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Sigh - Hail Horror Hail CD (album) cover

HAIL HORROR HAIL

Sigh

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.00 | 34 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hail Horror Hail is the third studio album from Japanese experimental extreme metal act Sigh. Their debut album Scorn Defeat (1993) was primitive blackened thrash metal and not to my taste while their second album Infidel Art (1995) showed great promise but still lacked the final touch to really impress me. Hail Horror Hail is almost everything I hoped it would be as the band has progressed in an even more experimental/ avant garde direction since the release of Infidel Art.

The basis in the music is still blackened thrash metal/ heavy metal but the orchestral classical elements in the music that was introduced on Infidel Art are now fully developed and a dominant part of Sigh´s sound. The experimental side of Sigh is also present on Hail Horror Hail. Listen to the jazzy keyboard solo in 12 Souls or the song Invitation to Die which almost could have fit into the symhonic prog catagory had it not been for the raspy vocals. On earlier releases from Sigh I´ve complained about the generic guitar and drums and even though the riffs are still not outstanding they fit the music well and it´s the same with the drums. This is the kind of music were everything works in favour of the big picture. Or in other words the compositions and the atmosphere of the songs. And that approach works well for Sigh who don´t need virtuosic guitar solos or technical drumming to make excellent music. The overall sound is very aggressive which is very much due to Mirai Kawashima vocals. A really convinsing performance from him. I have to mention the title track too which opens the album in melodic metal style. There´s almost an Iron Maiden like melodic approach in the song and modern melodic Swedish death metal also comes to mind. A very interesting track and a great opener. It´s not very representitive for the album though so remember to listen to a couple of songs more before you judge.

The musicianship is excellent. Drums, bass and guitar are good but not excellent as mentioned but the vocals and the synths are excellent and really lifts Hail Horror Hail to another dimension.

The production is not the usual clean modern metal production that most metal bands prefer. Sigh has a more organic sound on guitar, bass and drums while the synths create a good but not really convinsing orchestra sound. The synth and piano are also used for horror like movie score pieces which are great for the atmosphere of the album.

Hail Horror Hail took some time to sink in and I´ve raised my rating from 3 to 4 stars after repeated listening. I´ve really thought about it and I think Sigh has made a very original album with Hail Horror Hail and at the same time an album that I greatly enjoy. Therefore a 4 star rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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