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GALLOWS GALLERY

Sigh

Experimental/Post Metal


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Sigh Gallows Gallery album cover
3.78 | 41 ratings | 5 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Pale Monument (3:53)
2. In A Drowse (3:27)
3. The Enlightenment Day (3:33)
4. Confession To Be Buried (6:21)
5. The Tranquilizer Song (3:20)
6. Midnight Sun (3:45)
7. Silver Universe (3:51)
8. Gavotte Grim (7:27)
9. Messiahplan (3:47)
10. (untitled) (2:12)
11. The Tranquilizer Song (David Harrow mix) (4:02)

Total Time: 45:38

Bonus tracks on 2007 remaster:
12. Pale Monument (Harsh vocal version) (3:53)
13. In A Drowse (Demo 2003) (3:41)
14. Messiahplan (Gunface alternate Guitar solo take) (3:47)
15. The Tranquilizer Song (David Harrow remix outtake) (4:03)
16. Jazzy Outtake 1 (0:31)
17. Jazzy Outtake 2 (0:30)

Total time 62:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Mirai Kawashima / vocals, organ, MiniMoog, Prophet-5 & DX-7 synthesizers, Fender Rhodes, clavinet, Theremin, sampling, glockenspiel, harp, gong, temple bells, sitar, tabla
- Shinichi Ishikawa / rhythm & lead guitars
- Satoshi Fujinami / bass, guitar
- Junichi Harashima / drums, percussion, Brushes

With:
- Paul Groundwell / guitar solo (1)
- Niklas Sundin / guitar solo (2)
- Kostas Karamitroudis "Gus G" / guitar solo (4,7)
- Mike McKenzie "Gunface" / guitar solo (9)
- Bruce Lamont / saxophone (2-4,6)
- Killjoy / narration voice (4,7,8)
- Metatron / narration voice (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Adam Wentworth

CD Baphomet Records ‎- BAPH 132 (2005, US)
CD The End Records ‎- TE091 (2007, US) Remastered by James Murphy with 6 bonus tracks

Thanks to Crushed Aria for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SIGH Gallows Gallery ratings distribution


3.78
(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
41%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

SIGH Gallows Gallery reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trickster F.
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Prog-Metal for partying?

The Japanese Prog-Metal group Sigh all the way until they released Imaginary Sonicscape had been known as a productive aggregate, releasing at least one album within each two years of their career. There was quite a break afterwards and, as expected, there was a bigger impatience in the fans' anticipation before the album, which, unfortunately, meant more disappointments from the side of the listeners who simply did not hear what they had been hoping for for a long time.

The reasoning for the instant disappointment was as simple and superficial as it can get: "bad production" and "cheesy vocals". Speaking about the first case, that's quite true. It is a misfortune that after such a richly recorded album as its predecessor, Gallows Gallery was given a rawer production. As a consequence, you have to pay attention to what is going on more thoroughly, turn up the volume and experience a brilliant performance spoilt, although, from my point of view, insignificantly, by the quality of the recording. The new member's Junichi Harashima's drumming sounds as it is about to sink, however, that's the only really noticeable fault. Second, the vocals are not necessarily an unwelcome change for everyone but completely conservative fans, which a group like Sigh, presumably, is supposed to lack. From the debut album up to the Gallows Gallery preceding Imaginary Sonicscape, Mirai has used the same vocal style - his raspy scream, which had been expressing various emotions from grimness to triumph and excitement, yet remaining pretty much stagnant nevertheless. Moreover, not only is the fact of the change refreshing - the whole idea of harmonizing the vocals in this interesting, in addition to being new for the group, way in complex layers makes the listening more fascinating. The vocals are still as overexcited as they used to be on the previous efforts, someone can even say cartoonish or "cheesy". It is incredible to hear Mirai actually sing and harmonize his clean vocals, and his voice bears a certain resemblance to Rob Halford and Toshimitsu Deyama(latter perhaps due to them both being Japanese and having a similar accent).

Another noticeable difference one recognizes easily by just looking at the tracklist is that the songs have become shorter. On the one hand, there are less classical interludes and outros of all kinds, which is a pity, and the songs seem to lack substance albums like Imaginary Sonicscape contained. Conversely, since Sigh has made it a part of their trademark sound to make enough refrains to turn the already memorable music into even a catchier shape, it is pleasant how they wrote down 3-minute songs instead of 7-minute songs of about the same substance. No matter how much you enjoy hearing a particular chorus or refrain, when you start listening to a song and, having heard the chorus once, already expect to hear it six more times throughout the next eight minutes, you know that something is wrong. Fortunately, the music here does not lack any "meat", so to speak of, being both energetic and powerful and also containing all kinds of excellent ingredients that the music has kept for centuries.

The songs are catchy anthems in the spirit of such timeless classics as Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and Judas Priest, consisting of catchy anthems, spectacular riffs and amazing keyboard work from the guru, group's songwriter and vocalist Mirai, who does not try to dominate with his potentially virtuosic impressive abilities, and inserting great keyboard fills in the vein of Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and Jon Lord into the music appropriately. The music remains avant-garde and over the top, implementing influenced from classical, rock, pop, metal and jazz, as well as various contemporary styles, taking all kinds of unexpected turns that seem impossible for mere 3-minute long verse/chorus based tracks on paper, but it all seems to work out well.

