Chicago’s Sioum are back with their second album “Yet Further” which took them 6 years to complete. The end product shows it was time well spent. Sioum have a post metal sound that at times reminds me of fellow Chicagoans Pelican and Russian Circles, albeit with more of a prog rock slant to their sound.
Sioum’s emphasis is on sound and texture. Much like the artwork for the album, the trio are painting a picture with their instrumentals. The odd thing is that the album actually starts with the weakest track, “Tribulation.” The problem is that the song takes a very long time to develop and while I don’t mind that for a track later in the album, this is the first the world has heard from Sioum in 6 years. By the time the song does get going, it only does so for a couple minutes and it’s over. It almost feels like it should have been a bonus track.
The good news is that is literally my only complaint with the album. The next two tracks are essentially two parts of an extended piece. “Welcome to New Beginnings” is not only a great song but even the title sets the tone for the rest of the album. It segues seamlessly into “and Technological Advancements.” Heavy riffs, thunderous drums and a bass synth make for a very unique sound.
The main difference between Sioum and the other bands I mentioned from Chicago is the technicality of the playing. The riffs of Dorian Zdrinc, the fills of drummer Arthur Zdrinc, and the odd time signatures are all things you’d expect from a prog metal band and maybe not as much from a post metal band. Kevin Clark’s keys are also a huge difference maker. The delicate piano section on “and Technological Advancements” is something you’d hear on an old Genesis album and not on your average post metal record.
Another thing I love is guitarist Dorian Zdrinc’s use of the ebow. The intro to “I Died Once” is a great use. It allows Clark’s piano line to float over top and sounds almost like Steven Wilson’s “The Raven That Refused to Sing.” From there “I Died Once” flows effortlessly into “Let’s Hope We Make it Out Alive” which has some really AWESOME off-kilter riffs.
The key track to this album is the title track, however. It’s the 16 minute plus epic closing track. This song goes through many transitions. My favorite one is about 6 minutes in when a quite piano part becomes a thick heavy riff of guitars and synth. The song does what every long song should do, it never FEELS long! Sioum have a ton of great riffs and themes which they only stay with as long as they should. It’s never a case of a riff overstaying its welcome nor do you feel like you missed a section because it ended too quickly.
There’s just something about Chicago and epic post metal. Sioum add to that growing tradition and at the same time, they make sure they stand out from everyone else on “Yet Further.” This is 6 years of planning and plotting spread out over 72 minutes of epic ambition. Now if it only started out a little different…
2. Welcome to the New Beginnings
3. and Technological Advancements
4. I Died Once
5. Let’s Hope We Make it Out Alive
7. Yet Further