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Sigh - Scenario IV: Dread Dreams CD (album) cover



Experimental/Post Metal

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4 stars Scenario IV: Dread Dreams is the 4th full-length studio album by Japanese experimental blackened heavy metal/ extreme metal act Sigh. The album was released in September 1999 by Cacophonous Records. I was very impressed by their third full-length studio album Hail Horror Hail (1997) and also the Ghastly Funeral Theatre (1997) EP which both featured lots of experimental ideas and quite frankly oozed weird charm, so my expectations to how Scenario IV: Dread Dreams would sound were very high and fortunately fully met.

The music on Scenario IV: Dread Dreams is not easy to describe but a description like progressive/ experimental blackened heavy metal/ thrash metal with doom metal and NWoBHM elements would be my best shot. If that sounds confusing to you I can assure you that the album is very consistent and all styles and musical elements are combined seamlessly. The basis in the music are drums, bass and guitar. Those instruments play what I would call a filthy old school blackened heavy metal/ thrash metal style. The vocals by Mirai Kawashima are equally filthy and raw sounding. Thereīs a hysterical edge to them that I really enjoy. On top of this "regular" metal style, the band excel in the use of orchestral synth parts, melodic guitar solos, sound effects, choirs ( both male and female), loads of psychadelia and of course some trademark handclaps. While this might sound like a carnival fare to some, Sigh manage to maintain a dark atmosphere throughout and thatīs maybe their greatest strength. Yes this is progressive and yes this is experimental ( even on the verge of avant garde at times) but the band never loses sight of the fact that they are at their core an extreme metal act and thatīs admirable IMO.

The production is dark and organic and the choice of synths, even though a bit synthetic at times, donīt ruin that impression. The fact that the band opt not to play razor sharp precision riffing but rather a more loose and organic style of playing also adds to the impression of authenticity.

With Scenario IV: Dread Dreams, Sigh prove once again that they are one of the most unique extreme metal acts around. The album sounds like nothing else out there and itīs actually hard to say who will enjoy the album and who will not. In my point of view an album this daring and unique deserves a 4.5 star rating. Hail Sigh hail.

Report this review (#397356)
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Scenario IV by Sigh might be better entitled "Hail Horror Hail II", since it's largely a continuation of the general approach of that album, with extensive shifts of musical style and approach mid-composition being a regular occurrence. With a range of extreme metal styles and non-metal styles, as well as sections combining the two (there's bits which recall some of the more "black 'n' roll" segments of Hail Horror Hail, for instance), it's certainly as diverse an album as its predecessor, though the transitions here seem more abrupt and arbitrary than on that album.

It's still a very solid release, mind - "not as good as Hail Horror Hail" still leaves room to be very, very good indeed.

Report this review (#1915389)
Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2018 | Review Permalink

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