Most songs are done in the similar style, however, by giving the album a couple of listens you will be able to tell apart one song from another very easily, which once again proves the songwriting's accent on memorability. There are two songs which don't follow that criteria though, first being The Tranquilizer Song - a psychedelic, mellow symphonic lullaby, and the other being Gavotte Grim - a personal favourite. Every once in a while, Sigh produces an album with at least one song being something like this(not to say those songs have got anything in common with each other)and radically different from the preceding and following tracks. It is an epic, lush and brilliant mixture of Symphonic Prog and melodic Doom Metal, and the result is truly unique both for Sigh and for music in general. We can only hope that the group continues these kinds of experiments in their future career and perhaps try to create something with similar emotions and instrumentation. A beautiful, stunning track. The album also includes a remix of the track The Tranquilizer Song, with common features associated with modern electronic music and contemporary technology, and is another interesting experiment for the group.

Gallows Gallery, while not a masterpiece, is a great, creative record that will especially please fans of 70's Hard Rock and Symphonic Prog performed in a modern, unusual way, as well as avantgardists and fans of general Progressive Metal who are looking for something more upbeat and fun, because, let's be honest, "happiness" is a not a trait applied to the genre too often.

A pleasant effort from musicians refusing to stop their development!

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Now sufficiently experimental that their black metal roots are, whilst still visible in the rear view mirror, not quite the focus of their work any more, Sigh further explored the progressive reaches of their sound on this album, sowing the seeds of strong later works. For instance, Bruce Lamont's guest spot on saxophone would carve out a niche in the band's sound that would later be filled, to the great benefit of their sound, by Dr. Mikannibal. Whilst other bands from the Deathlike Silence stable of second-wave black metallers would take an avant-metal path, perhaps none have done so more successfully than Sigh, with this psychedelic horrorshow another decent contribution to their discography.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Gallows Gallery" is the 6th full-length studio album by Japanese progressive/experimental metal act Sigh. The album was released through Candlelight Records/Baphomet Records in October 2005. It's the successor to "Imaginary Sonicscape" from 2001 and there's been one lineup change since the predecessor as drummer Satoshi Fujinami plays bass and guitars on this album, and new drummer Junichi Harashima has been added to the lineup. The remaining part of the lineup are Mirai Kawashima (vocals, keyboards, organs, sampling...etc.) and Shinichi Ishikawa (guitars).

But it's not so much the lineup changes which make the headlines here, as "Gallows Gallery" is yet another left-turn stylistic change from Sigh. If you're familiar with the preceding releases in the band's discography you'll know that Sigh have pretty much changed musical style between each of their releases. To begin with little changes between releases and gradually much bigger changes between albums...culminating in the release of the avant garde, psychadelic, atmospheric heavy metal album "Imaginary Sonicscape (2001)", which is as weird as it is exciting. If you thought Sigh would continue down that road on "Gallows Gallery", I can tell you, that you have another thing coming...

...because suddenly it seems like Sigh have decided to release a power/heavy metal album. Gone are the harsh blackened vocals from their past releases, and instead the vocals are clean, and there are harmonies and choirs. The vocals aren't angelic clean or high pitched though, but more akin to for example the vocals on a Running Wild album. So they are still relatively raw and not necessarily what many would label pretty. The strong Japanese accent also add something different to the vocals, and personally I find the accented vocals quite charming, but I can understand those who wouldn't be able to appreciate them.

While the primary music style on "Gallows Gallery" is power/heavy metal, this is a Sigh album, and not surprisingly the band twist conventions and explore boundaries of the power/heavy metal genre, so while there are many recognisable power/heavy metal elements featured here, you have probably never heard an album in the genre which even remotely sounds like this. Drums, bass, guitar, and vocals, are complimented by the use of various keyboards, synths, and organs (and some other instruments like Gong, Sitar, and Tibetan Bells), and a generally very adventurous approach to songwriting. The material are well written, catchy, and energetic, but some tracks sound a bit the same (the melody lines are similar as are the riff style and rhythms), but the band do incorporate some surprises to keep the album varied (an example is the slow, atmospheric, and psychadelic tinged "The Tranquilizer Song").

"Gallows Gallery" features high level musicianship and a decent quality sound production (a bit thin sounding, but still decent), and upon conclusion it's another high quality release by Sigh, who must be praised both for their boldness and for their complete disregard for genre conventions and expectations from their fans. The fans are of course by now used to expecting the unexpected, but you still have to be a very open-minded music listener to be able to appreciate such major musical changes between releases. Those who have stuck by the band through their many transitions, will probably stick by them on this release too and be rewarded for their loyalty, because "Gallows Gallery" is a grower and while it is very different from anything Sigh have released before, this is still unmistakably the sound of Sigh. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Latest members reviews

3 stars Power metal. Power metal. Power metal. Repetition ad infinitum metal: 6/10 While the previous release defined SIGH as a musical omnibus of avant-garde black metal rather than just a (progressive) black metal band, this one pretty much scrubbed "black" from their sonority... and "avant-garde" too. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1715938) | Posted by Luqueasaur | Saturday, April 29, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Gallows Gallery marks Sigh's return to music since their 2001 masterpiece Imaginary Sonicscape. Upon hearing the album's first track, anyone familiar with Sigh's previous works will notice a dramatic change of vocal styles delivered by vocalist Mirai. The harsh raspy vocals are replaced with a ... (read more)

Report this review (#68432) | Posted by | Sunday, February 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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