EP Review | Sadistik – Elysium

This extended play was released on August 24th this year. I haven’t really read any background information on this project at all, but based on the title, cover, and singles that I’ve heard, I’m guessing it’s supposed to be somewhat of a sister-EP to Delirium, which came out earlier in the year. Anyway, considering how much I’ve loved the past couple releases from Sadistik, I think this is gonna be another one of my favorite projects of the year. I’m not expecting anything super different to be honest. I just think it’s gonna be more of what I’ve loved for the past two couple years.

There aren’t any songs that I dislike, so I’m gonna write about each one in the proper order of the track listing. The opening song is called Canary in a Mine, and it’s a major highlight for me. It’s a serious contender for my favorite track on the project to be honest. I love everything about it. The emotional, piano-driven, yet still Boom Bap instrumental from Ogui is dope as fuck. Of course Sadistik was rhyming his fuckin’ paws off.

If I start singing death I hope you’re carrying a .9
8 years deep said I’d marry her in 9
Kings Queen blowing cloud rings, staring at the sky
Sub-Zero temperatures still tearing out my spine
Stars above us hover in a paramount design
This is cinema, my piss and vinegar makes living difficult
We kiss the stitches shut until it parallels the mind
Constellations look like pointillism
Poignant pen places poison in 'em
Dropping gems like an oyster center
Got a koi fish in him swimming where the noise is hidden
Now I can’t avoid the venom, love-torn from the Joy Division

The way this dude puts words together is so eloquent. It just sounds beautiful to listen to. His breath control is really mesmerizing too. Not only on this song, but throughout the entire project. He comes in for a second verse that consists of about 12 bars at the very end of this song, and he spits the whole thing with the smoothest flow ever, and he doesn’t stop to breathe at all. He just spits the whole thing all the way through without any breaks. It’s crazy. The song is dope af. It’s immediately followed by another major highlight that I already wrote about earlier in the year when it was released as the lead single. It’s called Sirens, and it features Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, as well as production from White Shinobi and deadangel.

Sadistik already released one of my favorite projects of the year with Delirium, so I was super excited when he announced a new album recently. I can’t remember if he revealed the actual title yet, but I’m just happy to already have a single. It’s just as beautiful as I could’ve hoped too. The forlorn atmosphere of the production fits Sadistik‘s style perfectly. I’d never heard of Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, and I’m not sure if they’re a band or just one person, but the vocalist sounded pretty good to me. I was caught off guard at first because I didn’t realize there was a feature, so I thought Sadistik was singing it himself. The verses from Sadistik are of course beautifully written.

No more blood-letting when the leeches bite me
One more love letter ‘fore the creatures find us
I’ll show you the shadows that my secrets hide in
Take what they need then they leave you lifeless
A chrysalis lives so deep inside you
Below the surface where demons riot
A broken person grows so subversive
Choke on words so the screams are quiet

The whole song makes me feel like I’m falling. I don’t know how else to say that, so I hope those who listen understand what I mean, but I guess it’s not that important. All you need to know is that I love the song. I can’t decide whether this song is more gorgeous lyrically or sonically. It’s a beautiful track though, and easily one of my favorites of the week. Don’t sleep on it. It’s dope af.

Track 3 is another highlight entitled Lazarus. This one features production from someone named HXRXKILLER. The melody of the instrumental kinda reminds me of Waves by NDNI. The entire song is pretty much just more of Sadistik rhyming his ass off. His schemes are wild.

Got burned on pyres, heard the word to wise
Search the surface, sure fits are first to die
All my personal ties-dyed by turpentine
Time to turn the tides, tidals turned to fires
If I don’t earn my stripes I go serpentine
This is versifier versus verse for hire
I surf the current search where urchins hide
Describe the words so verdant averse to liars

His flow just goes into complete beast mode for the second half of the opening verse.

While we live in the gutter they mimic each other
I’m gutted like fishes while fishing for love
And I give 'em the mud from my limbs like a drug
They’re so limited, lemon on tongue
Heavy lead from my lungs
I’m a leper, these leopards left steps on my stomach
It’s never enough, I’m the Shepard you summoned
The sum of the efforts, still some are for never
Let everything flush because nothings forever

The song is really enthralling. He had me on the edge of my seat listening to every line. I will say that the instrumental does feel relatively unadventurous just because it doesn’t really evolve at any point throughout the track. It’s still good though. I think the song is dope as hell overall. Track 4 is yet another highlight called Life Is Just (An Interlude). This track immediately stood out to me, mainly because the beat from Mayten is so different from the others. The primary loop is this really pleasant acoustic guitar sample, but then once the percussion drops this really heavy bass guitar comes in, and it sounds awesome. Sadistik’s verse here is fucking bananas too. His breath control is unreal. He had to have been punching at least some of those lines in because he’s literally not breathing here. The hook is really dope, but the verse itself is just madness.

Let me down, the oxygen’s heavier now
We’re supposed to play possum while death sings its sounds
Theres no Exodus, pestilence bound, it’s too treacherous
When is the end when this Hell is indefinite?
May be dramatic, I’m pacing my attic like Attica Riot
No quiet, stay Atticus light from the tragic
Shines bright from the past to illuminate trauma
We hide for convenience

I could listen to this dude rap forever, man. His writing and his flow are just top notch. I think the song is dope as hell. Track 5 is a single called Zodiac, which I covered earlier this year in one of my Best Singles of the Week posts.

