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Sigh Heir To Despair album cover
3.93 | 14 ratings | 3 reviews | 7% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Aletheia (7:23)
2. Homo Homini Lupus (5:33)
3. Hunters Not Horned (6:47)
4. In Memories Delusional (6:17)
5. Heresy I: Oblivium (7:28)
6. Heresy II: Acosmism (1:45)
7. Heresy III: Sub Species Aeternitatis (2:26)
8. Hands of the String Puller (4:48)
9. Heir to Despair (10:15)

Total Time 52:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Mirai Kawasima / vocals, keyboards, guitar, taishogoto, piccolo flute
- You Oshima / guitar
- Dr. Mikannibal / vocals, alto saxophone
- Satoshi Fujinami / bass
- Junichi Harashima / drums

- Million And Billion / vocals (1,6,7)
- Phil Anselmo / vocals (2)
- Kevin Kmetz / shamisen (1,3,4,8)

Releases information

Artwork: Eliran Kantor

CD Candlelight Records ‎- 2567925507 (2018, US)

LP Candlelight Records ‎- CANDLE792553 (2018, US)

Thanks to siLLy puPPy for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SIGH Heir To Despair ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(64%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SIGH Heir To Despair reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Sigh have been one of the most interesting Japanese bands for some time now, and here with their eleventh album they have taken another musical turn in their journey which may surprise some and will delight many. It is an album about insanity, and at first glance at the artwork that doesn't make sense as surely the woman watering her flowers is smiling? Find a nice big version of the image and you will realise the plants are dying, it not already dead, and the room behind her is in chaos. Japanese band Sigh will release their eleventh studio album Heir to Despair on November 16 via Candlelight Records. The album is mostly sung in Japanese, which is very unusual for the band, while Mirai Kawashima used some Japanese traditional singing techniques and Kevin Kmetz, formerly of Estradasphere and master of the traditional Japanese instrument, the shamisen, is featured on several tracks. This definitely gives the band a very traditional feel

While their last album, 'Graveward', contained some symphonic and orchestral elements, this has one has been inspired by progressive bands and contains plenty of vintage keyboards and flute as well as the riffing guitars we would normally expect. The band state they been paying attention to the likes Brainticket, Embryo, Agitation Free, Between, Gentle Giant, Os Mutantes, Modulo 1000 and Black Widow, which isn't a list one can imagine ever seeing from a Japanese metal act. I love the sheer diversity of this album, one never knows what is coming next, either from the next song or even the next few bars of the song which is being played. One might imagine it to be incredibly challenging, but in fact it is actually a really easy album to listen to. I enjoyed it the first time I played it, and each time since then has allowed me to discover something else.

Sigh continue to move, change, and challenge both themselves and their fans, and this is an incredibly strong result on every level.

Review by FragileKings
4 stars Though I've lived in Japan for nearly 20 years, I don't know many Japanese metal bands, and until recently, I didn't know Sigh either. Then within the space of about a week, not only was Sigh mentioned in two metal album discussion videos I watched on YouTube, but their album 'Heir to Despair' showed up in a recommended albums message from Amazon. Being a sucker for album art, I ordered the album right after checking out whose album cover this painting graced. Then I made a quick visit to YouTube to make sure I hadn't ordered something that would leave me dubiously scratching my chin.

The artwork really intrigued me. It has a very 1950's/60's, Showa' Japanese look to it. The woman is smiling as beautifully as though she were a star actress posing for a movie poster. And yet the plant she waters has withered and the room behind her looks not only austere but items on the floor and torn images on the walls suggest that someone had a serious freak out session in there. Word is the image and the album are about insanity? (The Japanese text translates directly to 'Inheritor of despair', by the way)

I had no idea about what music to expect except for that it would be metal. That Sigh cover black metal, avant-garde metal, progressive metal and more was unknown to me; however, before the album was over I could have guessed most of that myself. The music is speedy, melodic, symphonic at times, suggestive of power metal in a spot or two, and holds a fudge ton of progressive and odd bits to make sure that the album never becomes repetitive. One thing I'm very glad to hear is the variety of additional instruments, particularly traditional instruments like koto and shamisen, but also a good variety of other sounds and effects. Flute also figures in prominently in some tracks. The 'Heresy' trilogy is the most exceptional moment on the album with distorted vocoder vocals, electronic effects, sounds and voices, and a liberal amount of creative editing used to great effect.

Actually, the whole album very masterfully weaves together such an eclectic melange of metal styles so that crunchy guitars yield to Eastern music for a space, flute delightfully plays along to distortion- enriched power chords, symphonic elements add the extra 'umph' to some parts, accordion lends a folk feeling, and traditional Japanese instruments expand the soundscape further. As another reviewer stated, one never can be sure of where the next track will go or what will follow.

I'm not especially a fan of Japanese vocals in any popular music genre because I find them usually too similar in a predictable way. But here, the vocal styles and sounds I would expect from a Japanese metal band don't remain stuck in a trench. They are principally black metal croaks but joined at times by growls. There are also chanted vocals and rapid fire, staccato utterances. Most of the lyrics are in Japanese for which I'm grateful as I sometimes cringe the way some vocalists struggle with English phonetics. (To give an example from another band, 'I cross my heart / I cross my eyes' when 'cross' was supposed to be 'close'). Yet, to give praise where it's due, none of the English on 'Heir to Despair' has stood out for being poorly pronounced to my ears. Then again, I've mostly been enjoying the sounds of the music and vocals and haven't concentrated on the lyrics.

Having never heard any other Sigh albums, I have nothing to compare this to. But I'm very impressed with the package presented here. I love an album of creative and diverse musical approaches, and the recording quality captures all the band's efforts really well. It's a delight to listen to this album!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Sigh's latest album is the second Sigh album I've listened to, and it was great. The Japanese black metal warriors continue their journey with Heir to Despair, which is another album full of solid, psychedelic black metal. Heir to Despair has a great-looking album cover that's appealing to the e ... (read more)

Report this review (#2494673) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Saturday, January 16, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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