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Japan's best-known black metal band Sigh has, over the years, also progressed into one of the genre's most experimental and simply unusual bands regardless of whereabouts. Led by bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Mirai Kawashima, the trio formed in 1989, at which point the lineup was rounded out by Satoshi Fujinami on guitar and Kazuki on drums. They took their original inspirations from the raw '80s thrash metal of bands such as Venom, Celtic Frost, and Kreator, meanwhile mixing in horror movie soundtrack atmospheres and keyboards/synthesizer arrangements (they were one of the first so-called black metal bands to heavily use keyboards). After a couple of demos, they recorded their first EP, Requiem for the Fools, in 1992 for the Wild Rags label, with Satoshi doubling on guitar and bass (Kazuki had left by this point). This effort drew the attention of infamous Mayhem guitarist/Norwegian black metal scene figurehead Euronymous, who signed them to his Deathlike Silence Productions imprint for their debut full-length. Entitled Scorn Defeat, this album came out in 1993 after Euronymous' death and was the first Sigh recording to include guitarist Shinichi Ishikawa, with Satoshi moving strictly to drums and percussion. With their lineup finally solidified, the trio signed to England's Cacophonous Records, where they released their next three full-lengths: Infidel Art (1995), Hail Horror Hail (1997), and Scenario IV: Dread Dreams (1999); a mini-CD, Ghastly Funeral Theatre, also came out on Cacophonous in 1997. Over the course of these albums, Sigh steadily incorporated more diverse elements into their sound, including pianos, female choirs, classically inspired orchestrations (though not the bombastic, Wagner-ian sort favored by many European bands), non-horror movie soundtrack touches, and unexpected mood/style changes that reveal their acknowledged interest in composers John Zorn and Frank Zappa. (Hail Horror Hail even included a defiant warning, apparently meant for more traditionally minded metal listeners, stating that "every sound on [the] album is deliberate, and if you find that some parts of the album are strange, it isn't because the music in itself is strange, but because your conscious self is ill-equipped to comprehend the sounds produced on this recording.") After Scenario IV…, Sigh left the Cacophonous label for Century Media, which released the band's fifth full-length, Imaginary Sonicscape, in the summer of 2001. ~ William York
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Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Lucid Nightmare
  3.   Death with Dishonor
  4.   Me-Devil
  5.   The Caskeetburner
  6.   Beyond Centuries
  7.   Mayhem With Mercy
  8.   Corpsecry - Angelfall
  9.   The Trial By the Dead
  10.   In a Drowse
  11.   Somniphobia
  12.   Scenes from Hell
  13.   Iconoclasm in the 4th Desert
  14.   The Forlorn
  15.   Kaedit Nos Pestis
  16.   Hangman's Hymn/In Paradisum/Das Ende
  17.   Graveward
  18.   -
  19.   In Devil's Arms
  20.   Black Metal
  21.   The Molesters of My Soul
  22.   Bring Back the Dead
  23.   Slaughtergarden Suite, Pts. 1-5: at Dawn/The Dead Are Born/Destiny Divi
  24.   A Sunset Song
  25.   L'art De Mourir
  26.   Slaughtergarden Suite: I. At Dawn, II. The Dead Are Born, III. Destiny
  27.   Voices
  28.   Midnight Sun
  29.   Waltz Dread Dreams
  30.   Diabolic Suicide
  31.   Overture/Rex Tremendae/I Saw the World's End
  32.   Salvation in Flame/Confutatis
  33.   Prelude to the Oracle
  34.   Requiem- Nostalgia
  35.   Die Hard
  36.   Dwellers In Dream
  37.   The Summer Funeral
  38.   The Soul Grave
  39.   Musica in Tempora Belli
  40.   Suicidogenic
  41.   Desolation
  42.   Born Condemend Criminal
  43.   Jazzy Outtake 2
  44.   Jazzy Outtake 1
  45.   Messiahplan
  46.   The Tranquilizer Song
  47.   Confession to Be Buried
  48.   Impromptu (Allegro Maestoso)
  49.   Scarlet Dream
  50.   The Memories as a Sinner
  51.   Purgatorium
  52.   Imprisoned
  53.   A Messenger From Tomorrow
  54.   Divine Graveyard
  55.   The Red Funeral
  56.   Pale Monument
  57.   L'excommunication a Minuit
  58.   The Last Elegy
  59.   Equale (A. Prelude, B. Fugato, C. Coda)
  60.   Nietzschean Conspiracy
  61.   Teacher's Pet
  62.   The Zombie Terror
  63.   Severed Ways
  64.   The Tombfiller
  65.   Vanitas
  66.   Witching Hour
  67.   Gavotte Grim
  68.   Dreamsphere (Return to the Chaos)
  69.   Ecstatic Transformation
  70.   Inked in Blood
  71.   Far Beneath the In-Between
  72.   Amongst the Phantoms of Abandoned Tumbrils
  73.   Out of the Grave
  74.   Black Curse
  75.   The Transfiguration Fear
  76.   Introitus/Kyrie
  77.   Infernal Cries
  78.   Izuna
  79.   Ending Theme: Continuum
  80.   Dies Irae/The Master Malice
  81.   The Enlightenment Day
  82.   Amnesia
  83.   Countess Bathory
  84.   Silver Universe
  85.   Fall To the Thrall
  86.   In the Mind of a Lunatic

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