The Sixxis - Hollow Shrine

(CD 2014, 41:23, GlassVille RecordsGVR015)

The tracks:
  1- Dreamers
  2- Long Ago
  3- Nowhere Close
  4- Home Again
  5- Forgotten Son
  6- Waste Of Time
  7- Coke Can Steve
  8- Opportune Time
  9- Out Alive
10- Weeping Willow Tree

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The Sixxis is a band from the United States that has been founded by Vladdy Iskhakov, a vocalist, violinist, guitar player and pianist. Together with Mark Golden, who plays bass, guitar and synth and Josh Baker, who handles the drums, percussion and background vocals the band has a steady backbone. More recently, two multi-instrumentalists-Paul Sorah and Cameron Allen-whose main instruments are guitar, were added to the line-up bringing in their own musical influences. The album Hollow Shrine is the outcome of the collaboration of these five individuals under the leadership of the aforementioned Vladdy.

Musically The Sixxis have a lot to offer; mixing rock music from the nineties with progressive rock elements and parts of brit rock combined with grungy elements. The result is an album that basically could please most people who just want to listen to good music but not want to go as deep as the regular progressive rock fan does-to be short-a kind of “middle of the road” music that should please everyone. The reason being that the vocals are very accessible and pleasant to listen to, the compositions have a wide range of variety, but still sound familiar and honest. Vocalist Vladdy sometimes has some similarities with the late Alice In Chains vocalist Layne Staley, other times the influences of Muse's Matthew Bellamy enter in his vocal parts. Songs like the emotional Waste Of Time and the blues rock influenced Opportune Time are compositions that show the band is capable of writing interesting songs. On the other hand, the final composition Weeping Willow Tree has the same kind of feeling as the country rock composition Dead Or Alive by Bon Jovi.

Hollow Shrine is what you can call a “safe buy”-music that pleases you in whatever mood you are in. It is well produced by David Bottril, who is an award winning producer for bands like Tool, Stone Sour, but also for Peter Gabriel and King Crimson. I guess with all the publicity; being asked to perform at Nations At Sea by Mike Portnoy, performing pre shows for The Winery Dogs, during the legs of the US and European part of their world tour, it will only will be a matter of time until The Sixxis will be a common name in the musical scene. Personally I would have liked it if The Sixxis did choose for a straight line ahead, but now I have the feeling, by embedding so many styles that they kind of use all the lanes of a twelve lane freeway to ensure a successful future.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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