.

Sigh - Graveward


by Matt Hensch

.
I was once asked to describe Sigh, and soon found my cognitive processes fumbling over themselves. Sigh is undoubtedly an avant-garde metal band, but such a tag comes with limitations given the wide breadth available to identify as avant-garde. I eventually settled on calling Sigh 'auditory nightmare vision,' a description that makes a fair amount of sense, at least to me. It is no well-kept secret that Sigh's twisted music is as enjoyable as it is implausibly bizarre, and the quality of the phenomenal songs the Japanese group continues to vomit forth is always in tip-top form. "Graveward" catches the nightmarish proprieties lobbed in the air by the excellent "In Somniphobia" with just the kind of care to have left the eccentricity and quality unshaken while airborne. I'd call it more of the same, but this is Sigh; nothing is ever the same.

"Graveward" feels more straightforward up against "In Somniphobia," whose travels to realms of bad dreams lived up to its name, though it should be noted this is hardly another day at the Mütter Museum. My general vibes are that this is a little more riff-based and less oriented around experimental structures; those odd influences dribble in rather than act as the musical foundation. Many tunes within "Graveward" ("Kaedit Nos Pestis," the title track, "The Forlorn") are centralized by a nice arsenal of hooky riffs and a lead guitar attack that is probably the most explosive and dynamic Sigh has ever presented, while the unconventional nuances subtly cover the void. Keyboards, orchestration, saxophone sections, and vocal effects are plentiful, and still remain fresh despite all having been rolled into the general idea of what to expect from Sigh.

At times I have a hard time describing why I'm aroused by this. "The Forlorn" and "The Molesters of my Soul," especially the former, are mid-paced and creeping-not an oddity of Sigh to slow down, but usually experimental elements overtake the surroundings, unlike the aforementioned tracks. While weaker than the remaining cuts, they aren't too shabby overall. The atmospheric crawl of "A Messenger from Tomorrow" moves the experimental flame into a haunting, ethereal void that makes a legitimate case to be the best song here. I personally find myself admiring the up-tempo tracks. "The Tombfiller" is just astounding, especially Dr. Mikannibal's bouncy vocals during the chorus. "Out of the Grave" and "Dwellers in a Dream" show the creativity of Sigh rivaling the intensity, neither overlapping the other.

But on the topic of Dr. Mikannibal, it is important to mention that her role alongside Mirai Kawashima's harsh vocals is amplified by these tracks, making her measure in the lunacy much more compelling. Guest appearances by Metatron and Matt Heafy (lol) play parts of some significance, though Metatron's cameo feels a little underscored compared to his appearances on "In Somniphobia." Then again, the art of the cameo has long been a custom within the Sigh tribe, and with Sigh, anything is possible. "Graveward" represents the Sigh we know and love, no derailments. With such quality at hand, it's becoming quite the task to find a group whose unconventional approach to metal discharges such a profound aura.

Sigh - Graveward
Rating:

Share this article

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on Reddit email this article