Hangman’s Hymn

Interview with Mirai Kawashima from Sigh

Interview with Mirai Kawashima from Sigh

Enigmatic and uncomfortably cheerful, gregarious and ambitious Happy Metal Guy managed to catch up with Mirai Kawashima from the Japanese avant-garde black metal band Sigh. He bombarded him with positivity, amusing anecdotes and uncomfortable questions about steel phalli until Mr. Kawashima relented; answering the questions and talking about… flowers? This fucking blog gets weirder and weirder every day.

Sigh – In Somniphobia Review

Sigh – In Somniphobia Review

Bands really get the shit end of the stick sometimes, and one of the areas that this happens with is the concept of change. On the one hand, a band is never supposed to change their sound. Their fans will freeeeak out and everyone will call what they do a big pile of shit (how about that last Drudkh album, went from darling of the scene to whipping boy in the matter of a day). On the other hand, others will hear a record from a band that functionally the same and say something cocky like “Is Cannibal Corpse even remotely relevant anymore?” [Oh wait, that was me and everyone got mad. — AMGSigh is one of those bands that I think threads that needle perfectly—offering up records every couple of years that change their sound, while keeping the core in place. In Somniphobia is really no exception to this rule—and it triumphantly continues the band’s current success streak.

Sigh – Scenes From Hell Review

Sigh – Scenes From Hell Review

Let me start with the a territory that isn’t very comfortable for many in heavy metal: orchestrations. Heavy metal has seen many variations on the classical orchestration in many different subgenres. Neo-classical metal, like the wanky stuff with Yngwe or Symphony X, has long bragged about the influence of baroque and classical music. Bands like Rhapsody of Fire and Epica do things that sound like they should be straight out of a movie score and black metal even has a symphonic sub-genre, most notably filled by Dimmu Borgir, whose symphonics have gone over the top in the last few years with the addition of Mustis (though we’ll see what happens now that he’s gone). Never before in my tenure of heavy metal listening have I heard orchestrations used in a black metal record to such effect as they have been used on Sigh’s new record Scenes from Hell.