Safer Than Reality
01. What’s Left For Us?
02. The Reality of Beliefs
03. We Never Should Have Met
05. All That Glitters Is Gold
06. While I Drown
07. The Beginning Has No End
Whoever continues to whine about Sikth being disbanded after hearing Safer Than Reality gets a punch in the dick. Sure, it was a great loss, but it’s been a few years and everyone has since moved on. It’s better to go out on a high note like Death of a Dead Day than to drag on when there was obvious internal conflict. I’m just saying, our memory of Metallica would have been much better if they had disbanded given the events prior to St. Anger—not that Sikth were capable of such an atrocity, mind you. They ran their course and thought it was for the best to go out on a high note, and to this day I still see the odd petition on my Facebook feed that makes some sort of hamfisted attempt to reach out to the members for a reunion. I don’t think it works that way, guys.
Ranting aside, out of the ashes rose half of their the tech-crazy guitar duo Graham “Pin” Pinney and his new band Aliases, whose debut album Safer Than Reality is a testament to the spirit of Sikth living on, albeit in a slightly different fashion with a fresh set of faces. While they say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Aliases are MUCH more than Sikth 2.0., and when rowdy opener “What’s Left For Us?” sprints out of the gate, it’s undoubtedly true.
Obviously, there’s the shared creative force and the dizzying frenzy of technical guitar work that skips happily between dissonance and melody that carries over into Safer Than Reality. It isn’t a one man show by any means, as everyone pulls their weight and has a matched level of impressive output. Guitarist Leah Woodward’s top-notch playing intertwinds with Pin’s with almost constant harmony between the two of them. She can certainly hold her own, and if there was any sort of line you’ve painted between the two players, they’re guaranteed to be completely blurred.
The rhythm section of Aliases is quite impressive as well. Drummer Darren Pugh can pummel away at his kit with hardcore flair and fury and then lay down an oddly-timed groove at the drop of a hat. Being able to play this stuff is no easy feat, I’m sure. He can stop on a dime and do hairpin turns like no one’s business. Also of note is bassist Joe Heaton, who can be heard literally popping in and out of the mix. When you can pick him out, his playing practically steals the show, most notably in the opening track. Joe also plays on the short piano track “The Beginning Has No End,” providing a sanguine interlude.
Last, but not least, frontman Jay Berast is the most fitting vocalist that they could have possibly picked up. Not only is his singing spot on and provides many a hook—standout tracks “Sirens” and the hypnotically atmospheric “All That Glitters Is Gold” show off his skills in the singing department—but his throaty screams are a perfect fit in the band’s intense delivery. This Frenchman can shout with the best of them, that’s for sure.
Safer than Reality is catchy, aggressive, and often progressive. In the album’s short but fitting runtime (barely under the half-hour mark), the band have made quite a statement, and this first impression is a strong one. Safer than Reality is a high-aiming debut from these (mostly) British noisemakers. They’re sure to be huge in the scene, and they most certainly deserve the success. The past be damned, Aliases are the ones to look for.
Aliases – Safer than Reality gets…