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Reviews

Sigh: Requiem for fools

22/06/12  ||  Sokaris

For a lot of up-and-coming extreme metal bands in the early 90s the first taste of the promised land of label recordings was the release of a 7” EP. I’d imagine it was a lot less risky than financing a full length and it allowed a developing band to put out new material quickly. So if this kind of EP could be considered a test Sigh passed with flying colors. Wild Rags continued their work with this formative version of the Japanese extreme metal pioneers and the rest of the world started to take notice.

The band finally had a sound that did justice to their material and focused both the songwriting and the production on creating a dark, thick and moody field of audio that managed to boast a sense of clarity without losing its ferocity. Mirai had found his voice, a mix of higher register snarls with more drawn out desperate shouts to add to a heightened dramatic sensiblity. All the individual instrumental performances were tighter and everything sounded more like a band making a statement than just experimenting.

For 1992’s “Requiem for fools” Sigh debuted an early version of the song “The knell” for the A-Side and another recording of “Desolation of my mind” on the reverse. The cassette edition of this release would prove far superior considering its bonus track more or less doubled the total playing time. “Taste defeat”, the band’s first epic, clocking in at over 7 minutes rounded out the tape version of “Requiem for fools”

“The knell” manages to cram in a huge swathe of tempos in its relatively short duration time, complimented by a busy drum arrangement, dark riffing, atmospheric keyboards and crazed vocals. “Desolation of my mind” isn’t changed drastically from its last version but the production and performance really bring the song to another level. Though the song would be recorded a fourth and final time for the band’s sophomore full length “Infidel art” this version is definitely still worth a listen considering how drastically different that version is. Rounding things out is the aforementioned epic “Taste defeat” which is based around a sort of upbeat doom (yeah I know that sounds kind of contradictory) sound that brings some interesting keyboard additions as well as an ocarina solo in the bridge. The song’s ending features some bizarre semi-clean wails and triangle work before dark, classical-inspired piano work leads the song into a fadeout. It’s a great song to end things with, which is why Sigh would reuse this composition as the finale to “Scorn defeat”.

We’re still not to essential Sigh territory, but mostly because later versions of all of these songs are now available on the initial pair of full lengths. Taken by itself, this is a hell of an EP and probably the most evil-sounding production Sigh’s ever experienced.

The “Requiem for fools” EP (complete with “Taste defeat”) can be heard on three versions of “Scorn defeat”; the 3LP box released by The Crypt (along with a rehearsal of “The knell”) and the CD reissues on Enucleation and Deepsend.

7.5

  • Information
  • Released: 1992
  • Label: Wild Rags
  • Website: Sigh MySpace
  • Band
  • Mirai Kawashima: vocals, bass, keyboards, ocarina
  • Satoshi Fujinami: guitars, drums, triangle
  • Tracklist
  • 01. The knell
  • 02. Desolation of my mind
  • 03. Taste defeat (cassette version)