Monday, November 1, 2010

Sigh - Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien

Sigh is a black metal band from Tokyo, Japan, formed in 1990, and led mainly by multi-instrumentalist and composer Mirai Kawashima.
Originally a black metal band, and notably signed to Deathlike Silence Productions (which released Sigh's debut album in 1993), the record label of Norwegian musician Euronymous, of Mayhem fame. With the years, Sigh took an increasingly experimental path to forge their distinctive progressive sound, leaving behind much of its black metal roots.
This particular album, one of their latest, sees a partial return to the band's older sound... in some way. It is far more oriented towards the old black metal than it is to their more recent experimental, avant-gardish form of progressive rock/metal with only black-ish vox. But it's not quite that either. The production is very clear, especially compared to everything they did before, and I dare say the extreme metal elements are more appriopriately described as modern rather than classic. It also features very strong symphonic elements, which they included before, but not in the past couple of albums if I recall correctly.
Additionally, I might as well call it a concept album, at least as far as music goes. Many themes or motifs are repeated throughout the album; in a sense, it does come across the movements of a whole symphony, which was probably the band's goal with this record anyway.

So in short, if you're a fan of Sigh, or if you're at all into weird black metal, post-black metal, and/or avant-garde music, I'd say you owe it to yourself to check this one out.

Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien


Act I:

1. Introitus/Kyrie
2. Inked In Blood
3. Me-Devil

Act II:

4. Dies Iræ/The Master Malice
5. The Memories As A Sinner
6. Death With Dishonor
7. In Devil's Arms

Act III:

8. Overture/Rex Tremendæ/I Saw The World's End
9. Salvation In Flame/Confutatis
10. Finale: Hangman's Hymn/In Paradisum/Das Ende

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