Sigiriya - Return to Earth (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art

Sigiriya - Return to Earth (IMPORT) (CD)

  • $17.99

Origin: Germany
Released: 2011
Catalog number: CW028
The much-missed British stoner rock outfit Acrimony released their last studio full-length in 1996’s Tumuli Shroomaroom. Splits followed with Iron Rainbow and Church of Misery, and the Leaf Hound Records compilation Bong on – Live Long! followed in 2007, but the band effectively broke up in 2002, so the return of four out of the original five Acrimony members in the new band Sigiriya is welcome news for any worshiper of the riff, whether they were a fan of Acrimony or not. Only guitarist Lee Davies is missing from Sigiriya’s debut, Return to Earth, but the remaining four-piece is no less cohesive for the lack of a second guitar.

Because it’s essentially the same band, they’ll inevitably be compared to Acrimony, and on that level, Sigiriya boast a crunchier sound, less geared toward psychedelia or excursions in the stoner caravan of yore. Stuart O’Hara (who was also in Iron Monkey) leads the way with thickened riffs, and vocalist Dorian Walters rides the formidable grooves expertly on Return to Earth’s seven tracks, while bassist Paul “Mead” Bidmead and drummer Darren Ivey inject a surprisingly metallic feel to “Dark Fires” and “Robot Funeral,” marking a serious change in ethic from what one might have expected in an Acrimony offshoot.

Sigiriya’s Return to Earth is a riffer’s delight, and taking the record as a new beginning rather than just a reunion of the band members, it shows marked potential for future Sigiriya installments. No reason these guys shouldn’t be able to deliver riff-driven excellence going forward, since they’ve already proven they can do it once. Acrimony fans will dig these songs, but don’t go into the album expecting to hear an Acrimony clone. Those days are over. Long live Sigiriya.