Darkness Died Today
21 April 2014
by Pete Long
If something looks, swims and quacks like a duck, then it sure as hell has a lot of duck-like qualities, regardless of whether it actually is said bird or not. In similar vein, when you get most of Acrimony in a band – Stu O’Hara, Paul Bidmead and Darren Ivey – it’s probably going to sound pretty good. You feel safe expecting something a bit heavy, a bit groovy. There’s a lot to live up to with Acrimony’s legacy, even with a new name, even with an album already released under that name.
Sigiriya’s Darkness Died Today lives up to these expectations.
Since the release of 2011’s Return to Earth, Sigiriya have lost Dorian Walters and replaced his vocals with those of Matt Williams. Darkness Died Today was written around Williams’ talents and that decision has paid off in spades. He’s got a soulful, slightly hoarse voice and Sigiriya have written an album laden with infectious groove to match it. From the opening, anticipation-building riff of ‘Dragging the Bones’, to the dreamy, sorta Jesu-esque outro of ‘Sleeping with the Dogs’, the entire EP is very, very catchy. It is as open an invitation to bang your head as you’re likely to receive all year.
There’s also the odd hint of psychedelica – a slight sense of otherness – that’ll please old Acrimony fans. Just listen to that brief solo in ‘Tribes of the Old Oak’. It’s one of the many touches that keeps the album feeling fresh and varied, like the folky intro of ‘Guided by Mountains’, or the slow end of ‘Return to Earth’. But the core of the EP remains its stoner riffs, in turns both feral and monolithic, or sometimes both as in ‘Godspeeder’. It is as heavy as it is accessible, thanks to the magic of O’Hara’s riffs, driven irrepressibly onwards by the rhythm section of Bidmead and Ivey.
In fact, there’s something irrepressible about the whole thing. Darkness Died Today sounds nothing like so much as four very talented guys having a huge amount of fun. The result is a record that invites you stick it on, take your intoxicant(s) of choice and then maybe play it again afterwards.
Sounds Like: The catchiest stoner rock this side of the next reality
Standout Tracks: Dragging the Bones, Tribes of the Old Oak, Godspeeder