Sigh - Imaginary Sonicscape


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit
Sigh - Imaginary Sonicscape
Century Media - 2001
By Rodrigo

Once a band that used to play more traditional black metal (their first album Scorn Defeat was released on Euronymous’s label), Japan’s Sigh has morphed into something better, different and almost indescribable. Imaginary Sonicscape is their fifth opus and is simply the best work they have ever made and a serious candidate for album of the year. Sigh’s music really can’t be described into a particular genre because they encompass so many different genres. The vocals by Mirai are harsh like a black metal band, there are instruments like the Minimoog and Hammond used frequently, plenty of groovy and trippy rhythms and sounds are heard, there are great symphonic arrangements and all this flows perfectly without any bumps in the road.

"Corpsecry – Angelfall" starts the album with a resounding fashion. It is a fast paced tune with a very groovy rhythm. Mirai plays an extremely cool Minimoog solo at the very beginning to the song and you almost with that you could hear more of that instrument throughout the song. Adding to the weird nature of the music, the chorus features background wails that are simply freaky. The last 1:40 of the song is a great symphonic arrangement. "Scarlet Dream" is a slower song with great drumming by Satoshi who for good measure also throws in some tambourine beats into the song. This song has a section (3:40-4:22) that is synthesizer driven and it sounds like music that belongs in the 70’s. Bard Eithun actually wrote the lyrics to "Nietzchean Conspiracy" and the pace of the song is slow. Mirai sings in a slow and deliberate style and he also plays a great Hammond solo. The song itself is filled with more interesting synthesizer sounds and there are no guitars or bass to speak of.

"A Sunset Song" starts off with a very happy groovy beat in the beginning that reminds me of The Beatles. The Fender Rhodes solo also in the beginning adds to the 70’s feel of the song and album and the section from 3:55 to 4:26 enhances this point. The guitar melody line from 1:26 to 1:55 is also a joy to hear. "Dreamsphere (Return to the Chaos)" features some of the most powerful lyrics in the album especially during the chorus. Mirai also busts out with excellent Minimoog and Hammond solos. Not to be outdone guitarist Shinichi really shows his stuff with an awesome solo around the end of the song.

"Slaughtergarden Suite" is close to 11 minutes long and it is composed of five scenes that are all different yet work together to perfection. Scene I, "At Dawn", is a slow moving piece. Scene II, "The Dead are Born", is a short and fast piece that is aggressive. "Destiny Divided" is an instrumental symphonic piece. "Slaughtergarden" begins at about the 6:09 part of the song and a great riff starts. The tempo is groovy and fast. Yet again, Mirai shows off an excellent Minimoog solo at the end of this scene. "Aftermath" is the final scene and it is an instrumental piece with Mirai just playing the Fender Rhodes in a slow and dark fashion.

It goes without saying that Imaginary Sonicscape will absolutely challenge the preconceptions of what a metal album should sound. Sigh has no problems with experimenting and incorporating a wide array of instruments and sounds and making it all work. If you feel like listening to an album that is original, exciting and innovative then be sure to give Imaginary Sonicscape a listen.