When you spend six years together, playing in each others’ bands and various side projects, it’s assumed that you get a strong feel of what each member is capable of bringing forth in a relatively new project. With each member also a part of the great UK doom/death outfit Eye of Solitude, Sidious has the distinct advantage of years of camaraderie and musical experiences together under their belt. But the one big problem with their debut, Revealed in Profane Splendour, is that it borrows so much from heavyweights Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir that calling the band “Eye OV Solitude” wouldn’t be that much of a stretch.
That’s not to say that the album is bad. Far from it, in fact. “Sacrilegious Majesty” takes no prisoners after a lengthy drum-and-synth intro, borrowing liberally from Spiritual Black Dimensions and Apostasy but injecting enough heft to bring a bit of chunkiness to the blackened death goulash. Khrudd’s drumming is quite frenetic yet precise, even at warp speeds, and Isfeth’s deep growling and high pitched screams are definitely top-notch, as is his riffing alongside fellow guitarist Indomitus. All incredible and enjoyable, but not the most original.
And that’s my biggest beef with the album. As good as the writing on here is, it’s like it’s a facsimile of the work of Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir. (Behe-mmu Borgir?) “Annihilation ov Abhorrent Credence” (note the “ov”) aims for the lofty heights of Dimmu‘s classic “The Insight and The Catharsis,” but Isfeth’s meh impression of Shagrath, and worse impression of I.C.S. Vortex, kills it dead about four minutes in. Despite that, though, there are some damn good ideas on here. “Infernal Reign” channels some of the vocal dirge from Eye of Solitude to great effect, bringing in some much-needed breathing space amidst all the blasting chaos. “Inexorable Revelation” features an all-too-brief yet impressive bass flourish by Baalrath sandwiched between some damn good tasty riffs. It’s moments like those that prove Sidious definitely has what it takes to rip faces from heads.
Russ Russell’s production is crystal clear yet heavily brickwalled. Drums are front-and-center, guitars have the necessary heft to them, and the bass is thankfully audible. It’s just all incredibly loud to the point that even Nergal would probably take issue. Speaking of which, Sidious would do well to not ride on his tattered coattails so much, as a lot of the material on Revealed in Profane Splendour could be misconstrued as a Behemoth B-side. Not a bad thing, but if I wanted that, I’d listen to, y’know, Behemoth.
There’s a lot of promise here in Sidious, and despite what was said, the music on here is enjoyable and quite good. The question I ask, though, is if you like Behemoth so much, wouldn’t you just listen to the real thing and be done with it? And that’s where your mileage may vary from mine. Here’s to the next go-around.