Sigh
Scorn Defeat


4.0
excellent

Review

by TheSpirit CONTRIBUTOR (146 Reviews)
January 27th, 2010 | 124 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist


Today, it's a pretty obvious fact that black metal in the 90's was mostly run by the dedicated and fanatical Scandinavian metal scene. Led by Mayhem founder/guitarist Euronymous, Norway in particular became the center of black metal, with many seminal albums having been written and recorded within its borders. The tendrils of Norway's influence spread however, and it wasn't before long that many countries over the world began sprouting their own homegrown black metal scenes. One band that took what the Norwegians did and twisted it to their own, is Japanese based group Sigh. Their first album Scorn Defeat is second wave black metal at it's finest, combining the raw fury of the Norwegians and mixing it with some avant-garde influences that would later go on to define their career.

While Scorn Defeat remains to be the rawest release in Sigh's discography, for it's time, it is much more advanced than anything else coming out of the Scandinavian scene. For example opening song "A Victory of Dakini" begins as typical black metal tune; raspy vocals, dissonant chords and a bleak, cold atmosphere. However during the verse the song begins to incorporate acoustic guitar flourishes along with some neo-classical piano, which during the year of 1993, was unheard of in black metal. After a scorching blues inspired guitar solo, courtesy of axe-slinger Shinichi Ishikawa, the song progresses to involve even more outside influences. Uplifting choral vocals backed by hauntingly melodic organ playing creep their way into the song, taking the forefront and drastically changing the mood of the song from what it began as. That is just one example of the innovative song-writing Sigh created on this album. Many more examples are to be found, whether it be the harpsichord introduction of "The Knell" or the extensive atmospheric work in "Gundali", the album is filled with qualities that separated it greatly from other releases at the time.

Instrumentally, this album also stands way above other black metal releases in the early 90's. Guitarist Shinichi Ishikawa throughout the album shows great technicality, providing some great solos and doing a good job of keeping things interesting varying up the influences of this guitar lines. A great example of his playing is "Ready For The Final War" which incorporates both black metal and classic metal guitar lines into its structure. Drummer Satoshi Fujinami also does a good job on the album, seamlessly switching rhythms and patterns throughout songs to never fall into the trap of solely playing blast beats. Chief songwriter and bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Mirai Kawashima performs most impressively however, with his unique influences and song-writing skills truly forming the driving force behind Scorn Defeat. His infectious keyboard playing is evident in almost every song, increasing their enjoyability greatly and adding some great dynamics yet to be seen by the genre. His bass playing skills are also phenomenal, standing out on their own and often deviating from the guitar lines to create their own interesting paths. Vocally, his black metal rasp is spot on, and he even shows off some great clean vocals in songs like "Taste Defeat" and "The Victory of Dakini".

With potential even the great Euronymous couldn't deny, the black metal luminary swiftly signed Sigh to his Deathlike Silence label in 1992, only a few months prior to his death. Luckily for Sigh, even after the murder of labels founder, Scorn Defeat saw the light of day and band's fame rose dramatically throughout the world. When it comes to creating some truly original black metal, Sigh proves that even in their beginnings they were no slouches, with the excellent Scorn Defeat paving the way for the true madness that had yet to come from the Japanese innovators.



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user ratings (111)
Chart.
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2010


24741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Honestly, listening to this will truly make someone appreciate Sigh and how ahead of their time they really were. This album does not get enough credit.

Digging: wellspring - iris's room

Zoo
January 27th 2010


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with a lot of what you said here. While this is overshadowed by IS, along with the rest of their discography, this and Infidel Art are my third and second favorites respectively.



And it goes without saying, but another excellent review.

Yazz_Flute
January 27th 2010


18939 Comments


I want this now.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2010


24741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Zoo- Thanks man! Yeah, i definitely think this is way, way underrated. I was really surprised at how good it was



Bodom-GET IT!

Hawks
January 27th 2010


67495 Comments


Another great review dude. I've been wanting this album for like 2 years now.

Digging: Macabre Omen - Gods Of War - At War

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2010


24741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Hawks. And yeah, you should pick this up asap

BallsToTheWall
January 27th 2010


49310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rules.

Digging: T.S.O.L. - Dance With Me

Crysis
Emeritus
January 27th 2010


17368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hate this band with a passion.... just waiting for Karl to come in and agree with me haha

Phantom
January 27th 2010


8985 Comments


the_wizard a.k.a. Karl Von Hahahaha

Haven't heard Sigh's earlier albums, plan on getting round to them eventually, but IS and HH are great. Good review.



Zoo
January 27th 2010


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

only bitches hate sigh

Crysis
Emeritus
January 27th 2010


17368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hey wait

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2010


24741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Phantom.





Crysis, i don't see why you and Karl wouldn't like this album at least.

Crysis
Emeritus
January 27th 2010


17368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll give it a try if you say, but I've heard HH, GG, and SfH and didn't like any of them.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2010


24741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is way different from all those releases. It's more more straight up black metal than their other releases

Crysis
Emeritus
January 27th 2010


17368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No gay trumpets?

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2010


24741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No gay trumpets haha

Crysis
Emeritus
January 27th 2010


17368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dl'ing now, I'll let you know what I think later tonight

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2010


24741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

okay sounds good

Crysis
Emeritus
January 27th 2010


17368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not bad so far, vocals are kind of meh but everything else is really good. I'm surprised.



And,



which during the year of 1993, was unheard of black metal.




Put an "in" after of and before black metal.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2010


24741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Okay fix'd.





And mwhahaha, you like Sigh



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