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Tag Archive: Sigh

blood music mystery

So, here’s an interesting scenario. Blood Music are a Helsinki based group of metalheads “dedicated to the anthropological and cultural preservation of extreme metal music”, mostly through the reissuing of metal classics in vinyl form — they’ve done some brilliant work as well, working with some big metal names including Ihsahn and Sigh and even putting together a stunning seven LP package spanning the Strapping Young Lad back catalogue.

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Chthonic – Bú-Tik

Chthonic - Bú-TikChthonic


01. Arising Armament (Intro)
02. Supreme Pain for the Tyrant
03. Sail Into the Sunset’s Fire
04. Next Republic
05. Rage of My Sword
06. Between Silence and Death
07. Resurrection Pyre
08. Set Fire to the Island
09. Defenders of Bu-Tik Palace
10. Undying Rearmament (Outro)


Taiwanese symphonic black metal band Chthonic are an interesting bunch. They’ve had a devoted cult following which can be attributed to their fairly unique sound and aesthetic (and perhaps the fact that they’re one of the few well-known metal bands from Taiwan). Nearly two decades from their formation, they’ve recently gained worldwide fame after signing to Spinefarm Records in 2009. Bu-Tik is their third album on Spinefarm, and their seventh overall. The band have stated that this album is supposed to be a blend of their previous three albums. While it doesn’t contain a lot of black metal influences unlike the band’s older albums, it’s still very interesting and a fine album.

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Let’s celebrate with champagne

Because it’s that time of the year again

When everyone gives each other gifts

And makes end of the year lists

2012 was a great year

Many albums I did revere

But only a few I must choose

Now before more rhymes I abuse

Let’s get to the favorite albums

So take this list into your cerebellums

(Yes, I know that the cerebellum doesn’t do that, shut up!)

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Forgotten Silence

La Grande Bouffe

01. Bouffe à Table!
02. TRANSLUCIDE (Brighton II.)
03. Bouffe Restaurant de Luxe
05. Bouffe Piano
06. Les Collines de Senyaan Pt. III
07. Bouffe Vingt et Une Heure Cinquante Sept
08. Fermeture de la Bouche
09. Bouffe Acoustiquement
10. DICHROISME (Two–Rooms World)
11. Bouffe Hyène
12. The Black Rider 4K8 (Chanson Pour la Station de Service)
13. Bouffe Montmartre

[Shindy Productions]

Contrary to the album title and tracklist, Forgotten Silence are a Czech avant-garde/prog metal band. La Grande Bouffe is their sixth studio album, and there’s quite a lot of diversity present in the tracklist (half of the songs are 30-80 second long interludes though). The overall theme would be jazzy progressive death metal with electronic elements employed in a manner that is closest to The Monolith Deathcult. Weird death metal that varies in tempo and tone, with industrial elements added to give the music more color. But does La Grande Bouffe provide a grand buffet of enjoyment, or will it be forgotten in silence?

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We’ve been covering avant-garde metal this week, but there’s one important question that we haven’t answered so far. Why would anyone want to listen to this stuff? Avant-garde metal is, by definition, supposed to be hard to appreciate. What’s the merit in that? Well, there are a few easy answers, and one more complicated answer. Let me try to explain, at least from my perspective, why you should listen to this stuff.

I can’t not plug Sigh, as they are my favorite avant-garde metal band.

Well, the first answer is fairly obvious. Most of the time, we are bombarded with the same kind of music over and over. Even ignoring pop music that plays everywhere, most metalheads are exposed to similar types of metal a majority of the time. Yes, different bands have different sounds and many of them bring a different thing to the table, but in the end, every genre is defined by some limitations. Metalcore? Breakdowns, catchy songs, traditional structure. Death metal? Growling, blast beats, fast playing. Progressive metal is a broader label, but there are still many conventions obeyed by most bands. Avant-garde music, being outside the box by definition, isn’t bound by this. You want random ethnic instruments? Sure, there are bands that do that. Complete disregard for melodic and temporal structure? Sign your name here. Distancing oneself from conventions of genres? Check. The simple answer is boredom. We constantly seek stimulation and new things to alleviate our boredom, and avant-garde metal provides an endless source for this. Every band is unique. And the genre even breaks its own convention. Do you want a song that is mostly inside the box? Sure, there are avant-garde metal bands that do that too. The sky is the limit, and thus the potential for standardization and thus tedium is eliminated.

