Welcome back to The Wednesday Sludge!
Another treat from across the pond (but just a tab bit further), today I’m here to introduce you to Tokyo’s Sithter!
I reviewed this record independently when it came my way through the email box, and really had no idea what to expect. As far as my experience listening to music from Asia before Sithter, I could only count the numerous anime songs I’ve heard, along with nü-metal band Maximum the Hormone. Sithter isn’t just one of the best bands from the continent (next to grind gods Wormrot), but one of the best discoveries I’ve made in years. Chaotic Fiend (Bonten) was a 2016 release that deserves so much attention for being absolutely sinister as fuck. Sithter take strong influence from sludge legends such as Eyehategod, and while that sound is pretty noticeable here, the band attains another level of thick churn and grunge. Throughout the album the band mixes in their core use of sludge alongside elements of doom, punk, and psychedelic to create some of the best hypnotizing and dirty jams.
Chaotic Fiend has so much going for it in the sense of all the “different sludge sounds” at play. Songs like “I Drink Your Blood” are ripping punk-groove jams that ride on with a sweet churn. On the other side of that you have “Masque of The Black Death” that brings the sound back to a molasses draw with each note, layering in a doom atmosphere and nihilistic air. The track eventually slides into that punk-groove and lets loose with adrenaline towards the end.
“Punisher #13” is one of the faster tracks on this album, taking off like a sporadic and dangerous heart rate. There are solid drum fills and guitar riffs brimming with bright and sour sounds. “Chaotic Fiend” has a whirlwind of an intro with distortion and noise, all leading into this savage and groove laden delivery. “Smoke Demon” brings in a hazy distortion that hits physically; sonic waves and sound build on this effect to craft a song with a pure hypnotic sense.
Rarely in the world of heavy music do I find anything that has an “evil” ring to it (everyone is trying to be as fucking loud as the last band you know). Sithter has a dirty underbelly to it though, the right element of degenerate that is both sound and aura. Listening to this record makes me wish I could add songs from it to the soundtrack of such films as Ichi the Killer and Oldboy, because just like those two films… this music is gritty and grimy as hell!
I personally can find no fault in this record. Beyond falling in love with the music of Sithter and Chaotic Fiend, it also makes me realize how much fucking awesome music comes from all around the world. If you are interested in checking out more work from the band, look into their previous work The Last Temptation EP and full length Evilfucker. Also, since this is such a great as hell record, consider buying it over on the band’s Bandcamp. Keep an eye out for their work to come, and let’s hope we can get these guys to tour the states sometime in the near future!