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Sigh Scorn Defeat album cover
2.97 | 35 ratings | 5 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Victory of Dakini (6:50)
2. The Knell (4:21)
3. At My Funeral (5:43)
4. Gundali (5:57)
5. Ready for the Final War (9:17)
6. Weakness Within (3:07)
7. Taste Defeat (7:56)

Total Time 43:11

Bonus tracks on 1996 LP release:
5. Carnage (Mayhem's cover)
9. The Seven Gates of Hell (Venom's cover)

Bonus tracks on 2009 CD reissue:
- Requiem for Fools (7" EP 1992) :
8. The Knell (3:21)
9. Desolation (4:16)
10. Taste Defeat (7:27)
- Split 7" EP with Kawir (1994) :
11. Suicidogenic (3:10)
12. Schizo (3:19)

Line-up / Musicians

- Shinichi Ishikawa / electric & acoustic guitars
- Mirai Kawashima / bass, keyboards, vocals
- Satoshi Fujinami / drums & percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Anne Marit Brenden

LP Vinyl Collectors ‎- VC016 (1996, Netherlands) New cover art and 2 bonus tracks

CD Deathlike Silence Productions ‎- Anti-Mosh 007 (1993, Norway) Original release
CD Enucleation Records ‎- SOCKET29 (2009, US) New cover art and 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to morpheusdravenfuid=morpheusdraven for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SIGH Scorn Defeat ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

SIGH Scorn Defeat reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trickster F.
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.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Scorn Defeat is the debut studio album from Japanese experimental black metal act Sigh. Even this early in the bands career itīs safe to say that they didnīt sound like other black metal bands.

The basic structure and ideas in the music comes from early thrash metal pioneers like Slayer, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Venom and Celtic Frost but Sigh is also influenced by bands like Mayhem and Darkthrone ( who themselves were influenced by the mentioned bands). This is of course not unusual for a black metal band in 1993, but Sigh adds lots of keyboards to their sound which makes it pretty atmospheric at times and a couple of weird ideas also emerge from time to time like the rockīnīroll guitar solo in the middle of A Victory of Dakini. The tempo is mostly kept in mid-pace but there are some really doomy Black Sabbath like riffs here and there. The best example of that is the start riff in Taste Defeat. The pace shift to fast a couple of times too, but there are no blast beats on the album.

The musicianship is a bit questionable. The strongly accented raspy vocals are pretty strong and powerful IMO and they are without a doubt one of the main attractions on Scorn Defeat. The interplay is not very good though and why on earth the guitarist didnīt tune his guitar before recording the album is a mystery to me.

The sound is below standard, but pretty average for an early black metal production. I donīt enjoy it much.

I canīt really decide if I should laugh or cry because this is mostly very amateurish and demo like if you ask me. On the other side itīs obvious that Sigh has many great ideas and I welcome that part of their sound. A small 2 star rating is deseved for Scorn Defeat. Fans of the above mentioned bands might be able to get something out of this album but then again they might not ( I for one am a fan of most of the above mentioned bands and not very impressed by Scorn Defeat). But thatīs the audience the album is directed at.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars SIGH was actually one of the first non-European black metal bands having formed in 1989. After sending out demos they caught the attention of original Mayhem singer Dead and then after his suicide ended up in the hands of Euronymous, guitarist of Mayhem. Having caught his attention they were signed to his label Deathlike Silence Records and their debut album SCORN DEFEAT was released in 1993. Unfortunately Euronymous was murdered shortly thereafter and they moved over to Cacophonous Records after this release.

The album became a cult classic.This is their so-called traditional black metal album before they started experimenting eventually reaching avant-garde heights with IMAGINARY SONICSCAPE, however even on this debut release SIGH sounded like no one else.

As with many of the black metal acts that graced the early 90s, the influences appear to be the early old school black metal / thrash bands of the 80s like Venom, Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost and also of the early second wavers like Darkthrone and Mayhem. In fact the title of the album is taken from a line off of Venom's 'Welcome To Hell.'

SIGH incorporated classical piano on this release making them one of the first to incorporate keyboards into the black metal mix which would influence bands such as Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth and the countless symphonic black metal bands that followed.

The inchoate ideas that SIGH present here are interesting for their historical significance in the development of black metal scene however what's really missing here are some outstanding songs. This debut album is definitely worth a listen but it's obvious that despite the wealth of ideas they had yet to assembly them into interesting concoctions.

Review by Warthur
4 stars There's many reasons why the murder of Euronymous by Varg Vikernes was a tragedy, but one of them is that it gave Varg a big old platform of infamy from which to promote his crank racist views, whilst at the same time it put an end to Euronymous' activities through Deathlike Productions growing the black metal genre.

One illustration of this is Scorn Defeat, the debut album by Sigh. It's easy to forget in these days of the Internet, where you don't need to go that far to get a diverse picture of the worldwide metal scene, that it was much harder even in the early 1990s for an act to get much of a following outside its home turf. That's why it was so great of Euronymous to reach out and give this Japanese act a European release, flying in the face of the national rivalries that had characterised some facets of the black metal scene at the time (not to mention the toxic fascist elements that had been creeping in here and there) and recognising that good music knows no national or cultural borders.

For their part, Sigh capture the early 1990s black metal sound perfectly but also bring in the occasional melodic, near-symphonic moments (with some passages resembling something out of a classic JRPG soundtrack). Even with these sections, this is about as traditionally kvlt as Sigh ever got, but it's a good fit for the classic Deathlike Silence period.

Latest members reviews

1 stars 15/100 I was going to start this review by admitting that I probably am just not a fan of metal, but that's not really true as there are several metal groups that I enjoy listening to, but this won't be one of them. The vocals are silly, there aren't any melodies or rhythms that stand out amon ... (read more)

Report this review (#2944564) | Posted by ProgRockPrincess | Wednesday, August 9, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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