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Sigh - Scorn Defeat CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.06 | 22 ratings

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Trickster F.
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Quite a fascinating start!

The Japanese avant-metallers Sigh have learned a lot of respect among intellectual open-minded music listeners for their later releases, however, not many realize that they were a completely different collective in the early 90's and that their creative beginnings are actually worth listening! After a couple of demos, which caused quite the fuss in the Japanese metal underground scene, and a very successful EP, Scorn Defeat is the group's first full-length release and also the place where their ideas develop and evolve from the embryonic shape of Requiem For The Fools. The group already has a wide variety of influencing, the more noticeable ones being the 80's Thrash greats Venom, Mercyful Fate and Celtic Frost, and other influences forming the unique sound that makes Sigh's music stand out and noteworthy. The musicians have developped a horrifying, dreadful sound of their own, mainly thanks to the influence of Japanese horror film soundtracks.

Another aspect of Sigh's music's evolution that deserves a mention seperately is the production. The sound quality has greatly improved since the EP and every note can be heard well. The quality of the sound only makes the release better.

The advancement can be visible on the very first track - A Victory of Dakini. The starter is full of creatively written riffs, raspy vocals and traditional thrash drumming, great bass parts that are put in front of the mix when necessary and overall audible throughout. There are many quiet, more mellow moments with laid-down rasps, acoustics and piano, which is not something you would hear a lot during the early 90's. The Knell is next, and is a shorter track and also heavier than the rest of the music on the album, with a more frequent use of keyboards than before. At My Funeral is a very dark number, with horrifying, almost doomy riffs and monotonous refrains. This is the most repetitive composition here. Opposed to the harsh vocals, there are occassional "chants" here, which aren't quite developed. Nevertheless, Mirai will stick with this singing style and will concentrate his maturing creativity and songwriting skill on the complex musical compositions, rather than trying to learn how to learn how to sing properly. I am not complaining though; as his harsh vocals have become the trademark for Sigh and made their music more catchy and memorable. from here all the way until Imaginary Sonicscape. Gunadlievidently differs from the other songs on the album, as it is a step outside the ugly borders of blackened Thrash with keyboards. This track is, in my opinion, the highest point of the album with organ playing and spoken vocals, which create a sorrowful and mourning feel. This is the idea they will later develop more and quite an interesting track, despite the lack of metal influences and the repetitive drum pattern. The second half of the song is a classicaly influenced piano written piece. Ready for the Final War returns the album back on track on the railroad of dark, monotonous thrash and also suffers the problem of being too monotonous. There are also highlights of the composition, especially the keyboards, used similarly to Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse album. At the end we are awarded with more piano once again. I also like the "proggy come-back" to the song during the second half of the track. Weakness Within is the shortest track on the album, which could have been a good thing actually, as many songs here are overlong with less substance than one would like to have. However, the riffs not as good here as on the other tracks, and the song is once again saved by the classically influenced piano playing. Taste Defeat, containing the same traits as the other tracks on the album, closes it nicely. There are some clean singing bits here creating an early Black Sabbath-esque feel, which fail to impress me, and also some usage of flute. A solid track.

Overall, Sigh's first album Scorn Defeat is a good start for this ambitious Japanese group and also a promise of better things to come in future. The group's biggest fans should in no way avoid this release as many moments here are quite interesting and remarkable, however, even knowing this album's historical improtance(this album was way ahead ot its time and very different if compared to the Norwegian Black Metal scene)I suggest those who haven't become Sigheads yet to begin with the adventorous musical style milkshake-like record Imaginary Sonicscape and then explore the group's vast discography in reversed chronological order. However, those heavily into 80's Thrash should immediately obtain this, as it not only has its common traits, but develops the raw sound further and adds intellect it has been missing.

Trickster F. | 3/5 |


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