Album Review | Sadistik – Haunted Gardens

This album was released on April 20th this year. I’ve reviewed both of the Salo Sessions extended plays before, but this is my first time talking about an actual album from Sadistik. I like all his other albums, and I’ll be shocked if I don’t end up enjoying this one as well, especially since I’ve really enjoyed both of the singles he released for it. I haven’t really seen many other people talking about it, but at the same time, it is a Sadistik project after all. It’s not like people talk about him that much in the first place. So yeah, I think I’m gonna like this a lot. It might end up being one of my favorite projects of April. I doubt it’ll top Sad, Fat Luck of Chop Sound Dojo, but I guess anything’s possible.

1. All My Poisons Sit in Frames produced by Shrimpnose

This beat is kinda weird, but I love it. Something sounds off. I don’t know if it’s Sadistik’s vocals or the production, but it sounds kinda weird. I think it’s the beat. It sounds messy. There’s a lot going on. I do like it though. It kinda sounds like his vocals are buried in the mix. Thankfully the lyrics are online, so I can still see what he’s saying. This is a pretty short song. There’s just one verse, followed by an outro. The verse is nice. He’s pretty much just rapping about being hopelessly depressed. It’s far more convincing than shit like Lil Peep or Juice WRLD though. To me those guys come off like they’re fetishizing mental illness. This feels much more genuine.

Bruised open palms
Face the sky with two crows upon
Feel no hope when I don’t belong
Filling oceans with woebegone

The outro is pretty weird, but I like it a lot. He’s using a voice synthesizer, but it doesn’t sound gimmicky like it sometimes does when BROCKHAMPTON does it. This is really good. I fuck with this track. I’m glad he’s gone back to this ethereal, airy production style. I wasn’t really a fan of the darker, more Trap influenced production on Altars. Anyway, this is a really nice intro. It’s dope.

2. Eden produced by Vague003

This was the lead single for this album, and I heard it when it was released on February 15th. I think it’s amazing. I absolutely love the production from Vague003, who I’d actually never heard of before hearing this song. They did a fantastic job with this beat though. It’s really fucking good. The song has a really simplistic structure. The whole thing is just one verse. Sadistik fucking killed this shit though. The way he flowed over this instrumental is awesome. I feel like literally every line in the song is worth quoting too. The way this dude raps about melancholia is just so poetic and graceful.

Mister melancholy calling, turned holidays into hollow days
While I went from flower to flower looking to pollinate
We’re far away and wallow; we wanted to walk on water
Take all of the autumn sorrows and watch ’em dissolve away

I think this is one of the best songs of the year so far. It’s definitely one of my favorite Sadistik songs. I don’t have a single issue with it. Everything about the song is just really fucking great. His nimble flow, vivid lyricism, and despondent delivery fit perfectly over the forlorn beat.

Just up above us is a galaxy; grounds all crumble below me
A thousand people surround us, inside of me’s only lonely
The fireflies used to visit to sit on my skin I miss it
When mystery dissipated you drifted into the distance

This shit is remarkable. I love it. It’s dope af.

3. 8 ½ produced by Televangel

Man, the production on this album is really awesome so far. Televangel did a great job with this track. Speaking of Televangel, his remix of Kiss the Cook is really great. Check that out if you haven’t heard it yet. Anyway, this first verse from Sadistik is awesome.

I thought that I was thoughtless
Thoughts of mine were arsenic
Our hollow parts are toxic
How’d our heart to hearts get arctic?

His flow is really smooth. There’s not really a hook on this track. There’s just a short break between the two verses consisting of some instrumental variation. Man… He killed that second verse. I love how his flow picked up. This is another fantastic song. I love the production, and both of the verses from Sadistik are great—especially the second one. This shit is dope af.

4. Burning Lakes produced by Foxwedding

Hmm… I just noticed that none of the songs on this album have any profanity. That’s impressive. I mean, it shouldn’t be, but it’s pretty rare. I don’t really have an issue with profanity at all as you can probably tell, but I have to admit that for whatever reason it seems impressive when people can completely remove it from their lexicon. With that said, I’m never gonna stop using it. Anyway, this song has yet another great instrumental. The hook on this song is nothing special, but it works. Well I shouldn’t say that. The lyrics are actually pretty cool—particularly the first line, which is a rewording of a Carl Panzram quote. He’s basically saying he’s a bad person, and he’ll be dead tomorrow.

