Published on November 11th, 2016 | by The Beige Baron0
Review: Sithter | Chaotic Fiend
I’ve not enjoyed a metal record as thoroughly as I have Chaotic Fiend by Sithter in a very long time.
Doom is a broad church, Black Sabbath are the High Priests, and many have taken those old-school riffs in a million different directions, combining different musical elements and finding new spaces to explore within those epic structures.
It’s a headful of dirty speed, a clenched fist looking for a face to punch.
Some fans are purists, disciples of the slow and the punishing; some enjoy more progressive adventures into funk and ’70s groove.
Still others dig those slow-rolling tone waves only when it’s blended with more aggressive forms of metal and punk… think High on Fire, eyehategod, Electric Wizard, and Down.
This veteran band from Tokyo falls into the latter camp. Chaotic Fiend is crusty, vicious sludge of the highest order. It’s a headful of dirty speed, a clenched fist looking for a face to punch.
It’s less interested in reinventing the wheel than focusing down on doom’s vital heartbeat, digging for that secret ingredient that keeps fans on a never-ending search for the next Dopethrone.
The journey towards the creation of Chaotic Fiend began in 2006…
For Sithter, their journey towards the creation of Chaotic Fiend began in 2006.
“At first, I formed the band with Chie, our first bassist,” says guitarist and vocalist Hiroyuki Takano.
“Members changed for a while. Guitarist Hyo Kagawa withdrew from the band MONE\ I$ GOD, and he joined us in 2008, and our sound style settled. Then Chie withdrew to have a baby.
“Since then, we shared a bill with the band Dhidalah, and I thought their bassist Wahei Gotoh was great, so I asked him to join us. Mazda [drums] was invited through a friend.”
From start to finish, Chaotic Fiend kills.
From start to finish, Chaotic Fiend kills. Acrid fuzz, bowel-punching down-tuned bass all blown out in sickly rolls of wah.
There’s those round-the-kit fills just ahead of the beat that gets your head nodding, and the classic slow-to-fast turnarounds that lock each song into dynamically interesting groove.
Takano rips his throat out and nails it to the wall, screaming his lyrics in a spew of bad attitude. It’s no surprise he names The Sex Pistols as one of his biggest influences; Takano’s vocals definitely give the sound a crusty edge.
Of the recording process, Takano says: “We recorded the album in a studio called Noise Room. I’ve been recording there since my previous band. Coffins also use this studio. It took two days for recording, and one day for mixing work.
“We recorded drums, basses, and guitar together. After that I recorded another guitar, and finally recorded vocals.”
Together, all the elements satisfy. Guitars sometimes hover menacingly over amusingly grotesque movie or news soundbites like thunderheads carried on thermals of valve-hot air.
And there’s no filler here: even the minute-long ambient spell of Lost Flowers feels necessary, like a quick breath between body-blows, but standout songs include the ludicrously heavy Smoke Demon, with lead guitar shrieking like a circular saw on pig iron; the thrash-tinged Masque of the Black Death; and the 16-minute mind-bender Axe Massacre in Jerusalem, which finally settles on Martian soil somewhere in the region of Monster Magnet’s forgotten epic 25 Tab.
I can’t recommend this record highly enough. Top quality music that puts its own stamp on a classic form.
Grab your copy through Bonten Record on CD or digital via Bandcamp. Sithter tours Japan with Serbian doom rockers Heretic Rites and Tokyo based female-fronted doom band Magdalene Junen from November 23.
23.11.2016 Miyagi, Sendai Bird Land with Magdalene Junen, Begrabnis and more
25.11.2016 Tokyo, Higashikouenji 20000V with Magdalene Junen, King Goblin, Zothique
26.11.2016 Osaka, Sengoku-Daitoryou with Magdalene Junen, Necromantics, W.D.L.K, Hemipenis
27.11.2016 Aichi, Nagoya Sakae Red Dragon with Magdalene Junen, Vomit Monster, Viollante, Stone Banquet
29.11.2016 Kanagawa, Yokohama El Puente with Su19b, Floaters
30.11.2016 Tokyo, Shibuya Ruby Room with Khola Cosmica, Dhidalah