Sidious: Revealed in Profane Splendour

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Sidious: Revealed in Profane Splendour
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Sidious: Revealed in Profane Splendour
Symphonic Black Metal, Death Metal
Kaotoxin Records
November 3rd, 2014
Release length: 36:04
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Initially formed under the name Seed of Detest back in 2009, releasing one demo under this moniker until it was changed over to Sidious in 2012. The Symphonic Black Metal/Death Metal group from London, England was eventually picked up by Kaotoxin Records, who issued their debut EP Ascension to the Throne ov Self in digital and strictly limited CD formats. Since then, the band lost long time drummer Fahim Ahmed and vocalist Void in 2014, leaving guitarist Isfeth picking up the latter’s duties along side the recent addition of drummer Khrudd (Clouds). Those with their eyes close to the Kaotoxin ranks will have noticed that this four piece now contains four of the five members of Eye of Solitude, as well as the man behind solo Black Metal act Colosus, both signed to that very label. This is the line-up that entered the studio to record the band’s official full-length debut, Revealed in Profane Splendour, an effort that has critics and fans alike losing their minds over. But is this effort really something that stands out, or is it yet another symphonic clone the world could do without?

Revealed in Profane Splendour carries a superbly rich and vibrant digital quality that in no way skimps on giving the instruments just enough edge to really hammer into the listener, as well as set up fantastic dark, deserted atmospheres akin to Dimmu Borgir and Hour of Penance. “Sacrilegious Majesty” has its share of ancient Egyptian elements throughout, but the haunting leads found in the chorus create a sense of depressive isolation that naturally compliments the sinister overtones of the main verses, even the pounding conclusion that feels more like an encroaching doom with a ritualistic rhythm that ends in a way to remind you that this is only the beginning. Aside the conclusion, this is ly what the album has in store, outside varying degrees of intensity and environment.

The only time that the band can take some of the hooks in the wrong direction ends up being “Inexorable Revelation”. While this one tries to maintain a colder Black Metal foundation behind the epic symphonic passages, the clean chords that hit in the chorus sound more like something out of a spaghetti western than the Egyptian environment much of the song weaves. Of course, you could argue its meant to be that way, as if Sidious were dabbling in more of an Avant-Garde manner for this album, as well as that there are times where you can pick up on some Eye of Solitude influence, such as around four minutes in on “Revealed in Profane Splendour”. The deeper, slower passage that sounds like a ritualistic segment of worship takes on a bit of an astral overtone, as if the voices in the distance are calling out on a cosmic level to the elder gods found in the pages of the Necronomicon.

“Annihilation of Abhorrent Credence” starts pulling away from the instruments themselves as a whole, putting the focus more on blistering bass kicks and symphonics to get the aggressive point across. There’s even some spoken word vocal distortions akin to what Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir uses, and not the first time they appear on the album either. There’s also some brief clean singing towards the end that does suit the far more hectic presence in a conceptual manner compared to the groove heavy start and its thinner guitar presence. “Infernal Reign” finds a little more substance to the hooks that weave a similar terrain, not to mention greatly restrict the amount of keyboards on display. What we end up with is a far more visceral and commanding piece that allows the entirety of the band to create a truly ominous performance full of tight musicianship and technicality in both performance, as well as timing.

Revealed in Profane Splendour is, if nothing else, a very powerful sounding album. There’s no denying that Sidious now being a four-piece of musicians who already know each other so well from their time in another active group definitely helps keep the experience a smoother one from start to finish, not to mention having that extra outlet for experimentation aids in keeping this outfit well defined. Mixtures of grand music that has unique elements blended in with the familiar Symphonic Black/Death Metal style weaves a bleak and spiritually crushing full-length that is as impressive as their Ascension to the Throne ov Self, leaving you wanting more as soon as the final seconds tick by.


01. Sacrilegious Majesty – 4:59
02. Inexorable Revelation – 4:00
03. Revealed in Profane Splendour – 6:27
04. Annihilation of Abhorrent Credence – 5:43
05. Obscenity ov Old – 3:11
06. Infernal Reign – 5:54
07. O Paragon, Bringer ov Light – 5:50
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Sidious
Sidious

Digital review copy of this release provided by Kaotoxin Records
via Clawhammer PR.