Today I’m dirty; tomorrow I’ll be dirt, I know
I wake up early and wobble from the vertigo
The lakes are burning I know I’ll be first to go
I live and die every day I’m so versatile

Carl Panzram was an absolute piece of shit, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think that was a cool ass quote. Anyway, there’s only one actual verse on this song, but it’s pretty nice. His flow is dope, and the lyrics are even doper. My favorite part is the quatrain where he references historical artists & writers.

Rearranging faces like Picasso
Painting monsters like I think I’m Bosch
Making sacred statements I’m so Basho
Staining walls like Marquis de Sade

Marquis de Sade has always been a super weird, disturbing, and interesting figure to me, so it’s cool that Sadistik references him so much. I mean, I guess it makes sense that he references Marquis de Sade since he’s named after him. Anyway, I think the song is pretty good overall. It’s definitely not one of my favorites on the album so far, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. I think it’s dope.

5. Daisies produced by Bubbymane & Luke Janela

Awww shit. This song definitely has one of the best beats on the album so far. I love this first verse too. It’s really relatable.

The drugs are overrated
Nothing’s gonna save my soul
Being sober’s overrated too
Everything is fading slow

I’ve felt the exact same way before. When I’m depressed I’ll say that sobriety is overrated, and then I’ll get stoned and be like, “Damn, drugs are overrated.” I really like his flow on this first verse. The two verses in the song are divided by an audio clip of a conversation from Game of Thrones. I wasn’t into that show. I watched one episode of it when I was in New York a couple months ago, and it was boring as shit. The particular excerpt Sadistik chose for this song fits pretty well though. He fucking snapped on that second verse too.

I don’t wanna live like this; I’m guilty, dehumanized
Everybody’s waiting to get euthanized
The youth in eyes got replaced with the suicide
Pacts you survived and a past that you beautified

That shit was awesome. This is definitely another one of the best songs on the album so far. I don’t have any issues with it at all. This shit is dope af.

6. Man’s Best Friend produced by DEIRYN, Open Ocean & Michelle Kim

The previous track transitions into this one really well. The whole album is really well sequenced so far. It’s so well produced too. This song has another great beat. The first verse was pretty dope. Holy FUCK this violin from Michelle Kim sounds incredible. Man, it’s gonna be hard to choose a favorite track from this album. I love this shit. Ohhh FUCK, dude. The beat switch for the final minute of the song is amazing. Jesus fuck. This is fucking incredible. This production is absolutely stellar, and Sadistik murdered that last verse.

Never left etched in my flesh X X on my eyes
Excess stress expressed in a star-scape
Wrote a love letter got a death threat tar-laced
Made best friends with the marks that the scars make

The way this dude puts words together is just astonishing. I wish I could just quote the whole verse because it’s marvelous.

Sharks swim in a heart shape
Archangels hark arks in a crawlspace
Dark in the hallways always our ways
Weighed down way down waists bound
In a wasteland taste sand ’til you stay down

This song is spectacular. I love this shit. I have no issues with it at all. It’s dope af.

7. Alcoves produced by killedmyself

This song has another great beat. This one feels like more of an interlude than a full song. Sadistik doesn’t rap at all. He just sings, and it’s not great, but the way his vocals are mixed make it tolerable. The reverb helps too. There are really only like four lines in the whole song, but they’re cool.

I don’t know why
I’ll go away when I die
Alcoves fade in my mind
Alone, maybe I’m fine

There’s also audio from a conversation in the background. I’m not sure what that’s from. Anyway, I like this song. My enjoyment pretty much just comes from the nice instrumental. The lyrics are cool too though. This is easily the most inessential track on the album so far, but I still like it. I think it’s dope.

8. Coals produced by Foxwedding

Jesus Christ. Once again, the production is fucking great, and the lyrics about sobriety are super relatable. This is one of the few songs on this album that actually has a hook. It’s pretty good. The first verse was dope too. The second one was more impressive to me though. The lyrics stood out to me more during that one.

I rode down a road made of rhododendrons
And wrote it down; it bore no resemblances
But it’s so poetic, I lost my youth in those phonetics
Sometimes the truth can be open-ended

Man I swear this dude is one of the most impressive writers living right now. This is another great song. I think it’s dope af.

9. Sistine Chapel produced by The VVitch

The beat on this track is pretty good. I just tried to search Google for “The VVitch,” but I couldn’t find anything about the producer because they share their name with a horror film from 2015. I also tried searching Google for “The VVitch producer,” but it just led to the producer of the actual film. I probably could’ve searched “The VVitch music producer,” but at that point I had lost interest. I think Google-ability is really important if you’re an aspiring musician though. That’s why generic stage names are a big pet peeve of mine. Anyway, this is another really dope song lyrically. It could definitely be interpreted as a love song, but for some reason I get the impression that he’s rapping about drugs.

