Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sigh - Insomniphobia

Sigh, In Somnophobia,2012
Candlelight Records

Admittedly black metal was getting even more boring with a bunch of bands treading out the same old corpse paint and covering the same old ground. But while you’re likely balling your eyes out about the demise of Ludicra, you’ll pleased to know that Japan’s Sigh have returned with a new album.

The latest album opens mixing classical metal with classical music and black metal in “Purgatorium”. For the most part the vocals are clear although it’s pretty hard not to figure out lyrics such as “I live, you die.” Ignoring the black metal vocals “Keeper of The Seven Keys” period Helloween is a band that comes to mind when listening to this song and ignoring the black metal vocals.
“The Transfiguration Fear” is an opera from hell complete with a church trained sounding choral group. The song has a few jazzy moments but it is the choir that assists to convey an aura of unforeseen terror.

The nearly half an hour “Lucid Nightmares” is made up of seven separately titled chapters. “Opening Theme” is exactly that with an evil voice welcoming the listener into their nightmares. ‘Somnophobia” conjures up hell with metallic noise, jazz and more eerie choral voices. The metal works out the door and the jazz takes over towards the end of the track before. L’Excommunication A Minuit” has the vocalist take the role of mad ringmaster with the band walking high upon their carnival music tightrope to occassional bursts of inexplicable laughter. Creeping blues opens “Amnesia” and the vocals are much more film noir blues than metal. When the black metal vocalscome into play the musical proceedings veer towards jazz complete with keyboard tinkering. “Far Beneath The In-Between” adds a short snake charm to the lounge jazz metal hybrid insanity.

While Sigh are going to be exalted in many quarters for “In Somnophobia” due to their innovation, it’s only really their experimentation that keeps a listener interested because there’s a serious absense of hookiness in a high percentage of tunes on this album. This weakness makes difficult for the indiscriminate listener to tell where one song ends and another starts. The vocals are clearer than most black metal but Sigh still often fall into the unclear mirky vocal genre trap. Despite its failings this album will get repeat playings due to simultaneously fulfilling jazz and metal listening desires.


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Sigh- Scenes from Hell review

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