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Sigh: Scorn Defeat

Scorn Defeat is the cult debut album by Japan's most experimental black metal act and has been reissued as a double CD 8-Panel Digipak with a massive amount of bonus tracks never before collected together. It includes the Scorn Defeat album, the Requiem for Fools EP, the split EP with Greek black metallers, Kawir, the band's first two demos, Desolation and Tragedies, covers of Mayhem & Venom, and other unreleased tracks.

Esoteric and bizarre, Sigh's Scorn Defeat is twisted beyond compare. Though the influence of the black metal canon is apparent, it's clear that Sigh were unafraid to draw on a host of other genres that would single them out as not only disturbing dark and ominous but atmospheric, progressive, and, dare I say, sophisticated. This combined with the grandiloquent organ melodies and haunting and touching piano lines enrich the black metal lunacy in ways that using only the traditional instruments could only aspire. Here lie the roots of their avant-garde approach to making music. The instrumental and compositional skills of each member have of course improved since its original release, but the powerful heavy metal riffs are here, as are the horrific, nightmarish sonic waves of the orchestral moments. This may well be one of the most truly intriguing black metal albums ever made.

Tracks 8, 9, and 10 on disc 1 are the tracks that formed the Requiem For Fools EP and are what led Euronymous to sign the band. The songs have that combination of atmospheric and heavy metal sounds that would be developed on the following album. Though the production is rawer than on Scorn Defeat, the influence of doom and thrash mix with hints of avant-garde sounds to create possibly Sigh's darkest work. Closing the disc are Sigh's two tracks 'Suicidogenic' and the Venom cover, 'Schizo' from the 1994 split with Kawir, the former sounding similar in style to the latter, only with much better musicianship then Venom could muster.

The first 4 tracks of disc 2 are rarities and clear nods of acknowledgement to the black metal scene, the cover of Mayhem's 'Carnage' being toward Euronymous in particular. The Desolation and Tragedies demos are, as with every black metal demo, roughly produced, often to the point of masking the music, yet this is probably a good thing as the songs are not a patch on what was to appear only three years later.

An interesting package, yes, but it's disc 1 the Scorn Defeat album in particular that is the stronger of the two, with disc 2 providing an interesting insight into the band's development. Listened to chronologically, these recordings mark a significant growth in the band's sound and, more importantly, identity. Euronymous certainly knew what he was doing when he signed them to his Deathlike Silence label in the early 90s.

Track Listing: CD1: Scorn Defeat + Bonus Tracks

  1. A Victory of Dakini
  2. The Knell
  3. At My Funeral
  4. Gundali
  5. Ready For The Final War
  6. Weakness Within
  7. Taste Defeat
  8. The Knell (Requiem for Fools EP)
  9. Desolation (Requiem for Fools EP)
  10. Taste Defeat (Requiem for Fools EP)
  11. Suicidogenic (Sigh/Kawir Split EP)
  12. Schizo (Sigh/Kawir Split EP)

Track Listing: CD2:

  1. Black Metal (Venom cover) (Unreleased)
  2. The Zombie Terror (Far East Gate in Inferno comp)
  3. The Seven Gates of Hell (Venom cover) (Vinyl Collectors LP)
  4. Carnage (Mayhem cover) (Vinyl Collectors LP)
  5. Weakness Within (Desolation Demo)
  6. Desolation of My Mind (Desolation Demo)
  7. Mentally Numb (Desolation Demo)
  8. Death Throes (Tragedies Rough Mix)
  9. Sigh (Tragedies Rough Mix)
  10. Mentally Numb (Tragedies Rough Mix)
  11. Desolation (Tragedies Rough Mix)

Added: July 27th 2011
Reviewer: Jason Guest
Related Link: Band MySpace
Hits: 3028
Language: english

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