Album Review: Sigh – Shiki

Album Review: Sigh - Shiki
Reviewed by Patrick O'Reilly

Japanese avant-garde black metallers Sigh have a pedigree of quality off the wall black metal releases filled with elements from a variety of genres from jazz to doom. Here they are back again with another album, will they be able to maintain the quality on this new album?

Opening with a terse introduction of throat singing we go headfirst into the first track ‘Kuroi Kage’ which features a heavy basic riff reminiscent of Celtic Frost’s Iconic ‘Procreation of the Wicked’. What that classic song didn’t have however is strange synth sections, a solo pulled straight from a classic rock song of the 70s and deranged Japanese vocals! This all sounds like a strange brew but it works and is a highly entertaining track.

Album Review: Sigh – Shiki

Track three, 'Shoujahitsumetsu' is a more typical black metal blast, rattling on at a fair old pace but from there the album takes many twists and turns and becomes basically a black metal prog rock extravaganza. We are treated to a variety of styles including all forms of metal, traditional Japanese folk music and even elements of electronica, sometimes all within the same song. Other bands would probably spoil an album by including so many different sounds, but Sigh are masters of this type of music, and everything fits seamlessly and just feels right.

There is heaviness on display at times, blast beats pop up here and there and the vocals are often harsh and abrasive but overall, this is an album of contrasts, contrasts of styles, textures, atmosphere and tone.

This isn’t an album to throw on for a quick listen, to really appreciate it I feel you must give it time and dedication. If you do though you will be rewarded with a rich and fulfilling musical experience that enthrals from start to finish.

Recommended  in particular for fans of – Pink Floyd, Enslaved, Tool, 1349, Tiamat, Therion

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