Rating:
N/A
Sigh - Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien
12 June 2007


Act 1
01. Introitus / Kyrie
02. Inked In Blood
03. Me-Devil

Act 2
04. Dies Irae / The Master Malice
05. The Memories As A Sinner
06. Death With Dishonor
07. In Devil's Arms

Act 3
08. Overture / Rex Tremendae / I Saw The World's End
09. Salvation In Flame / Confutatis
10. Finale: Hangman's Hymn / In Paradisum / Das Ende

11. Hangman's Preview [Japanese bonus]
12. Introitus [demo] [Japanese bonus]
13. Inked In Blood [demo] [Japanese bonus]
14. Me-Devil [demo] [Japanese bonus]


Where to start?

"Hangman's Hymn" is probably one of the greatest releases in the genre of Black Metal since Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas". The concept of the album (from what I can tell) is about a criminal or extremely indulgent sinner's last thoughts and memories before the floor drops out from under him with a noose around his neck.

The horrific beauty of this album stems from the almost exceptional song arrangements and the production style. The guitars and bass are almost inaudible but the drums, guitar leads, and orchestra / keyboards are at the forefront of the mix. This unusual approach fits the record perfectly and because you aren't being assaulted by twin guitars it makes you seek them out amidst the heightening claustrophobia. When you can hear the guitars the riffing is insanely catchy and memorable but still maintain a definite feeling of dread about them.

The first thing you will notice when you press play is the vocal delivery. Mirai Kawashima's nasty snarls and banshee shrieks take no prisoners and are surprisingly versatile. I would have to agree with Demonic Tutor's comparison of the vocals to a choir of dead children in his review. There is a constant foreshadowing of melody on every track and as the disk plays on you will recognize riffs and melodies from the other songs not so much being recycled but reinvented, reinforcing the concept by tying the loose ends of the story into slipknots. They seemingly show up at random but are actually brought back in all of the right places. This all leads up to the last song "Finale: Hangman's Hymn / In Paradisum / Das Ende" which, in a matter of minutes, brings the record full circle and the terror to a head by splicing together EVERYTHING you've heard since you decided to embark on this journey to the gallows (how many more references to a hanging can I make before this review ends?). The way they chose to end the record is unexpected but satisfying nonetheless.

44 minutes and 13 seconds in length, the record moves along at a break neck speed (I promise, that's the last one) save for when they slow things down with "Overture / Rex Tremendae / I Saw The World's End". This is not a heavy-as-hell album and will not appeal to some people due to it's over the top demeanor but it still has it's fair share of head banging moments with furious numbers like "Introitus / Kyrie", "Dies Irae / The Master Malice", "The Memories As A Sinner" and "In Devil's Arms". If you appreciate anything similar to the more Symphonic approach towards Black Metal you will love this album in it's entirety. It is a sonic sound scape of all that is horrifying and is blacker than black. Don't you dare touch that skip button once the album starts.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 8


Band profile: Sigh
Album: Hangman's Hymn: Musikalische Exequien


 


written by Goat-Christ | 25.05.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Demonic Tutor

Rating:
8.5
What defines Black Metal? What defines music as being avant-garde? Hell, I cannot pinpoint one specific musical trait that would answer those questions. On the other hand, I could play you the latest album from Sigh. That should take care of those annoying questions. Some say Sigh is not Black Metal anymore, in the form, they are right. But the intent, the root of their psycho music is the essence of Black Metal. I am talking about fear. Hangman's Hymn is downright scary.

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published 09.07.2007 | Comments (19)



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Paradox0 - 27.02.2009 at 23:14  
Great review. You put just about everything I loved about this into words. I find to this album to be a very nice mix of ferocity and heaviness and there are all those minut twists and turns throughout their album which keeps things interesting. I wouldn't real call this black metal though, almost blackened metal if such a label could exist.
Slayer666 - 22.10.2009 at 19:57  
Aye, a mighty fine release this one, but don't you think you are overreacting?

"Hangman's Hymn" is probably one of the greatest releases in the genre of Black Metal since Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas"

Deffinatly not worthy of so much credit....
Mr. Doctor - 22.10.2009 at 21:57  
Written by Slayer666 on 22.10.2009 at 19:57

Aye, a mighty fine release this one, but don't you think you are overreacting?


Aye, I agree on that, but then again... Who doesn't overreact when it comes to review their most favorite albums? Reviews like that are almost impossible to write in an objective way.

But yeah, this band is amazing I think that's all I will care about. I actually like the review because it describes the music veyr well. The only overreaction was the thing with Mayhem.
Slayer666 - 22.10.2009 at 23:47  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 22.10.2009 at 21:57

Written by Slayer666 on 22.10.2009 at 19:57

Aye, a mighty fine release this one, but don't you think you are overreacting?


Aye, I agree on that, but then again... Who doesn't overreact when it comes to review their most favorite albums? Reviews like that are almost impossible to write in an objective way.


Haha, I know what you mean. Read my review on Cradle of Filth's "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh"...
Mr. Doctor - 23.10.2009 at 19:14  
Written by Slayer666 on 22.10.2009 at 23:47

Haha, I know what you mean. Read my review on Cradle of Filth's "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh"...


Hahahha, I'm sorry... It's not like I wanted to start an argument or anything but your review showed EXACTLY the point I was making. That's why I quotted you in the first place
Slayer666 - 23.10.2009 at 19:33  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.10.2009 at 19:14

Written by Slayer666 on 22.10.2009 at 23:47

Haha, I know what you mean. Read my review on Cradle of Filth's "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh"...


Hahahha, I'm sorry... It's not like I wanted to start an argument or anything but your review showed EXACTLY the point I was making. That's why I quotted you in the first place

Sneaky little bastard...
Anyway, I stand firmly with what I've said in that review. That's how I see it, and it ain't changing any time soon.
Mr. Doctor - 23.10.2009 at 19:36  
Written by Slayer666 on 23.10.2009 at 19:33

Sneaky little bastard...
Anyway, I stand firmly with what I've said in that review. That's how I see it, and it ain't changing any time soon.


Of course you shouldn't change our opinion if you don't want! The point was that now you know how was my position when I said that the COF's debut wasn't that mindblowing. You just reacted in the same way.

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