095: SIGH

In keeping with yesterdayโ€™s theme of convention-defying music, today we discuss Japanese icons of experimental extreme metal, Sigh.

Born from the heady days of the Second Wave of Black Metal, Sigh have managed to survive for more than three decades by constantly reinventing both themselves and the concept of extreme metal in general.

Sigh started out at the tail-end of the 80s as one of Japanโ€™s first black metal bands, inspired by the Second Wave of Black Metal coming out of Norway at the time. Such was the impact of their first EP that it caught the attention of Euronymous and got them signed to his label, Deathlike Silence Records.

Over the subsequent thirty years theyโ€™ve become more and more bold in experimenting with the concept of extreme metal. Not only has the writing become more progressive, but theyโ€™ve also incorporated more and more varied instrumentation. On their 2018 album, Heir to Dispair, Sign included traditional Japanese instruments as well as compositional elements.

Few bands can claim such a black metal pedigree, to have caught the ear of Euronymous himself. Few band can, thirty years into their career, still be in the midst of a creative peak. Few band can have such a fearlessness that they alter genres around them, rather than looking to fit any preconceived notions.

Sigh are all of those things… and so much more.