Many years on from the epic of Imaginary Sonicscape, Japanese band Sigh still can't seem to find a footing and direction that is entirely concrete. This year around they echo some hall marks of their classic record with morphed voices and unusual fusions of cultural roots but the collision of ideas under a Black Metal flag is all to haphazard. The album puts its foot in mouth with the second track, a possible tribute that plays like a blatant Iron Maiden rip off in its intro and outro. Although the track is mostly composed of furious riffing and blazing guitars, its stiff jump to the Ace's High riff just sets an odd tone for a record that lacks focus.
Its a guitar oriented record, the fretwork constantly winding with grooves, pinch harmonics and chugs all with a distinct distortion tone. The musics motion generally pivots on its energy, which Mirai Kawashima electrifies with his shrill, snarly and raspy shouts. Not always a welcoming presences, his narrow range is often stretched, sounding thin and weak. Its aggressive elements play up against native sounds, the Taishogoto, flute, piccolo, other woodwind instruments chime in meekly. Its even got a few unorthodox percussive sounds for a Metal band. They all seem to arrive out of turn, a complimenting addition often overpowered by the drums and guitars. The opening track however finds a balance, giving much light to its unusual side.
Three part track Heresy revives their electronic experimental ideas from the aforementioned Imaginary Sonicscape but not to much avail. It opens with its best and goes off on a tangent of unfinished ideas and noise oddities. The last song, clocking in over ten minutes, has great flow and scale but once again hails back to their classic, resurrecting a section from Requiem Nostalgia that should of just stayed there. Its been enjoyable to hear Sigh's sound again but there is little direction or focus here, just another hash of ideas that relys on their tropes and unique fusion of sounds.
Favorite Tracks: Aletheia, Heir To Despair