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Sigh: In somniphobia

19/03/12  ||  Will Cifer

Note by The Lord: Will Cifer’s reviews are always full of typos and grammar from Uganda, and I seriously can’t give a fuck about that anymore since he should be able to proofread himself. You decide yourself how you wanna come across when your shit is published, you know. With that said – enjoy.

Evolution is an understatement for the change Tokyo’s Sigh underwent since Euronymous signed them in 1990 to Deathlike Silence. Over half the band’s career they have heavily experimenting beyond the genre’s parameters. Having sacrificed acidic aggression for a raunchy Hieronymus Bosch styled symphony, that seductively averts your memory from the band they once were.

This album wastes no time for the power of the prog, to eclipses their black metal roots with guitar solos burning out from every corner. Hammond organs bubble from the swirl of colors. Decidedly less chaotic than “Scenes from hell”. Emphasis is placed on the dazzle of musicianship rather than invoking grim black density. Set aside the growled vocals and it holds ample common ground with the jammy nature of a band like Mars Volta.

Where a band like Cthonic uses their Oriental heritage almost as gimmick, not unlike Loudness did in the 80’s, it’s a mute point with Sigh. They continue to lean on klezmer flavored phrasing, the riffs swing from one another in a gypsy dance. This turn the band took on the last album and brings to mind Santa Cruz’s Estradasphere, as they have become comparable in their ability to blend bizarre transitions with remarkable smoothness, never coming across as forced or awkward. One of the albums heavier moments follows the after the title tracks first three minutes of middle eastern flavor mixed with Mr. Bungle like electronic quirks, toiling bells accent a dark dirge riffing. Lingering hints of black metal can be found on “Amongst the phantoms”, though the thrashing verses of “Fall to the thrall” are almost too fleeting.

Sigh has greater palate of color to choose from than say a more formulaic band like Opeth. Magnificent execution, the guitars shred with taste rather than jacking off into this orgy of sounds. Dr. Mikannibal’s vocals are not as focal as the previous album and when they shine out from the mix are more often than no cleanly sung. Her sax playing figures into the equation here with more focused intent bring an element of swank that drips with sex and would make well suited soundtrack for filming a thinking man’s home porn, it spanks you from time to time but never draws blood. They are passing up a golden opportunity if one of these songs is not set to a video with a Hentai theme.

While the repetitive use of blast beats and some of the genres other conventions can be the path to creative stagnation, this album lacks the snarling temper of “Scene from Hell” leading me to believe it might not be as an enduring a listen. When the mood hits me to take this sort of an adventure, I am more likely to reach for my copy of “Starless and bible black”, though with repeat listens it has begun to grow on me, but yet to sink it’s hooks in as it’s predecessors did.

7,5

  • Information
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: The End Records
  • Website: Sigh MySpace
  • Band
  • Mirai Kawashima: keyboards, vocals
  • Shinichi Ishikawa: guitars
  • Satoshi Fujinami: bass
  • Junichi Harashima: drums
  • Dr. Mikannibal: sax, vocals
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Purgatorium
  • 02. The transfiguration fear
  • 03. Opening theme lucid nightmare
  • 04. Somniphobia
  • 05. L’excommunication a Minuit
  • 06. Amnesia
  • 07. Far beneath the in-between
  • 08. Amongst the phantoms
  • 09. Ending theme continuum
  • 10. Fall to the thrall
  • 11. Equale