Short review: Sithu Aye – Cassini

I love the generation that I live in. There are a number of reasons why, but one of the most important is the easy access to so much amazing music. With the internet blazing its way into the furthest reaches of the earth, nothing is ever too far outside of our reach anymore. Additionally, technology is advancing in such a way that it is allowing the growth of the creative minds of the world to reach new heights. Musically speaking, the availability of home recording equipment and recording programs are making it easy for bands or even a single person to record great music and show it off to the world without having to rely on record deals or hundreds if not thousands of dollars in studio fees.

Enter Sithu Aye, a one man troupe from Scotland. In 2011, Sithu (Yes, his name is Sithu) released the album Cassini on Bandcamp for free. He has since released an EP and another album, both of which are also free to download. However, his playing on Cassini has proven my favorite so far. He plays all the music himself, programming the drums, which has become common place in home studio guitar driven albums. While the album as a whole is very competent, this is a guitarist’s album.

The first song I heard from the album was Double Helix, and it remains as one of my favorite tracks. Sithu plays a very fun blend of progressive metal and djent here. His style is very light, usually characterized as a “happy” brand of progressive metal. Periphery’s Bulb comes to mind while listening to the tracks, although I wouldn’t say that the music is a duplicate or imitation. The songs are full of stellar guitar work and ample electronic breaks in the shred. Being without vocals, the soundscapes rely on well balanced playing and planning. This isn’t a shredfest. While he does shred, he understands the importance of ambiance and used it to create some fantastic moods throughout the album.

Probably the strongest part of Cassini, the album closes with a three song suite called Multiverse. The suite starts and ends with what reminds me of a submarine radar beeping under a quick and funky bass line that gradually grows into a soaring lead. The layering here is nice and not overdone. Even the djent-y fretwork doesn’t detract from the almost maritime flow of the suite. In the second part, Divergence, there is a tasty synth line that weaves its way in and out of the guitar. This along with the throbbing bass line probably makes for one of my favorite moments on the album.

The rest of the songs on the album are competent and have moments in the sun as well, but for a free album, I’ll let you download or just listen on Bandcamp and see for yourself. Check out Double Helix below. If you dig it, follow him on Facebook and check out his other album, Invent the Universe, that was just released earlier this month.