Twenty years after its foundation, this unique avant-garde metal band from Japan, presents us its eighth full-length album, three years after “Hangman’s Hymn”. If you have followed Sigh through the years, you should know that you can never predict what’s coming next. Their previous album was a relentless attack of powerful majestic bombastic avant-garde black thrash metal, very different from the power metal influences of 2005’s “Gallows Gallery”. So I was curious to see what would they play this time…
Well, “Scenes From Hell” is an album with all Sigh’s trademarks. Maybe it’s their most characteristic and balanced album ever! The production is much different than the crystal clear one of the previous album, adding a more “analog” sound to their music, especially in the symphonic keys. This brings them closer to their older sound and since the tempo is a bit slowed down (still fast though, but less tiring) and the music less bombastic, I would say that the result is like a mixture of “Hangman’s Hymn” and “Imaginary Sonicscape”. There are 8 songs in the album built on their unique black/thrash metal riffs (even if less thrashy this time) and many guitar solos, enriched by symphonic synths and real instruments, most of them performed by the band’s mastermind Mirai, as well as by many guest musicians (almost a real orchestra!) including Zoltan Pal of Sear Bliss in trombone. The orchestrations are like always brilliant, with so many melodies and different styles, ranging from classical symphonic music, to jazz music, horror theatrical music, all with their avant-garde weird atmosphere. Some of the songs are more catchy, others more atmospheric, but all of them are really enjoyable and you will discover new things with each listening! Mirai’s vocals have a more black metal approach this time and I like them very much this way! As the title of the album implies, the lyrics deal with death, agony and suffering and nothing could “dress” them better than Sigh’s music!
“Scenes From Hell” is the perfect way to celebrate the 20 years of existence of this great band. I am pretty sure that all followers of Sigh will welcome and appreciate this excellent album. It is released once again by The End Records and it comes with an amazing cover artwork by Eliran Kantor, which must look ever better in the LP size! Whether you have heard of Sigh or not, this is a band you should definitely check, so go to their myspace and Facebook pages to get a taste of their music.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos