SIGH - In Somniphobia [Review]

Genre: Black/Avant-garde Metal
Label: Candlelight Records
Release date: March 12th, 2012
Reviewer: Karim Tarek

If you’re not familiar with the name Sigh, then you’re totally missing out on some out-of-the-ordinary Black Metal. The Japanese quintet delivers a highly peculiar and exotic blend of Black, Power, and Avant-Garde Metal. They have been around since 1990, and have managed to build up a strong discography since then. Courtesy from Candlelight Records, we recently got a grip on their upcoming album, entitled In Somniphobia, which is expected to be released on March, 12th.

In Somniphobia” sounded so powerful, complex, unique, and melodic. Most of the openings of the tracks sounded Power Metal-ish, especially the first track, “Purgatotium.” Riffs too came very energetic and lively, which helped add a whole theme of vigorousness to the album. You could sense a great job done by the guitarist, Shinichi Ishikawa, from the very first moments on the album; riffing on “In Somniphobia” came all pretty diverse, swinging between speed, melodiousness, down-tempo breaks, and power shredding.

In Somniphobia” greatly showed the experimental side of Sigh. I mean, Sigh are known for their eccentric and experimental tunes, however, it felt like “In Somniphobia” came to lay an emphasis on that aspect of the band. A song like “Somniphobia” is precisely what I would use as an example of proving my point; it starts off with an electronic drone line, moves on with a vast mixture of tunes, with xylophone, keyboards, soundbites, and saxophone all around, and ends up in a typical way of how a pure experimental song does. It really grew on me anyway and gave me a small picture of the whole record.

What Sigh really deserve kudos for is their musical cohesiveness; they managed to perfectly stay in accord and maintain the harmony throughout the whole one hour and four minutes of the album, which is not a very easy job taking in consideration the amount of instruments used and the very complexity of the music. I can safely say that their performance was flawless, which is natural for a veteran band, I guess. Guitars, drumming, bass, saxophone, vocals, electronics, and everything else was just tight.

All in all, “In Somniphobia” is a journey through the unknown; it’s dark, weird, exotic, unpredictable, and most importantly musically rich, and as expected from an experimental album, it never started to grow on me until a few listens later… Or in other words, I never felt I could grasp it before at least three listens and a lot of pauses and repeats. I believe that we all need such an album for a change; it’s a good refreshment for avid Metalheads. It’s something uncommon that lies in its own league in the Black Metal scene. I would recommend it for anyone who’s bored from typical music and who’s seeking something experimental and limitless to enjoy.

Recommended tracks: The Transfiguration Fear, Somniphobia

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