation with incredibly quirky left-of-centre compsoitions, and creates an aggressive piece of math metal that often flirts with the avant- garde.

I will say first that Sikth's music is not for everyone. In fact, most people will find the incredibly dense and diverse style that they play to be virtually impenetrable.Sikth's first fit into a label will likely be 'mathcore', sharing the same out of control style and screamed vocals that The Dillinger Escape Plan and Protest The Hero use. This is a style that I have historically found inconsistent at best, and distasteful at worst, but I've been proven here that there is gold in every mound. Of the two albums that Sikth put out when they were still together, this is the more mathcore-based, and less melodic of the two pieces. However, the sense of sporadic shifts and diversity is here in full. 'The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild' introduces the band's style in all its glory. There is intensely technical musicianship that rivals many of prog metal's most inventive acts. The most challenging aspect of this band however, are their vocals. With two vocalists, it's granted that there will be some more diversity to the voices here than is usual for band, but the vocal element goes all across the board. From nutty shrieks and high-pitched screams to clean singing, growls and avant-garde spoken word poetry, it's as if Sikth hired the local asylum for the criminally insane's house choir, told them to patch together some lyrics, and deliver them in whatever way they see fit. It's strange, and the pieces do not always fit together, but it keeps things wildly interesting.

'The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild' is a very ambitious effort, but some ideas are taken far beyond where they should have stopped. 'Tupelo' and 'Can't We All Dream?' are a perfect example of this, taking an altogether sixteen minute respite from the chaos to build up a couple of odd vocal ideas. Although 'Tupelo' succeeds in conveying an eerie tribal feeling, the following track ends up becoming irritating long before the end. Hearing the track title shouted countless times after the music ends would have been a disappointing end to the album, but to make it worse, it's lodged in the middle of it. Through this, 'The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild' has a fairly weak sense of flow to it, and even feels like it should have ended much earlier than it does. 'Death Of A Dead Day' is superior in virtually every way, but as debuts go, SIkth gives a remarkable experience here. It's a shame that we will only ever hear two albums from them, because there is not a band that has a sound just like theirs.
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