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

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