This album was released on April 1st this year. I’m expecting this to be one of my favorite albums of the year honestly. I’ve recently decided that Sadistik is my favorite writer in Hip Hop at the moment, and Kno is one of my favorite producers ever solely based on the work he’s done with CunninLynguists. The singles I’ve heard from this album have all been fire too. The features are all pretty exciting as well. I even love the album cover, which reminds me of the artwork for the first Jedi Mind Tricks album. My favorite Sadistik album is currently Haunted Gardens, but I won’t be too shocked if this album ends up surpassing it for me. I’m really excited for this project. I think this shit is about to be fire.
The album begins with a really nice intro entitled Burning Suns. I absolutely love Kno’s production here, and the melodic vocals from Sadistik sound great. This is the most lyrically simplistic song on the album because it doesn’t really have a verse. It just has one couplet that repeats a few times before the song ends. I think it’s a really dope way to start the project. I fuck with it. Track 2 is a major highlight entitled You Don’t Know. Once again, I’m super impressed by Kno’s production here. I love the heavy synths, and the vocal sample is gorgeous. The lyricism from Sadistik is beautiful here too. I just adore this dude’s complex, poetic writing style.
Bed of flowers, head of matches catches 'til I’m left in black
Birds of prey may peck in packs, my vertebrates a Jenga stack
Peckinpah, pecking paws, inserting fangs in every hand
The purple stained the exit bags, and turned the bread to ash
The vocal sample that Kno flipped for the hook sounds really good. I mean, that might not even be a sample. I’m not sure. It sounds fantastic though. The second verse is arguably even better than the first one. I appreciate how there are three full verses on this song too. They’re all beautifully written. I think this song is dope af. Track 3 is called The Earth Was Empty. Once again, the heavy, melodic production is really goddamn nice, and the vocal sample that Kno flipped for the hook sounds pretty cool. The first verse has some pretty relatable lines for me.
If the Earth is empty so am I
I don't like to socialize
I'm so like the ocean tide
Back and forth so polarized
Well, I guess it isn’t that relatable. I like socializing sometimes. It just really depends on who I’m interacting with. Either way I think it’s a cool line. The second verse is better than the first one in my opinion though.
All my thoughts are constellations
Leave the population on the surface, lost in observation
God is not who made him watch him talk amongst the ravens
Plus the piece I keep’s unregistered, no assalamualaikum
I’m so vacant, always seeking closure from the destitute
Lungs becoming numb, it's from exposure to the metal fumes
Locusts in my central view, hopeless sentimental tunes
The earth is empty, so are you, its growing in my ventricles
I really like the melodic outro too. This is a dope song. The following track is a highlight called Ghostly Key. I really love the production on this track. The vocal sample that Kno flipped for the hook sounds fantastic. The verse from Sadistik is really goddamn good too. There are a lot of quotable lines.
Sticatto spicattos sonatas in soprano
Get stigmata when the high notes go vibrato or legato
Obligatto for Da Capo, music is the language
When life becomes a prison you can use it to escape it
That closing line is one of my favorite bars on the whole album. This song is relatively short, so there’s only time for one verse, but what’s here is fantastic. A second verse probably would’ve pushed this song to the next level for me, but it’s still dope as hell as it is. I love it. Track 5 is called Apple Valley. The production is very good, and Sadistik’s writing is of course fantastic. I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record at this point, but this is just a super consistent record, so that’s why.
I never listened to the television
Hellish visions in my cell, still they sell me prisons
Embellishments that I tell in prisms
Spell it eloquent, without it feel irrelevant
Angels not compelled to visit
Cell-division when I split in half
Evil Ed it’s simple math I bleed a bit
For every single secret kept
This song follows the exact same structure as most of the preceding tracks. It’s just two verses divided by a hook that consists of a prominent vocal sample. I think some more variation probably would’ve made it a more interesting listen, but I still enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s a dope track. The following song is called Carnelian, and it features some of the best rapping on the album from a technical perspective in my opinion.
Olfactory bulb masterpiece poured gasoline on my brain again
Brain stem got plucked awe-struck hard luck came and went
I remained relentless, stained with scents, so I take 'em in
Razorblades came to graze the skin, but I chameleon when I change again
Stone heart carnelian gradient, alien radiant rays within
86-ed from Arcadia, thoughts so heavy cranium stayed uranium from not forgetting
That’s mania I stayed in cuts like salt assaulting my radius
Please save me from the solemn moment, call upon a savior
His flow is crazy. I’m not really in love with the vocal sample that Kno flipped for the hook on this track, but it isn’t bad at all. It just doesn’t really stand out that much to me. The actual verses are easily the best aspect of this song to me. It’s a dope track. The following song is called Mothlight, and it features Natti, which was pretty exciting for me because I haven’t heard from him since like 2017. Anyway, the beat on this track is boiling hot fire, and the first verse from Sadistik is fantastic as well. Once again, this song follows the same exact structure as most of the preceding material. The Natti verse is what really pushes this song to the next level for me. He killed this shit. His flow was awesome.
