With new label Candlelight Records, and new vocalist Matt Williams’ gruff welsh voice leading the line, Sigiriya’s second record packs an almighty punch of chugging riffs and powerful songwriting to continue the legacy of these heavy rocking Welshmen.
After UK stoner legends Acrimony called it a day, the members formed the original line up of Sigiriya and released the record Return To Earth in 2011, but with a change of vocalist, the band are intent on leaving the past at home and stepping into a new world of hard rock masterclasses. Opening with the ferocious ‘Dragging The Bones’, the album kicks off exactly how it means to go on, fast, heavy riffs with an organised songwriting style which welcomes rather than alienates. That could be said to a lot of the tracks here, whether it’s the husky vocals of Matt Williams or just the direction the band are looking to take, they have created a much more accessible and commercial sound which does take a few listens to fully understand, but it’s a courageous ride once you’re on board.
There are plenty of references to their old band Acrimony in the music on offer here as is evident on ‘Return To Earth’ with its doomy opening followed by trudging stoner bass lines and lyrics revolving around atmosphere and meteors, it’s certainly the album’s most skull-crunching moment. Even the track ‘Godspeeder’ is basically sped up stoner riffs, which is as good as it sounds. The band have some truly cascading moments, In ‘Freedom Engines’ the vocals and guitars build so much it’s a surprise that the speakers don’t collapse in on themselves, and ‘Tribe Of The Old Oak’ is just a mirage of thick heavy waves of riffs that is a sheer joy to tackle.
When the past and line-up shifts have all been put to one side, Darkness Died Today proves itself to simply be just a great heavy rock record, full of riffs, mighty husky vocals and even the odd sing-along moment. The artwork is even done by fellow Welshman, and frontman of Hark, Jimbob Isaac!
What’s not to love?