SIGH — Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien

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SIGH - Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien cover
3.89 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2007

Tracklist

1. Introitus/Kyrie (4:30)
2. Inked in Blood (3:12)
3. Me-Devil (3:17)
4. Dies Iræ/The Master Malice (5:45)
5. The Memories as a Sinner (3:32)
6. Death With Dishonor (3:04)
7. In Devil's Arms (4:33)
8. Overture/Rex Tremendæ/I Saw the World's End (6:06)
9. Salvation in Flame/Confutatis (5:08)
10. Hangman's Hymn/In Paradisum/Das Ende (5:06)

Total Time: 44:17

Line-up/Musicians


- Satoshi Fujinami / Bass
- Mirai Kawashima / Vocals, Piano, Orchestrations
- Shinichi Ishikawa / Guitars
- Junichi Harashima / Drums

Guest/Session:
- Tim Conroy / Trumpet (tracks 1, 4, 10)
- Aurielle Gregory / Vocals (female) (track 4)
- Rob Urbinati / Guitars (lead) (track 4)
- Chuck Keller / Guitars (lead) (track 5)
- Gunface / Guitars (lead) (track 7)
- Steven Sagala / Vocals (choirs)
- Void / Vocals (choirs)
- Glendalis Gonzales / Vocals (choirs)
- Claire Joseph / Vocals (choirs)
- Zack "Ongaku" Bissel / Vocals (choirs)
- Grant Taylor / Vocals (choirs)

About this release

The End Records, June 12th, 2007

Songs 1-3 "Act 1"
Songs 4-7 "Act 2"
Songs 8-10 "Act 3"

Many of the album's lyrical excerpts pertaining to the choir are from Requiem, a liturgical service of the Roman Catholic Church.

Recorded at Studio Moopies/Studio Sarasvati Jan.-Nov. 2006.

Thanks to Prog Geo, adg211288, UMUR for the updates

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SIGH HANGMAN'S HYMN: MUSIKALISCHE EXEQUIEN reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien" is the 7th full-length studio album by Japanese progressive/experimental metal act Sigh. The album was released through The End Records in June 2007. It´s the successor to "Gallows Gallery" from 2005 and not surprisingly the two albums sound very little alike (which would actually have been unusual as most Sigh are pretty different in style and sound).

"Gallows Gallery (2005)" saw Sigh play a twisted form of power/heavy metal with very few nods towards their black metal past, but "Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien" brings back the raw black metal vocal style and a slightly harder edged basic sound. Of course Sigh haven´t stagnated or gone back to the roots, as they are an ever changing and developing act, and this time around they are opted to challenge themselves by making a symphonic tinged black metal album. They´ve used symphonic elements before, and it´s been obvious on preceding releases too that lead vocalist/keyboard player Mirai Kawashima is a classically trained musician/composer, but on "Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien", Sigh go all in on the symphonic concept.

You would think with a band covering as much musical ground as Sigh manage to do, that they would fail once in a while, but listening to "Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien" it´s abundantly clear that it´s not this time around. Sigh pull off playing symphonic black metal with the same ease as they have managed to play raw and savage old school black metal, avant garde/progressive black metal, psychadelic progressive black metal, and power/heavy metal on their preceding releases.

The basis of Sigh´s sound is still guitars, bass, drums, and snarling blackened vocals, but "Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien" is loaded with symphonic orchestral keyboard arrangements and choirs, which work well with the raw backing. "Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien" is a concept release divided into three parts, and the overall theme is religious (God, Satan, good vs evil type story), with use of bits and pieces from "Requiem" (liturgical service of the Roman Catholic Church).

Upon conclusion "Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien" is yet another bold, creative, and adventurous release by Sigh. Clever songwriting, powerful delivery of the music, and a professional and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly. It´s through and through a high quality release and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.
siLLy puPPy
After a couple avant-garde releases that were still just barely clinging on to an association with black metal, the strange musical entity known as SIGH retreats back to a predominant black metal sound on HANGMAN'S HYMN: MUSIKALISCHE EXEQUIEN with a brash bravado and hyperactive dynamic delivery unlike many of their releases and has an energy level more akin to a thrash or death metal band. The music is an interesting mix of speedy black metal with raspy vocals (and rare clean ones) mixed with a symphonic pompousness that at times seem like they are competing with one another. The general pattern is a black metal dominant sound which in a patterned manner takes back seat to symphonic elements which are based of Mozart's “Requiem in D-minor,” continuing this Japanese band's obsession with all things Western music. The album is divided into three acts which is basically a black metal opera of sort. In composure it brings to mind Carach Angren's “Where The Corpses Sink Forever” but sounds a bit like Crade Of Filth with the aggressive metal mixed with sophisticated symphonics.

When it comes to the choir parts of this album SIGH didn't fool around. They solicited volunteers to sing in Latin and send in audio files and the result is a rich and bloated full sound that belies the fact that this is really just a quartet on full time duty. This is in short, a very well done album that delivers both black metal and symphonic balance where every tracks runs together in harmony and I find the album really goes by too fast. Although it seems like “Imaginary Sonicscape” is the one stop and move on album in SIGH's discography, I would like to emphasize how good their other albums are. This one is certainly more metal oriented than that album but for anyone interested in a black metal sound that is embellished with brilliant additional elements then SIGH simply must be checked out beyond a token single album. For those with a fetish for symphonic metal of any type this one will certainly entertain your inner Mozart meets Darkthrone fantasies.

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