In “Burial Ground,” the aptly-titled closing number in Sisteria’s new record Dark Matter, the metallic hue of the other songs in this tracklist is replaced by an ominousness much more fitting of the proto-heavy rock heroes that the band takes a lot of influence from than it is anything else in the indie rock spectrum.
That said, I never get the impression across Dark Matter that Sisteria is trying to recycle someone else’s story, nor are they trying to develop a sound around a model that has already been used a hundred times by just as many bands; songs like “Burial Ground” and the bewitching “Om – Yes” don’t come from retrospective conceptualism, but instead a point of unity between singer and band that cannot be replicated, no matter how impressive the players or the software they’re bringing with them into the recording studio. From the casual “Ramblin Woman” to the leering “Pale in the Darkness,” this is a band that doesn’t want to get boxed into a specific aesthetical corner, and I admire their willingness to experiment just in the name of keeping things unpredictable for the audience.
“Reaper” doesn’t quite have the imposing sonic qualities that a more psychedelic-tinged “Star Child” does, and yet both of these tracks feel like they’ve been cut from the same artistic cloth. I love that Sisteria is never having to be on the nose with their creative continuity in this album, but instead a bit eclectic – which in turn creates a middle ground between tracks that might not have existed in any other scenario. I can’t picture “Wade My Way” and “Reaper” sharing the same tracklist with “Pale in the Darkness” and “Hunger” without volume lending a bit of implied comradery to the grander scheme of things, but then again, I also can’t picture another band breathing as much vitality into this material as Sisteria is able to. They’ve got a deep connection to this music that is undeniable, and if they’re giving it up with this kind of passion from within the studio, I’m curious to hear how they cut loose when they’re on stage.
I’m still getting into Sisteria, as I just came across their music with the release of Dark Matter this August, but I’ve got a feeling that they’re not even close to enclosing everything they’re capable of in this album. As much as I feel like the depth here isn’t going to be matched by very many other bands in the underground this season, there’s still more than Sisteria needs to do before they can claim supremacy over the competition on the indie circuit, starting of course with making even more out of the murky darkness through which they’re able to create so many narratives in this record. They’ve got the right concept and excellent framework in their performances here, and with a bit more time and experience between them and their next trip to the studio, they’re going to be ready to take on an even more ambitious project as a follow-up.