Sikth (also typeset as SikTh) are a British progressive metal band from Watford, Hertfordshire, England. They are considered to be a key influence to the djent movement within progressive metal, alongside Meshuggah.
Early days (1999-2002):
SikTh formed in late 1999, but consolidated their line-up in March 2001. That line-up consisted of dual vocalists Mikee Goodman and Justin Hill, guitarists Dan Weller and Graham Pinney, bassist James Leach and drummer/percussionist Dan Foord.
Their first official release was an EP titled Let the Transmitting Begin. Released in 2002, it featured three tracks, as well as a limited edition live CD from the BBC Radio 1 recordings of the same songs.
The band's first release for Gut Records was an EP titled How May I Help You? Released in 2002, it featured three tracks, two of which were on the band's debut album. A video for the song "(If You Weren't So) Perfect" was also contained. The song "How May I Help You?" contained a story about a person called Rodney. The song was made into an animated video, which was written, directed and produced by Mikee Goodman. It went on to win the best video award in The Big Cheese Magazine, as well as reaching number 1 on MTV UK, and being an A-list video on MTV Asia.
Debut album (2003-2005):
SikTh's debut album The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild was released on 18 August 2003 through Gut Records. The album was produced by the band themselves, along with Andrew Scarth. Mixing duties were handled by Colin Richardson. Two singles were released from the album in "Scent of the Obscene" (October) and "Peep Show" (December). The album has sold approximately 30,000 copies in the UK, Japan and Australia.
In support of the album, Sikth performed at Download Festival at Donington Park in 2003. The band subsequently traveled to Japan in 2004, firstly supporting Anthrax and Killswitch Engage, then playing at the Fuji Rock Festival in August with Lou Reed, PJ Harvey and Primus. Also in 2004, the band made an appearance at the debut Fuse Leeds festival of cross-disciplinary New Music, at the personal invitation of festival curator Django Bates (they played a support slot to Bates' own jazz ensemble on the closing night of the festival).
Second album (2006-2007):
The band returned in 2006 with their second full-length album Death of a Dead Day. It was released in the UK on 26 June 2006 on their new label Bieler Bros. Records. It was earlier released in the US on 6 June. The album entered the UK album charts at number 55. The album was once again produced by the band themselves, with mixing duties handled by Matt LaPlant.
In support of the album, SikTh performed a show at The White Horse in High Wycombe, the venue of their first ever gig, on 6 June 2006 and at the Download Festival 2006 four days later, as well as short UK tour.
An EP titled Flogging the Horses was released in October 2006, featuring demo versions from Death of a Dead Day tracks, as well as a remix version of "Where Do We Fall?". The track "Each Other and Ourselves" was also included, which was a bonus track on the Japanese version of the album. The EP was limited to just 1,500 copies.
Departure of vocalists and hiatus (2007-2013):
On 8 May 2007, it was announced that vocalists Mikee Goodman and Justin Hill would be leaving the band at the conclusion of the July 2007 "The Black Summer Starts Here" UK tour set, due to their ongoing projects and producing careers.Mikee Goodman's and Justin Hill's final performance in SikTh was at the Carling Academy, Islington, London on 14 September 2007 (this was a rescheduled show).
On 27 May 2008, SikTh announced that the band had decided to split due to numerous factors. The main reasons cited for their breakup was the inability to find a replacement for Mikee and Justin, as well as commitment to other projects. The following statement was issued via the bands MySpace;
"R.I.P. SIKTH 2001-2008. It deeply saddens the four of us to announce that we are closing the book on SIKTH... it's time to split up. A combination of factors have driven us to make this decision. We want to assure you that if it were viable for us to carry on - we would. We are so proud of all that we have achieved as Sikth and we have agreed to work together again in the future. we are currently involved in new projects so keep checking our personal pages for announcements. And finally, we owe such huge and sincere thanks to all of you for listening to our music and enabling us to live our dream. We know we have left you in the dark lately and we are sorry for that., ,
Your loyalty will never be forgotten. Dan, James, Dan, Pin."
During their period of hiatus the band was rediscovered by underground artists involved in the djent movement, with notable musicians in the scene such as Misha Mansoor of Periphery stating that SikTh were a major influence. This caused the band's popularity to climb, even though they had been defunct for some time by this point.
On January 15, 2012, an official SikTh Facebook Page was created by the band in order to reissue and sell SikTh merchandise. On the 20th the band confirmed;
"Calls for a reunion are amazing, thanks. Of course we want to, we've never said other wise. It will happen when the time is right. There will be another SikTh record and it will be our best, that's a promise. It took us the best part of two years to complete the writing of DOADD so I guess you'll have to be patient. Besides, there's a bucket load of riffs that we wrote for album three still sat there so we'll have a head start next time. And to clarify... when the time is right!"
The band also stated that when they do reform, it won't be "for the wrong reasons" and that "we owe it to our fans to produce something very special when we return." Mikee later elaborated on the possible reunion;
"I have said in many interviews of recent day, and still do today. Once SikTh reunite. I'm there. I look forward to that. But, until that happens. I have to make other music."
