Sunday, 17 February 2008

Sika Redem - Entheogen

Sika Redem are a sadly underappreciated band from Coventry. Their schizophrenic, cathartic yet beautiful sound could be broadly generalised as screamo, but there’s so many different elements to take note of in their music that it’s quite hard to tell. While it fuses together so many different influences, never once does Entheogen sound contrived or, indeed, anything less than unique. There is a broad sonic range on display here: the epic album opener “The October Bird of Death” showcases Sika Redem’s capabilities perhaps better than any other track here, an impressively seamless flow from jarring discordance to inventive mellow guitar-tapping; from furious screamo to enormous epic climaxes. ‘Mr. Hunk’, ‘The Race From Hominid To Star Flight’ and ‘Shields’ sound, to throw some lazy journo metaphors out there, somewhat like Off Minor teaming up with Mogwai to fend off Isis at their most colossal. Their noodling post-rock guitar lines are juxtaposed with towering walls of almighty noise. ‘Euglena’ and ‘Proud Sons of a Magnanimous Land’, meanwhile, show that they also have the art of short bursts of cathartic screamo-meets-mathcore firmly under their belts. Sika Redem’s sense for the epic is, opening track aside, most noticeable in ‘The Protagonist Fails, The Pugilist Falls’ and ‘Stretching for the Zenith’, two sprawling, gargantuan tracks that reward attentive listening immensely. Tommy Jones’ vocals also display an impressive range, flitting from impassioned, abrasive screams and desperate yelps to ethereal crooning. Browsing the lyric sheet only makes things more involving – Entheogen is a complex, compelling album brimming with emotion. The production, done by Magnus Lindberg (most notable for his involvement with Cult of Luna), is also of note – it sounds enormous,s yet distinctly unpolished, a raw titan of an album. This review makes Entheogen sound frankly all over the place, but that is simply because it is hard to describe the sound without resorting to lazy comparisons. It is a very coherent and unique-sounding record, each song carrying with it a distinct sound that could only be attributed to Sika Redem themselves, whilst displaying an impressive amount of invention and variety. Don’t miss out, immerse yourself in their chaotic, dizzying wonderland – it’s a trip that you won’t forget.

Download three tracks from this album here.

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