‘Darkness Died Today’
Candlelight Records (21 April 2014)
From the furthest reaches of the cosmos, Sigiriya’s second album ‘Darkness Died Today’ crashes into the verdant, mist-wreathed mountains of Wales with the force of a meteorite, sending rock and stone arcing through the air and shockwaves around the world. From the Swansea-sized crater left behind rise Stu, Mead and Darren, all formerly of the posthumously-revered UK stoner metal icons Acrimony, as well as new singer Matt ‘Pipes’ Williams, who adds a dollop of honey to a recipe that the band had perfected on their acclaimed 2011 debut ‘Return To Earth’.
Sigiriya represent all that is great about cider-fuelled, beard-swinging heavy metal – energy, power, personality, creativity and MASSIVE riffs. This is focused, clear-headed and hard-hitting stuff, and the album flows and rumbles at a majestic medium pace. Unlike the old Acrimony days, there are no stoner excesses; the tracks are relatively short and punchy, never getting bogged down. Bassist Mead told DoomMetalHeaven recently that the band don’t really want the ‘stoner ‘ tag at all.
Sigiriya defy straightforward genre classification – there are elements of good old Monster Magnet and the space-faring madness of Hawkwind, plus some vintage 70s rock, a bit of southern groove, some blues, some classic metal and lots of colossal, colourful doom. The eight songs on this new release mix melody and menace, and Sigiriya demonstrate a mature craftsmanship by carefully balancing light and darkness. The light is delicate and thoughtful, the darkness thundering and overwhelming.
Sublime riffs sprout like fungus on the trunk of an ancient oak, as if Sigiriya have found a way of tapping into some great river of metal, irrigating their fertile musical landscape. The hefty guitar tones are rich and warm, as if freshly dug from the damp, dark soil, while the bass is as thick as an X Factor contestant and the drums pulsate with a rhythm as old and natural as the planet’s oceanic tides. Blending brilliantly with Sigiriya’s monolithic sound, newcomer Williams unleashes a classy, soulful rock’n’roll snarl with a range, timbre and delivery similar to Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell.
Sigiriya’s gigantic choruses, impossibly catchy riffs and monstrously heavy sound make ‘Darkness Died Today’ a must-have for all fans of stoner/space/doom metal – and metal in general. It’s an album that was conceived in the outer edges of the galaxy, but musically it has an earthy, grounded simplicity, which allows the band’s songwriting know-how and expert musicianship to shine through.
After three years away, Sigiriya have returned to Earth with a stunning new album. On their travels through space and time, they picked up a new singer and a suitcase full of preposterously awesome riffs. Few bands create such a floor-splitting cacophony live, and instant classics such as ‘Tribe Of The Old Oak’ and ‘Return To Earth’ will absolutely destroy when Sigiriya hit the road. ‘Darkness Died Today’ is sure to be one of the biggest underground hits of 2014 – it is immense!
*Artwork by Jimbob Isaac of HARK.