Released: 2014, Candlelight Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
According to their bio, Sigiriya is a Welsh based "heavy metal life-force" that rose from the ashes of psychedelic doom merchants Acrimony. In 2012, Church Within Records (Germany) released the full length album, ‘Return To Earth’ with much critical acclaim. Now in 2014 Candlelight Records has released "Darkness Died Today", a sweet piece of stoner/dirt rock n' groove greatness!
Sigiriya (Lion Rock - pronounced see-gee-ree-yah) is an ancient palace located in the central Matale District in Sri Lanka. The Lion Rock is a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. A king in ancient times built his palace on the top of this rock, about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The palace was also reportedly used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. The band emits a tectonic rocken vibe and they do their name justice!
"Darkness Died Today" has a lean and mean 70's heavy rock sound which was harnessed by recording live onto analogue tape at Sonic One with Tim Hamill. The mixing was done by Andrew Schneider (Shrine builder, Scissor fight, Big Business…) and finally, it was mastered by Richard Whittaker. In addition to the solid recording team, Sigiriya has also added a new vocalist, Matt ‘Pipes’ Williams.
So, what does this band sound like? I hadn't heard of them prior to this review, but I can tell you that after the first spin, I'm a fan. Matt Williams brings a strong Dave Wyndorf (Monster Magnet) feel with his vocal delivery, and the guitars hook you with a COC/Sasquatch/Dozer fuzzy chug groove. Of the many stoner/sludge bands I enjoy, these guys are pedigree. They deliver respectable harmonies, sweet tempo changes and true craftsmanship shines out though a thick smoky haze that penetrates every track on this record. I really appreciate that they stretch their sound into more jammy realms and take you to places that Clutch frequents on many of their more experimental tunes.
My biggest complaint is that they only included 8 songs on "Darkness Died Today". They captured a sonic ebb and flow that left me wanting to hear more of the magic they created with this top notch release. The only tune that traveled off course is "Sleeping With The Dogs". Otherwise, every other song is worthy of your time.
I'm always on the lookout for the next dirty retro stoner rock band to claim they are the new kings of the genre. Sigiriya are lions among men and "Darkness Died Today" bellows a roar that has the power to move mountains. If you dig on this genre of rock/metal, than you must listen and support this righteous powerhouse of a band!
Review by Buck Dingo