I remain with my head in the clouds, heart in the crowd
Shoot my remains in your veins, you're a part of me now
Open third iris, shut your arteries down
Touched by angel, got some head in the clouds
Dope, in the hood like white power
In the night hours, crown me, king me
While the knights cower, throwing bright flowers in a light shower
Without Natti this song would still be good, but he really added a lot to it in my opinion. I like this song more now than I originally did when I first heard it. I think it’s dope as hell. The following song is another highlight called Neptune Skin, and it was released as a single ahead of the album’s full release.
Kno’s production here is phenomenal, and I love Sadistik’s relatively slow-paced flow. There’s only one verse on this track, but it doesn’t feel incomplete or anything. As always, Sadistik’s writing here is beautiful.
Close my eyes it’s Hieronymus Bosch
Chisel cold bones show a skull full of fog
Open wounds grew turning snow into salt
Orbit through gloom with the locusts and frogs
Hurricane mind cried perfect framed skies
Vertebrae changed to a serpent shaped spine
Circles stayed bright time so bird of prey like
Bounce between planets that reverberate cries
This is the shortest song on the album—it’s just under two minutes long—but I don’t even mind the brevity. I even like the music video a lot. I think this track is dope as hell. It’s followed by 27 Club. The production from Kno is incredible. I love how hard-hitting the percussion is. Both of the verses from Sadistik are of course super well-written, but this track easily has my least favorite hook on the album. It’s not complete trash or anything, but it just doesn’t really add much to the song for me. It’s kind of boring to me honestly. I just don’t really care for Kno’s vocal delivery during that part of the song. I still really fuck with the track overall though. It’s dope. Track 10 is called Disappear, and it features Gifted Gab & Mibbs. I’m not familiar with Mibbs personally, but I was looking forward to this track just because I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve heard from Gifted Gab in the past. However, this is my least favorite track on the album. Don’t get me wrong; I still enjoy it to some extent. I think it’s a good song overall. I just wasn’t crazy about the final verse from Mibbs personally. Gifted Gab’s verse was great though, and Sadistik of course killed it. I really like the production, and I appreciate the lighthearted content about getting high as fuck. This song is definitely going in my weed shmoking playlist. Again, it’s far from a highlight on this album for me, but I definitely enjoy it to some extent. It’s a good song. Track 11 is a single entitled Where You Want Me.
From this point forward, every track can be considered a highlight for me honestly. I think this track is fire. I really love the production. The vocal sample that Kno flipped for the hook is fire, and Sadistik’s writing is as great as ever over it. It’s a really romantic track honestly.
In candlelight you’re my dandelion pollen count Anywhere you step no longer common ground We’re feeling cosmic when we talk amidst the lost and found Revealing sonnets when my heart emits staccato sounds Home alone sipping sauvignon 'til we’re comatose My holy ghost, eyes like jewels in two gopher holes Frozen in a photo frame saved within the Kodachrome Bouquets that you grow displayed radiate from chromosomes
I also think the music video is really cool. The different color schemes that they played with looked awesome. Shoutout to Tim Slew for directing it. Anyway, the song is dope as hell overall. The following track is called Rainclouds, Pt. 1, and it’s even better in my opinion. The production is incredible. I love that heavy synth, and the percussion is really hard-hitting. The first verse from Lucy Camp is really poetic. I love it.
Stunned I’m not, can’t untangle the stomach knots
Do drunken talk, unstable and stumble, walk
Away from problems, but unable to snub the thoughts
How much longer 'til doves & angels of us can swap?
Hiding’s enough betrayal, I’ve done it lots
Lying saying I’m tough as nails, like what a crock
Hard to accept change, it doesn’t stop
'Til one day you expect rain and it doesn’t drop
I always really enjoy hearing her on features, so I’m looking forward to checking out her debut album whenever it drops. The hook on this track is a little underwhelming, but that’s just a nitpick honestly. The rest of the song is awesome. Sadistik’s verse is really poetic, and his flow is great.
Patient, I’m pacing, praying, embracing the vacant
Rage against light that’s dying, aching aside, I’m fine
Look alive, still I’m flayed with a knife
Took it in stride, villain mosaic design
Crooked lines undefined, I’ve been saving for god
Sanctified, Monet-like colors raining outside
The song is dope as hell. It’s followed by Rainclouds, Pt. 2, which is just as good, if not better. Once again, the production from Kno is absolutely fantastic, and Sadistik’s rhymes are on point. This song follows the exact same structure as most of the other tracks, but I don’t mind because everything here is just so well done. I particularly love the point during the second verse at which Sadistik switches up his flow and delivery.
I listen when they’re fishing thick skin gets ripped when
They talk out their gills with indifference, quick to nit-pick
If it's different then watch how it feels from a distance
That’s probably my favorite part of the whole song. The track is dope. The following song is called Blue Tree Meadow, and it’s easily one of my favorite tracks on the album. I just really love everything about this song, especially the lyrical content. This is the most suicidal song on the whole album.