Mick Jenkins did a nice job on the second verse, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more impressed by Sadistik’s performance here. That’s not a surprise though because there aren’t many artists who can touch Sadistik. His writing here is just as gorgeous as it always is.

Always been a castaway
Don’t save me, I’m just trash today
I’m refuse
Usually you’re bruised when you get used to feeling used
All these ups and downs I learned to ride the waves
Most the nightmares are when I’m wide awake
I don’t wanna go don’t let me die today
If it makes me numb I’ll take the side effects

Mick’s verse started off kinda slow to me honestly. I mean, the writing was great throughout, but his flow was kinda shaky at first. He kinda found his pocket once he got warmed up though. The song ends super abruptly and I kinda wish the structure was a bit more fleshed out, but overall I definitely enjoyed it. The production from great, and the lyricism is superb. I think it’s pretty good. The music video is beautiful by the way. Definitely check that shit out.

The penultimate song is called Rainbow Road, and it has more stunning lyricism. However, I will say that I do think Gloel probably provided my least favorite instrumental on the whole project. I don’t think it’s a bad beat, but it’s just not as enchanting as most of the others. Sadistik’s rapping here is phenomenal though.

Shrooms hit 'til its rainbow road
I grew sick of the same old jokes
And moved quick where the angels roam
They won’t save your soul
Flip the world, watch 'em fall through their halo holes
We bruise skin, fused in contusion art
Short fuse interviews to renew the scars
They love you when you’re new, but they’ll soon depart
I stayed hunted by the gloom, you assumed the part

Both of the verses are fantastic. I have zero gripes with the actual rapping. I just wish the production was a bit more enjoyable for me. I think the song is really goddamn dope as a whole though. The closing song is called All the Pretty Horses, and I think it’s one of the most interesting songs on the whole EP.

This song actually was so strange to me that it made me do a google search to actually find out what the word “Elysium” means, and it’s basically the Greek mythological term for Heaven. After I found this out, the whole sonic landscape of the entire project clicked to me. The EP sounds like the process of dying, and this closing track is him reaching nirvana. The Frank Ocean sample in this beat from Vague003 was super unexpected, but it works perfectly. The beat has such a bizarre atmosphere to me. It sounds oddly buoyant and bright for a Sadistik song, but it also sounds kind of eerie at the same time. I think it’s amazing. Sadistik’s rhyming here is fucking awesome too.

Castle Freak bleeding alcohol beneath these castle walls
Dastardly bastard boy screaming 'til the shadows fall
Cataloging agony, dreaming of an asteroid, streaming I’m so lacrimal
After all ash dissolves
I hope they see it’s masterful
Suspended in suspense
Upended with the rest
Never resting, yet I’m catatonic
Living like a matador scribbling in travel logs
Apple cores littered in my apologues
Appaloosas running through my sadder moments
All the pretty horses

It’s actually one of my favorite songs on the project to be honest. It’s really short, but I think it’s a gorgeous closer. It’s dope af to me.

This is another amazing project from Sadistik. The dude is just in a really great mode right now. Everything he’s released over the past couple years has been stellar. I will say that on my very first listen of this project it didn’t really blow me away like the previous couple releases have. I think it’s just as good lyrically, but I didn’t love as many of the beats or hooks. These tracks took slightly longer to really grab me and sink in. I love it more and more every time I listen to it. I think that Sadistik’s writing is just as stunning as always. The beats are pretty nice for the most part. If anything could’ve been better it’s the song structures, but the rapping is just so good that I don’t even really care to be honest. This shit is fantastic. Don’t sleep on it. It’s dope as hell.



Watch the video below for more thoughts on this project.

Grade: A


  1. Boy, am I glad I found this blog. Great place to discover some listening goodies. Above all thank you for doing this.
    I found this blog while browsing for Ransom album reviews and this blog had me hooked because of the variety of music both past and present, I learned something new from you today and am looking forward to more.
    I will however blatantly say; given the music you listen to and content thereof, there is NO reason you should be using the word “I” in your reviews so much. As much as this IS your opinion, there is no need for you to stress that in every paragraph. You have interesting takes, drive them home with more emotive phrases than “super cool” and “super awesome”. I appreciate your not shying away from being biased honestly, it does however tell us more about what you rather than the album. You gotta give us more insight of those bizarre beat descriptions, Easter eggs regarding samples. If the producer did not do the rapper justice with a beat, tell us that that beat is weak, or even sucks. The beautiful thing is you CAN actually say this shamelessly. “The beat is weak” instead of “I think the beat is weak”. Your focus on voicing the artistry in the mc’s rapping is top shelf and imperative. So give us more; compare his pen in the previous song to his pen in the current song and expand on that. Regardless of topic convince us to go listen to the awesome rapping. We aren’t here to read in passing OG, we are here to consume and no one is better suited than you to share. Review from your hiphop heart and not hiphop head. We are a million heads around the world but not many, like you, are hiphop at heart. This blog is ahead of most in design, presentation, overall ease off use and navigation. Let the content follow the look.
    MOREOVER my lengthy criticism, I really enjoy reading your work and will be visiting again

    P.S I saw your twitter page. Never believe anything is too big for you to conquer, protect your energy. Happiness, although extremely difficult and sometimes complex, is a decision that can lead to clearer understanding of self. Do not underestimate your presence in this world.
    I am in South Africa and it’s 20:30. It probably means little but it means something.

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