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Hangman`s Hymn
June 2007
Released: June, The End Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Hanntu

I’ve been consistently surprised by this band. Every album throws up new intricacies and gives a new dimension to this already multi-dimensional band. In HANGMAN’S HYMN, the band steps away from their previously quite eclectic style and presents a straight-out thrash effort, filled out and given weight and meat by bombastic use of symphony. But don’t ever make the mistake of calling Sigh’s music simplistic or even ‘straightforward’. There is much going on under the surface, even when HANGMAN’S HYMN can be categorised quite neatly into ‘thrash with symphonic elements’. You won’t find any slide guitar or reggae breaks in HANGMAN’S HYMN, just sheer balls-out head pounding and horror movie atmosphere.

The music itself is wonderfully written and produced. Musically, they have retained their usual strong understanding of orchestral elements in order to create the mood or feeling they want. The aggression from the pounding drums and moody thrashing guitars is head bangingly satisfying. And Mirai has dropped the clean vocals that were on GALLOWS GALLERY and returned to his hair-raising snarl. The similarities between him and Mille Petrozza of Kreator are astounding, and I’m amazed I didn’t notice them earlier. There is no weak song on this album, as a stand-alone song, or as part of a very well crafted album.

I could go on and on about this album for quite a long time, but you have to check it out for yourselves to really grasp what Sigh is all about. On HANGMAN’S HYMN, there is the Kreator/Destruction backbone padded out with Cradle of Filth/DEATH CULT-era Dimmu Borgir symphonies. There is the ‘house of horror’ movie atmosphere, probably something like ABIGAIL and King Diamond, with chilling shrieks and maniacal laughs in abundance. If only I had the lyrics with me, I could tell you more about what the story is about, but I gather it is about the persecution of witches, and really, after all I’ve told you, this should be somewhere around the top 5 of your ‘must-get’ list!
Track Listing

Act 1
1 Introitus/Kyrie
2 Inked in Blood
3 Me-Devil

Act 2
4 Dies Irae/The Master Malice
5 The Memories as a Sinner
6 Death with Dishonor
7 In Devil's Arms

Act 3
8 Overture/Rex Tremendae/I saw the World's End
9 Salvation in Flame/Confutatis
10 Finale: Hangman's Hymn/In Paradisum/Das Ende


Mirai Kawashima: vocals, keyboards
Shinichi Ishikawa: guitars
Satoshi Fujinami: bass
Junichi Harashima: drums

Next review: » Sigh - In Somniphobia
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