Rating:
N/A
Sigh - In Somniphobia
12 March 2012


01. Purgatorium
02. The Transfiguration Fear
03. Opening Theme: Lucid Nightmare
04. Somniphobia
05. L'Excommunication À Minuit
06. Amnesia
07. Far Beneath The In-Between
08. Amongst The Phantoms Of Abandoned Tumbrils
09. Ending Theme: Continuum
10. Fall To The Thrall
11. Equale
    1 - Prelude
    2 - Fugato
    3 - Coda


Sigh have come a long, long way since their signing to the Deathlike Silence label nearly 20 years ago. They may have contracted the avant-garde virus nearer the early stages of their career but with each release it has propagated and what was once a host body is now a fully mutated organism and the black metal elements that once made up its meat is now little more than a few straggly veins. I'm not complaining though.

Getting a foothold of coherant thoughts, let alone an opinion, of a new Sigh album is often as much of a challenge as deciphering the ingredients used to make it, which in the case of In Somniphobia may or may not include the likes of keyboard, brass, piano, sonic weaponry, funk, violated owl, accordion, jazz, disgruntled postal worker, industrial dub, Troy, organs and so on and so forth. The natural result is a veritable melting pot of culture and world music, east meets west, insane meets weird, smoky, psychedelic circus jazz meets thrashing black metal. It's a futile excercise attempting to label, bring reason or apply a formula here. Sigh are Sigh, and Sigh do what Sigh do best.

Broadly speaking In Somniphobia is split into two distinct parts. Curiously this split takes place after the second track. The first couple of numbers, "Purgatorium" and "The Transfiguration Fear" are galloping, solo-inflected, insanely catchy heavy metal numbers choc full of typical Sigh bombasticity and my word, they are a lot of fun. It's after this that the album truly tumbles down the rabbit hole and the guitars themselves take a back seat and become the seams rather than the primal focus. Beginning with "Opening Theme: Lucid Nightmare" Sigh make it abundantly clear that this is where the album really begins, the two previous tracks a mere prologue to the ensuing madness. What follows is an exercise in ADD-inflicted randomness and experimental pastiches, loosely tied together by underlying guitar and the odd solo and lead. That being said, for the most part it works wonderfully. A gloriously colourful and trippy journey.

The balance in sound is what instantly elevates this above 2011's Scenes From Hell, there's a thinness to the production that lends itself well, particularly to the vocals and guitar which is tonally similar to Hangman's Hymn, allowing for a wide breadth of freedom for the foreign instruments to make their marks. "Equale" for example is a beautifully constructed highlight: driving, twisting, melodic and melancholically permeated by Mirai's rasps of "Kill me now!", sustaining Sigh's morbid death fetishism. Worth mentioning too are the guest appearances, The Meads Of Asphodel's Metatron in particular who does his gruff English vocal thing. Just more pages to this bizarre and endearing story.

Sigh have always had a great audience which is unsurprising as they're frequently rewarded with exceptional music that boasts a singular, unique edge and while this may not be the resounding success that Hangman's Hymn or Imaginary Sonicscape were it's hard to imagine having more fun without taking off your clothes and investing in an extra large tub of bacon grease. Somniphobia literally means fear of sleep but when you're In Somniphobia you won't want to.


Band profile: Sigh
Album: In Somniphobia


 


written by !J.O.O.E.! | 16.03.2012



Comments

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Troy Killjoy - 16.03.2012 at 03:47  
+1 for using my name even though I have absolutely no interest in this album.