On 16 December 2013 it was revealed in a surprise announcement that SikTh were to be playing a reunion set at Download Festival 2014, headlining the Red Bull stage. This was the band's first live performance since 2007 and their first appearance at Download Festival since 2006. On 25 March, they were also announced to be headlining October's Euroblast festival in Cologne, Germany. On 13 June 2014, SikTh announced a full autumn UK tour via their Facebook page running through October and November. SikTh have also been announced to play UK Tech-Metal Festival as the main headliner on the 14th of June 2014. They were also main headliner of Silence Festival V in Nepal October 17-18, 2014,sharing same stage where Enigmatik, Vader, Textures and Behemoth had headlined before.
SikTh's style of music is hard to categorize and as they incorporate many different elements of metal, rock and hardcore. They are commonly categorized as progressive metal due to their unorthodox approach, as well as avant-garde metal and mathcore due to the complex nature of their instrumental playing abilities and the regular inclusion of dissonance into their music.
"Energy has always inspired us," says guitarist Dan Weller, "things that really get you pumping. We play extreme music, sure, but in the sense that we go to all extremes. If something sounds good, then we'll do it, and that includes beautiful, melodic music, which we all love, too". "But," stresses fellow guitarist Pin, "we're always concerned with the quality of the tune; just writing crazy music isn't enough, and I think that's what makes us different from other bands who go really technical. We're definitely writing songs."
In a review for SikTh's second album Death of a Dead Day, DecoyMusic.com described the band's style as containing elements of "speed metal, progressive metal, thrash, nu metal, metalcore, and cock-rock". The website Drowned in Sound "sees the band come across like a heady America-friendly mix of Dillinger Escape Plan's feather-fingered guitar contorting melded with Korn's manipulated rhythms, thundering through the bizarre nuances of System of a Down".
In a review for the band's debut album The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild, MusicOMH.com described the album as containing "guttural throaty vocals mixed with harmonized melodies, viciously rhythmic drumming which instantly metamorphosises into elaborate percussion, and haunting atmospheric piano interludes which sit superbly between slices of metal brutality". In the early days of the band, Goodman once described their sound as "scatcore", a reference to their fast-jabbering scat style of singing.
Tours and festivals:
2000 - UK Tour with Sanctum.,
2001 - UK Tour with Dead Life Portrait.,
2002 - UK Tour supporting American Head Charge.,
2003 - UK Tour supporting Mad Capsule Markets.,
2003 - UK Tour supporting Mudvayne.,
2003 - Download Festival 2003 at Donington Park, 3rd stage.,
2003 - Europe Tour supporting Machine Head.,
2004 - UK Headline Tour With Akercocke and Hondo Maclean,
2004 - Ireland tour with Akercocke and Labrat.,
2004 - Japanese tour supporting Anthrax & Killswitch Engage.,
2004 - Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.,
2004 - UK tour supporting Pitchshifter.,
2006 - Fury Fest in France.,
2006 - French headline tour.,
2006 - Barfly/Jägermeister UK tour in March/April.,
2006 - Album release show on 6 June, High Wycombe.,
2006 - Download Festival 2006, 2nd stage.,
2006 - Death of a Dead Day UK Headline tour supported by Dead Man in Reno & Architects.,
2007 - Death of a Week Day UK tour in July.,
2007 - Final show before split at the Islington Carling Academy in London on Friday 14 September.,
2014 - Headlined the Red Bull Stage at Download Festival on Saturday 14 June.,
2014 - Silence Festival in Nepal on 18 October.,
2015 - BIG69 Festival in Mumbai, India, 18 January,
Members and other work:
Sikth have retained the same line-up throughout their career, which is as follows:
Mikee Goodman - Vocals,
Alongside producing and vocal coaching, Goodman is a member of Primal Rock Rebellion, featuring Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith and Sikth drummer Dan Foord. Mikee's first project after Sikth was The Painted Smiles and appeared on the tracks 'Dark Matter' by This Is Menace and 'Sleep Street' by Cyclamen. He also sings/screams on Deathembers EP "A Thousand Flatlines" track 4 "The Linear Act". His latest musical project is the band Outpatients, a "male and female dual vocal, experimental, electronic/rock/metal band".
Justin Hill - Vocals,
Justin featured on the track Predisposed from the 2006 album No End in Sight, then returned the favour on Return The Favour from the 2007 album The Scene Is Dead by This Is Menace, Dreams Without Courage from the 2007 album Entities by Malefice and Distance from the 2013 album Severance by Heart of a Coward. Justin also works as a producer.
Dan Weller - Guitar, Piano,
Weller is currently the guitarist of In Colour, which features TesseracT vocalist Daniel Tompkins. Weller produced Enter Shikari's 3rd album, A Flash Flood of Colour, and assisted in the production of their 2nd album Common Dreads. He has also produced two albums by the band Young Guns. Dan wrote the music alongside co-writer, Ciaran Cahill (who plays keyboards alongside him in In Colour) for Transmission Impossible with Ed & Oucho on the BBC.
Graham "Pin" Pinney - Guitar,
Pin is currently a member of the progressive metal band Aliases 1, who are signed to Basick Records. They have released one EP, Safer Than Reality, and are currently working on a full length album. He also is a guitar teacher.
James Leach - Bass,
James teaches bass and is Gallows' drum tech. He is also rumoured to be a member of the hardcore punk supergroup The Hell. James also played bass for Pure Love's live shows on their 2014 farewell tour.
Dan "Loord" Foord - Drums/Percussion,
Loord has performed session work for the bands Primal Rock Rebellion, Sol Invicto and The HAARP Machine.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license