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Yesterday, we took a listen at 10 bands that were incredibly influential to the genre of avant-garde metal. Today, we’re going to collect a sampling of more recent contributions to the art of music, picking tracks that have only been released since 2008. These are the bands that are pushing the genre of metal forward, making sure that we aren’t running out of new avenues of musical exploration any time soon.

Genghis Tron – Board Up The House (2009)
Unexpect – The Quantum Symphony (2011)
Diablo Swing Orchestra – Voodoo Mon Amour (2012)
SHINING – Fisheye (2010)
Sigh – The Transfiguration Fear (2012)
Thy Catafalque – Köd utánam (2009)
Pin-Up Went Down – Essence of I (2010)
Shaolin Death Squad – Mischief and Epiphany (2010)
Hunab Ku – The Other I (2010)
The Number Twelve Looks Like You – The Garden’s All Nighters (2009)


– JR

There’s a template to starting a metal band. It’s not set in stone, but when it comes down it, that core combination of guitar, bass, drums and vocals have given some of the greatest metal even known so it’s no wonder that 90% of bands fall back that format. It’s tried and tested, it ain’t broke and it doesn’t really need fixing and it’s probably even fair to assume that many future classics will continue to revolve around those same basic ingredients.

Thankfully though, there’s also a considerable number of bands more interested in blurring the lines and adding their own twist to the standard line-up. It’s not a new idea, hell even Black Sabbath‘s debut contained a harmonica solo — not really a huge leap from their blues background but looking back on it today it definitely seems out of the ordinary. Worth nothing as well that with the advent of cheaper and cheaper electrical equipment, the keyboard was embraced quite quickly, no surprise really when a lot of those original ‘proto-metal’ bands made similar use of the organ but it still hasn’t quite made the leap from ‘optional’ to ‘necessary’ yet.


Relevant section occurs at 3:05.

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Metal is much more varied than people give it credit for. Sure, from the outside it might look like a bunch of dudes being evil and playing music that is faster and more technical than necessary, but once you’ve seen how deep the well goes, the breadth and scope of the genre is quite obvious. Far be it from me to preach to the choir about the endless array of subgenres with their own niche flourishes, though. I love this music dearly, and its esoteric nature just makes it that much more special to me.

Since I’ve delved into the world of metal and have fallen into my own specific tastes, nothing has gotten me more excited over the years than metal bands who can pull off wild leaps in genres of music. I’m talking about a pivotal moment in a song where the band throws convention and their own signature out of the window for a moment and explores their own brief rendition of anything from jazz to funk and country. I’m not sure why, but these moments of genrebusting (as I like to call it) is easily my biggest draw to progressive music, and I can’t get enough of it.

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Sigh – In Somniphobia


In Somniphobia

01. Purgatorium
02. The Transfiguration Fear Lucid Nightmares
03. Lucid Nightmare
04. Somniphobia
05. L’excommunication a Minuit
06. Amnesia
07. Far Beneath the In-Between
08. Amongst the Phantoms of Abandoned Tumbrils
09. Fall to the Thrall
10. Equale (a. Prelude, b. Fugato, c. Coda)


You know, I usually am a big fan of writing a traditional review that is very descriptive, but this album defies characterization. If you’ve ever listened to Sigh before, you’ll know that this album will be batshit crazy like their previous work, bu let’s take a step back and start over; What is In Somniphobia? Who are Sigh? