SIGH – Hangman’s Hymn

Hangman’s Hymn is the sound of the band revitalized and hungry to write their best work to date. There’s a considerable shift in approach this time around as the band’s trademark genre bending and blending has taken a back seat to a more straight ahead approach. Gone are the tripped out songs/song sections and 70’s rock/prog rock aspects. Enter a bombastic symphonic metal album that is a dark marriage of classical music and thrash metal. Things are considerably heavier, faster, and straight out more evil than ever before. Band leader, Mirai Kawashima, has not only taken the band to another level but also his individual performance. There’s a virtual full symphony orchestra present including stringed instruments, horns, organs, operatic choirs, and ominous bells. He brings back those raspy distorted vocals as his main vocal approach and uses his clean vocals in a complimentary role in grand fashion. Lyrically, Hangman’s Hymn is probably the band’s most vicious, dark, and Satanic to date. The unrelenting and, often, over-the-top tone creates a strong intensity throughout. “In Devil’s Arms” is perhaps the song that stands out as most reminiscent of the famous sound that SIGH has carved out with previous albums with its excellent NWOBHM guitar melodies. The only drawback for Hangman’s Hymn is the production. The synth is so loud and overpowering in the mix that the guitars/bass often get buried underneath. Also, when the guitars/bass are playing fast riffs, the individual notes often sound buried underneath mud. In the end, SIGH continues to be of the most eclectic and creative forces in underground metal and Hangman’s Hymn is one of the most original albums released in 2007. (The End Records)

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