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Japan (1990 – present)

Sigh is regarded by many as Japan’s leading extreme metal export, having released numerous highly esteemed recordings throughout their twenty year existence. Although originally a black metal band, Sigh became recognizably eclectic, taking influence from Romantic era classical music, jazz, prog rock, dark electronica and more.

In May of 1990 three musicians attending the same college formed a band called Sigh. The lineup consisted of Mirai Kawashima on bass, vocals and keyboards, Satoshi Fujinami on guitar, and Kazuki Ozeki on percussion. The name Sigh felt appropriate, as a sigh can express a variety of emotions. Gathering influences from a variety of sources mainly rooted in 1980s thrash and first wave black metal, Sigh quickly shunned their earlier roots as a cover band and began to put together material for a demo to be released a month later. Desolation showed the band at its earliest, comprising of three songs that would be rerecorded later on.

Kazuki left Sigh after the completion of Desolation. His tastes differed slightly than Mirai and Satoshi, favoring bands like Blind Guardian and Paradise Lost over the rising trend of death metal. This affected his ability to play, and once he realized he could not provide the level of intensity the other members required, he willingly left the group. There were no hard feelings regarding his departure either way. To this day, Kazuki’s greatest contribution to Sigh is the band’s logo, which he drew.


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  • martincarny

    Oh yeah... new record! My favorite albums are Hail horror hail nad Ghastly Funeral Theatre so i am thrilled with retro production.. i dont listen to "In Somniphoba" anymore because i feel like they were trying too hard.

    24 May 8:54am Reply
  • metaloly999

    good band.

    24 May 4:55am Reply
  • Blodhemn800AD

    The new album is good, but I'm not sure if it's better than In Somniphobia, Scenes From Hell was also a good release. Sigh are good at that, very consistent.

    18 May 12:21am Reply
  • CptQwark

    New album is nowhere close to the quality of 'In Somniphobia', but it's still one of the best I've heard this year.

    5 May 10:01pm Reply
  • Argaalofthemyst

    I mean the keyboard/orchestral sounding melody that begins the whole thing. I don't mean to say that it's an exact Bal-Sagoth melody though, rather that it has the feel and sound of them. Indeed, to my ears the cheesy orchestral sounding symphonics with extreme metal thing was perfected by them.

    5 May 2:01pm Reply
  • TheOnlyMAD

    The lead melody in The Tombfiller is quite common. Not sure if we're thinking of the same melody though.

    4 May 9:20pm Reply
  • Argaalofthemyst

    Ah, I'm not sure if it's a specific melody in one of their songs or just the general sound but that lead melody on The Tombfiller really reminds me of them circa The Power Cosmic.

    4 May 5:58pm Reply
  • Abroxas

    I'm curious. Can you specify to which song or album of Bal-Sagoth you are referring?

    4 May 5:22pm Reply
  • Argaalofthemyst

    Also, with regards to Sigh deserving more attention and the shoutbox being hungry for more chat about the new album: Graveward is excellent and yet another entry into a very consistent and high quality discography. I think Sigh are doing fine but I would always wish greater success for any of my favourite bands. However, the day jobs might provide a good counterpoint for their musical inspiration so who knows what might happen if they found themselves doing as well as the Metallicas of this world. My current favourite on Graveward is probably The Tombfiller which seems to me to take inspiration from the legendary Bal-Sagoth for it's main keyboard melody. The album as a whole is excellent.

    4 May 5:08pm Reply
  • Argaalofthemyst

    Seems to me Mirai is talking about Shinichi there. It is a shame but honestly You Oshima is a superior guitarist evidenced by both his old work in Kadenzza and the brilliant guitarwork across Graveward so I'm certainly not too sad.

    4 May 5:02pm Reply
  • TheOnlyMAD

    That's a shame.

    4 May 2:34am Reply
  • Abroxas

    On a different note: "Unfortunately we had to fire the guitarist during the recording of Graveward because it became obvious that he was losing his passion on music. He started chasing a preadolescent underground idol who has only 10 fans or so and now he spends all his money and time on that crap. It was a tough decision for us to fire somebody we had worked with together for more than 20 years, but we had no other way." [Source]

    2 May 5:12pm Reply
  • TheOnlyMAD

    Of course this band doesn't get enough attention. In a perfect world, they'd be the most popular and successful band ever.

    1 May 9:22pm Reply
  • Cassandra-Leo

    They may be well known, but they're not well known enough not to have to work at other jobs according to things they've said at interviews. Your analogy about ten million dollars is ridiculous. My point stands.

    1 May 7:59pm Reply
  • Dudemanguy911

    This discussion is getting pointless and redundant, so I'm just going to leave it at this. Firstly, it was a crude analogy not a hard, 1-to-1 comparison. I'd also say that complaining about having only 10 million dollars instead of 100 million would be inane, but that's not the point. Sigh is literally one of the pioneers of black metal, they've been signed to multiple large labels (century media, the end, etc.) and are extremely well-known in the scene. Yeah, your average person has never heard of Sigh, but if you ask anyone into metal and/or Japanese music, then there's a good chance you'll get a "yes." Your earlier post was basically saying that Sigh is hurting for attention, but that's really just not true. They're doing very well for themselves. Graveward already has lots of reviews all over random blogs and sites. Even searching "sigh" (through a proxy to eliminate any tracking cookies or scripts) will bring up the band on the front page despite the non descriptive name.

    1 May 2:44pm Reply
  • Abroxas

    Be careful with the total amount of scrobbles for analyse. Diru started off from within the visual kei scene and even after Marrow of the Bone they remained associated with j-rock. I argue that many visual kei fans have a tendency to listen A LOT to a few bands (as contrary to many ecclectic metal fans?), which means a bigger scrobble per listener ratio (S/L ratio). The scrobbles S/L ratio for Sigh is almost 38. Diru's S/L ratio is 156, (not counting the usage of the katakana artist pages). I think Cassandra-Leo's point still holds though.

    1 May 11:30am Reply
  • Cassandra-Leo

    Except that Diru has more than ten times the number of scrobbles? So yeah I'd say that's a much bigger difference than 10 vs. 20 million.

    1 May 6:13am Reply
  • TheOnlyMAD

    Stop voting for old pics guys.

    1 May 2:45am Reply
  • Dudemanguy911

    The relative "avant-gardeness" of Sigh and Dir En Grey has literally nothing to do with my point. For a crude analogy, it's like complaining that you have only 10 million dollars instead of 20 million.

    1 May 1:56am Reply
  • Cassandra-Leo

    There really isn't anything radically more avant-garde about Sigh's music than there is about Diru's (at least if we're talking Uroboros-era). So no, I don't see where you're coming from at all.

    1 May 1:11am Reply
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