I want you more than I need you
I swear to god I do
I need you so bad
I see the god in you

This song easily has the best hook on the whole album so far. I think that’s an electric guitar. I’m not that great at identifying instruments, but that’s what it sounds like to me. I usually don’t really care for electric guitars, but it sounds really dope here. The final verse was really great. This is another awesome track. I think this shit is dope af.

10. Gallows Hill produced by Kodyak

Once again, the production is top notch. I love this beat. The way Sadistik is rhyming on this first verse is dope as hell too. His flow is great. I feel like I’ve been doing pretty well at deciphering the lyrics on this album so far, but I’m completely lost with this track. The hook is nothing special, but it gets the job done. The second verse was awesome. His flow picked up, and the way he was rhyming was just really dope. I feel like the lyrics in the second verse were easier to interpret.

Maybe I’m crazy, but lately the days still seem hazy
I’m stuck in a maze where there’s nothing amazing
I’m fading away to a place that I hate, but I made it
I’ll stay ’til I’m grey & deface it

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but he’s been naming a lot of different flowers throughout this project, which is pretty cool. It fits with the theme of the album. I didn’t even notice it until he said something about tulips in the second verse of this song. Anyway, this is another fantastic song. I love the production, and Sadistik killed it—especially on that second verse. This shit is dope af.

11. Koi produced by Vague003

The instrumental on this track sounds really warm, and lyrically this is the most emotional and heartfelt song on the whole album. It’s dedicated to his deceased father. Those lines in the hook about seeing the face of his dad when he sees his own reflection is heartbreaking, man. The lyrics on this track are way more straightforward than any of the other songs. He wasn’t trying to be too wordy or complex with this one.

Here’s another song for you
Just because I thought of you
Today I’m feeling lost again
I wish I could talk to you

That's sad…

Man, this shit is incredible to me. It’s gonna be so hard for me to choose a favorite track from this album. I love when I have this problem. I imagine anyone who has lost their father will love this song even more than I do.

You told me there’s a brighter side in life
That’s something I’m still trying to find
You gave me something I could idolize
Running out of time I know not everything is final


I fucking love this shit. I have zero complaints. This song is flawless to me. It’s dope af.

12. Saints produced by Foxwedding & Michelle Kim

This was the second single released from this album. I know I liked it when I listened to it originally, but I haven’t heard it since then, so I don’t remember anything about it. The production is fantastic, and I really love Lotte Kestner’s background vocals. I’m pretty lost with these lyrics. It’s funny that the most lyrically simplistic song is followed by this track. I have absolutely no idea what he’s rapping about here.

Always on defensive when
Autonom reflixiveness
Albatross’ eloquent
Watch me while I levitate

The second verse is a bit easier to decipher than the first one. I like how his flow picked up at certain points during the verse as well. The second verse definitely stood out more than the first one, but I enjoyed both of them.

Take the grey I find, and maybe I can make it light up now
Lately I admire how you make things seem lively when I’m dying out

The hook is nothing special. The production is really nice though. This is yet another really great track. It’s dope af to me.

13. From the Gossamer produced by Svd & Senzoshi

Oh fuck, man. This production is gorgeous. Jesus fuck. Okay, this song is amazing. This is such a perfect way to conclude this project. There’s only one verse on this track, and it’s phenomenal.

Dear Depression, you robbed me of my essence
Taught me that I’m ugly with autopsies of my efforts
Ever since the day I saw my god upon a stretcher
I followed all mirages while I’d fall apart in increments

These lines are relatable as hell. I’ve pondered the idea that my parents are God before—especially when I was in the hospital in early 2018. I really don’t know how the hell I’m gonna choose a favorite song from this album. This is another amazing track though. I have no issues with it at all. I think it’s dope af.

This album is amazing. This is easily my favorite Sadistik project. I love the production, and the themes of depression, loss, obsession, the garden, and hopelessness are all explored really well. This project is a prime example of all killer, no filler. It’s a super cohesive album. In terms of production, it sounds more like his earlier work than his more recent output, which I’m pretty happy about. I don’t think there are any consistent flaws here. There’s not a single track that I didn’t think was dope. This is one of the best albums I’ve heard all year. It’s honestly even better than I was expecting it to be. It’s dope af.

Favorite Song: From the Gossamer
Least Favorite Song: Alcoves


Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album.

Grade: A

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