Excellent review though.
Edmund Fogg - 16.03.2012 at 05:36  
Men, hibernation truly serves you. two great reviews back to back. I think you pissed on the fire of some other members with this album, but who cares with a delivery like this one. Haven't listened to In Somniphobia yet, but since I ran out of grease I might just have to get the album.
K†ulu - 16.03.2012 at 11:01  
Great review. Will finally listen to this band.
PocketMetal - 16.03.2012 at 15:51  
I have only listened to Hangman's Hymn from this band and I like it ... I love avant-garde bands and their ideas , surely will listen to this . well-written review .
M C Vice - 17.03.2012 at 12:16  
Got this coming from amazon. Do the duel vocals offer any more than they did on the last one (Scenes From Hell could have been done with 1 singer without affecting the quality)? And what does somniphobia mean? Fear of what?
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.03.2012 at 13:21  
Written by M C Vice on 17.03.2012 at 12:16

Got this coming from amazon. Do the duel vocals offer any more than they did on the last one (Scenes From Hell could have been done with 1 singer without affecting the quality)? And what does somniphobia mean? Fear of what?

It means fear of falling asleep. I don't remember an awful lot about Scenes From Hell if I'm honest but the vocals here are relatively standard I think, apart from the guest appearances which offer some variety.
M C Vice - 17.03.2012 at 13:30  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.03.2012 at 13:21

Written by M C Vice on 17.03.2012 at 12:16

Got this coming from amazon. Do the duel vocals offer any more than they did on the last one (Scenes From Hell could have been done with 1 singer without affecting the quality)? And what does somniphobia mean? Fear of what?

It means fear of falling asleep. I don't remember an awful lot about Scenes From Hell if I'm honest but the vocals here are relatively standard I think, apart from the guest appearances which offer some variety.

Well, you're not likely to fall asleep listening to Sigh. Their too erratic (or that other word that means sort of the same thing and looks like elastic. Eccletic?). Anyway, you can't call them dull.
IronAngel - 17.03.2012 at 15:39  
There's also the possible opposite interpretation of "insomniphobia" that the title hints at.

The first track reminds me a lot of golden days Malice Mizer. Without the harsh vocals, it could be straight off merveilles. And that's a huge compliment in my books. Can't really get behind the clean female vocals. Other than that, this record's a lot of fun. Foresee myself listening to it a lot this year.
Fradd - 17.03.2012 at 16:04  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 16.03.2012 at 03:47

+1 for using my name even though I have absolutely no interest in this album.

Excellent review though.

lol'd
Unhealer - 17.03.2012 at 17:01  
Never checked out anything by this band before. Except the singer's ass, which was posted on the hot metal girls thread.

Sounds exactly like the type of music I'm obsessed about at this point of my life, so be it.
Dorian Black - 17.03.2012 at 17:05  
Sigh have once again created a masterpiece. I find this album quite similar to Hail Spirit Noir's 'Pneuma', which I discovered from MS. They both have this vintage feeling and I think they are both my favourite albums of 2012 so far.
Mikyz - 17.03.2012 at 22:48  
Well, I wasn't expecting anything less, Sigh are Sigh, they're so fucking eclectic and versatile, they're impossible to coin. It's surprising how they're able to sustain this kind of dreary mood with such dexterous, cacophonous music.
Unhealer - 18.03.2012 at 00:41  
Written by Dorian Black on 17.03.2012 at 17:05

Sigh have once again created a masterpiece. I find this album quite similar to Hail Spirit Noir's 'Pneuma', which I discovered from MS. They both have this vintage feeling and I think they are both my favourite albums of 2012 so far.


I think it sounds more similar to Peste Noire's latest. But I agree on the later statement.

Fell in love at first listen, I have to check their other efforts right away!
-DC-002- - 20.03.2012 at 02:29  
Never heard Sigh before. berry interesting indeed. The vocals do not bother me, their farback, and thin production go well with the music and make the subtleties stand out more.
Demonic Tutor - 05.04.2012 at 05:00  
Insane genius at work, once more...
MétalNoir - 07.02.2013 at 14:56  
Great review, but it should be mentioned that to enjoy fully this album you should not expect a metal album... or anything else in fact. This is unexpected in any way actually... What I mean is that some tracks aren't much metal and should be regarded as avantgarde music, period.

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