Review: Sigiriya – Darkness Died Today

Location: Swansea, Wales
Genre: Stoner Metal
Released: April 21, 2014
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: Global Conquest – Recent Releases

By: Kris Kotlarik

Original stoner bands that provide something new to the genre are hard to come by, especially on a consistent basis. If there is one genre in the metal world that has more than likely played itself out over time, it’s probably this one. I’m not seeing any symphonic stoner metal bands launching. If you do find one, though, please feel free to shoot me an email.

Whenever I hear new stoner metal albums, the goal is to pick off bits and pieces that stand out, and the second effort from Sigiriya does have some moments that stand out to me. Vocals are another point of interest here; they don’t have the stereotypical hoarse timbre that can be expected from this genre. They have more of a mainstream rock vibe, and although I can’t place a specific band on them, it doesn’t have the god-awful nasally backing vocals of Avenged Sevenfold, nor the wannabe tough guy screams of Five Finger Death Punch. So we can be thankful for that.

While much of this doesn’t stand out, there are two fantastic tracks. “Godspeeder” goes beyond the rest of the mid-tempo songs on here and gets really heavy towards the end. It features the only section of double bass drumming, and Matt “Pipes” Williams busts out some especially powerful lines. The other winner is “Freedom Engines,” which starts slowly and is driven by a tom beat on drums. It builds up and becomes a heavier, mid-tempo track. The only problem is that the vocals are extremely repetitive, but the solid guitar work makes up for it.

Some other tracks have interesting moments; “Return To Earth” has a bass riff that is crunchier than whatever it is these guys are smoking; “Tribe Of The Old Oak” has a good, lengthy instrumental section; and Guided By Mountains boasts a solo with more distortion than you can shake a stick at. Closer “Sleeping Like The Dogs” starts in a rather uninteresting way but gains some momentum as it goes on, with an unexpected string ending. There aren’t any “bad” songs, but many of them feel like rehashes of other stoner metal material. As far as rehashes go, it’s good, but it’s not what I’m looking for.

Overall: More songs like “Freedom Engines” and “Godspeeder” would put this in the 4.0 range.

Rating: 3.0*

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