Sigh “Hail Horror Hail” (1997)

This was my first encounter with SIGH. And a formative one. An album wich starts deceivingly “normal”, but ends as a soundtrack to some drugged horror film. The title Track, at the same time the opener, starts as some kind of a Heavy-Metal song with scolding vocals; nothing out of the ordinary. So, around 2:30 of that track you are completey unprepared when being dragged out of this song to a soundtrack to what could be a homecoming-scene in some kind of movie, just to be shoved back into the same song again. At that point your reaction would probably be a “huh?”, but save your puzzlement for later… This happens many times during “Hail Horror Hail”.

“This album is way beyond the conceived notion of how metal, or music, should be. In Essence it is a movie without pictures; a celluloid phantasmagoria. Accordingly, the film jumps, and another scene, seemingly unconnected with the previous context, is suddenly inserted in between frames. Every sound on this album is deliberate, and if you find that some parts of this album are strange, it isn’t because the music is in itself strange, but because your conscious self is ill-equipped to comprehend the sounds produced on this recording.”

This statement is written on the back the CD, and truer words have never been spoken by a band about their own work. “12 souls”, for example, starts with happy scene involving a dog (associations to ULVER’s “Capitel III : Graablick Blev Hun Vaer” might be intended), goes forth with a pure horror-metal piece so dark and menacing it gives you goose-bumps, which resumes after a short jazz-club scene, then converting to a chase wich ends in the jazz-club again. Wich is, in the meantime, filled with demons. If that’s hard to follow for you, dear reader, I have succeeded in describing the album to you. This album jumps so fast through moods and styles it sometimes aches; it leaps clawed in your face while a second later it rubs your back caringly. And it invokes pictures of a film wich is not there, not unlike DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE’s “Death’s Design”. An average of six or seven different moods in a “song” is not out of the ordinary here. But there are straighter songs as well; among them my favourite song “42 49” and the calm “Invitation to Die” (wich features flamenco-guitars and baby-cries), both with an undescribable dark and at the same time light atmosphere. And then there is “Pathetic” – you know what, why discuss Amy Winehouse for the next 007-titletrack? Let SIGH do it! They have already done it with this song. “Curse of Izanagi”’s beginning sounds a bit like the (very) old SKYCLAD… Damn, I just recognized that Mirai DOES sound a bit like Martin Walkyier. Without the lisp, that is.

Now, this is not easy listening. The mood-changes are not smooth, mostly they surprise you right in the middle of a part; they are hard, edgy, and indigestible. You have to be ready for this one. Well, maybe not ready, but receptible.

-Tentakel P.


Release:  1997
Label:  Cacophonous Records
Avantgenre:  Lucid Shadow Dream
Duration:  51:33
Origin:  Japan
Official site:
Review online since:  21.02.2008 / 22:04:11


01 – Hail Horror Hail
02 – 42 49
03 – 12 Souls
04 – Burial
05 – The Dead Sing
06 – Invitation To Die
07 – Pathetic
08 – Curse Of Izanagi
09 – Seed Of Eternity

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