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Sigh - Imaginary Sonicscape CD (album) cover

IMAGINARY SONICSCAPE

Sigh

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.29 | 156 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Trickster F.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Instantly enjoyable Avant-Metal? Look no further.

I like Avant-Garde music but I like having fun too! How many times have we heard that sentence? Indeed, it is often considered that if music is avant, it is no fun and hard to get into by digesting and enjoying. Well, with the Japanese avant- metallers Sigh this isn't the case!

First of all, let me start this reviewing by saying that in the world of music nobody sounds like this group. Originally a Black Metal group, they have grown up over the time and on this release such a diverse variety of influences and sounds is being used, that you can't help but wonder: will the result be as a good as the ambitions? The answer is positive. Whilst the transition between two completely different musical styles of one song isn't performed flawlessly, which actually is the point, as proven by most avant collectives, it does not cross the line and come across as pretentious. Sometimes while you listen carefully you notice such styles of music performed on the record that are untypical for a general Progressive Metal group.

Sigh are classified Progressive Metal on this website. Although I don't deny the obvious Metal influence and the heavy sound present in their music, I have to warn you it goes deeper than that. It isn't really an extreme album, by any means. The only thing it takes after the more extreme types of Metal are Mirai Kawashima's raspy vocals, which, while not remarkable in any way, make the tracks either catchier or more dramatic, depending on the mood. The Metal influences are present mostly in the shape of the tradition 70's Heavy Metal sound, and sometimes there are even parts that remind of groups like Deep Purple, proving the diversity of the group. The guitar work is beyond all of my expectation is absolutely outstanding! The riffs are catchy, melodic and over the place, something you'd expect from Iron Maiden and the most advanced of the Swedish 90's Melodic Death Metal scene. The soloing is inspiring and just long enough not to make one feel bored. What really makes this album so unusual and unique is the amazing keyboard work - both in accompenimt to other instruments and in the solo parts.

Corpsecry - Angelfall is the first track on the album and also the the most straightforward song here. It has a catchy, perhaps a bit repetitive, chorus, something that can be said about many of the tracks here. It is a lot of fun to listen to. I suspect that the track is actually seperated on Corpsecry and Angelfall, latter being the classical outro of the track. Only after the first song, however, does the album begin to show its identity. The folower, Scarlet Dream, is a slower paced song and also much more psychedelic. It does, once again, have a catchy chorus on its own. Nietzchean Conspiracy is the most extrardinary piece here, devoid of any heavy elements and rather influenced by a large amount of different types of modern moods. It is even more psychedelic and includes a long instrumental part that reminds the average progger of the 70's Canterbury Scene. This Caravan-esque moment is present on the next track as well. The next song, A Sunset Song, is hands down the catchiest of the album, with a bizarre contradiction - happy music meets violent singing with dreadful lyrics. It doesn't flow very well, but I like it for what it is. Impromptu (Allegro Maestoso) is a short classical instrumental that leads into the next song - Dreamsphere (Return To Chaos) - which is rather similar in mood to the previous ones. The intro to Ecstatic Transformation reminds me heavily of Deep Purple and everytime I hear it, I am freaked out that a cartoonish black metal scream kicks in instead of Ian Gillan's voice. The hard rock influence is present in many times throughout the track, together with the chorus mixed with electronic music. The highlight of the album is arguably the almost 11-minute long Slaughtergarden Suite. At first I found it to be the least catchiest tune here, but later I realized that it is much more serious in musicians' approach to composition than the other tracks and found what could be one of the most geniusly written Avant-Metal tracks ever. Requiem - Nostalgia closes the album in an unexpected way - clean choir sung vocals appear here in the chorus and they suit the music extremely well.

Although I can't quite allow myself to award this album the maximum five star rating, which would make it a masterpiece of progressive music by the site's guidelines, that I follow loyally, I must say that the only thing that hinders me from doing it is the fact that the tracks on the album are too inconsistent and chaotic for its own good. However, it makes it up with the extraordinary sound that you are not very likely to find anywhere else.

The album is highly recommended to all open-minded Progressive Music fans, as, despite being put into the progmetal box, it includes segments of other types of music. I especially happen to believe that those who appreciate the symphonic style of prog done in the 70's will love this album. The same, on the other hand, goes for the progmetalheads and the avantgardists - there is something for virtually any listener here! Not a masterpiece, but an excellent addition to any prog music collection nonetheless - truly a Must-Have album!

Trickster F. | 4/5 |

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