Shotgun in my mouth, the one that god forgot about
Paint a Pollock on the wall, hieroglyphics for the fall
I exist in mortal coil, life just isn’t for us all
Tried to find the silver bullet lining in a waterfall of Morton Salt
Projecting suicidal thoughts
Life-rafts they threw grew to nooses I endured
I gave my heart away so they could brutalize for sport
I ate up all the pain until it grew inside my pores
The production from Kno is of course very good as well. I like how he included that same sample of KRS-One that was on the Gravediggaz’s 1-800-SUICIDE. The vocal sample that he flipped for the hook sounds really great too. I really love some of the imagery from Sadistik in the second verse. These lines in particular stood out to me.
The tar tastes sweet, the hard rain’s sleet
I know I’m celestial, but the stargaze ceased
Swallow all the medicine 'til sharp pains leave
Never chummy, I’m just chum when the sharks came to eat
Hands they extended look like open mouth squid
Amiss in the abyss, friends will throw him down quick
Buried in a shallow grave, no one found him
In Aokigahara Forest or an Overtoun Bridge
Again, this is a major highlight for me on the album. I think it’s one of the best songs I’ve heard all year, and I have zero gripes with it at all. It’s dope af. The following track is called Mulholland Drive. I love the production. It kinda reminds me of 80s Pop music for whatever reason. Sadistik’s verse is phenomenal. I find certain lines pretty relatable.
I don't subscribe to the popular thought
I stay unpopular hide with the poplars in thought
And play philosopher, a populace without a proper cure
But hydroponic chronic, kind of a connoisseur
We're all a bunch of liars, make sure your con is sure
They conquer viewers with constant mantras to mock in chorus
While carnivores eat each other I just watch in horror
I'm not surprised but I wanted more
The lines about being a weed connoisseur and playing philosopher were pretty relatable, as well as the line about not subscribing to popular thought. I also like the connoisseur / con is sure homophone a lot. Is that a homophone? I think it is. Or maybe it’s a homonym. I don’t fuckin’ know. Let me know what it is in the comments. Anyway, the second verse is performed by Kno, and he arguably had a better verse than Sadistik. His flow and rhymes were nice as hell. Overall, I love this track. I think it’s dope as hell. Track 16 is called Quietus, and it’s got a really nice beat. The drum pattern is pretty much the same as the one from Heaven by Nas. I mean, I’m sure Nas isn’t the only other MC who’s rapped over that drum pattern, but that’s the first song I thought of when I heard this track. The production is the main reason I like this song so much to be honest. Don’t get me wrong; Sadistik’s writing is as gorgeous as I’ve come to expect from him. I just would have liked if he switched up his flow at some point. That’s just a nitpick though honestly because this song is still a highlight for me on the album. I appreciate how this song actually has a hook from Sadistik too. This shit is dope as hell. The penultimate track is a major highlight entitled GODMODE, which was released as the second single from this album.
I think this is one of the best songs on the album. The title of this track really makes sense because Sadistik lyrically annihilated it. His flow is fucking crazy on this track. I love it.
Oxygen levels are nada persona non grata I author stigmata armadas of trauma I’ll burn with the gods, I’m a martyr Then turn it to Autumn Sonata de nada De Sade on the Marquis, I’m dodging the harpies A part of me’s lost so I follow the heartbeats If I’m made of water that comes from the rain Then the waves that I’m on are a part of my body
The production is amazing too. This really feels like the climax of the album to be honest. It’s one of the most energetic tracks on the project. I bet this one goes crazy at live shows. It’s probably one of the most difficult songs to perform though just because Sadistik’s breath control and flow are so crazy. Out of all the singles they dropped for this album, this is easily my favorite. Kno & Sadistik both killed this shit. It’s dope af. The closing track is another major highlight for me entitled Serpens (Trial of Lucifer). This is probably my second-favorite song on the whole album. The concept of this track is fucking insane. Sadistik & Kno are rapping as Satan & God, and they’re going back and forth. This might actually be my number one favorite song actually. The production and lyrical content are just too crazy for this to not be one of the best songs on the album. I’m glad they closed the project with such a creative, ambitious song. This shit is absolutely dope af.
My expectations were met. This is one of the best albums I’ve heard all year. It might actually be the number one best produced album I’ve heard in 2022. These beats are gorgeous. This is exactly why Kno is one of my favorite producers. Sadistik’s writing is as beautiful as ever too. Haunted Gardens is still my favorite album of his just because it’s more depressing, and the theme was a bit easier for me to grasp, but this is a pretty close second. I think it’s even better than that Phantom Limbs EP that they put out in 2015, which was already one of my favorite Sadistik projects. My only nitpick with this album is that it could’ve used some more variation when it comes to song structure, but that’s a tiny gripe. The rapping and production are too good for me to not love this album. I’m looking forward to hearing even more music from these two guys in the future, whether they’re working together or separately. Don’t sleep on this album, especially if you’re a fan of either of these guys. It’s dope as hell.
Favorite Song: Serpens (Trial of Lucifer)
Least favorite Song: Disappear
Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album.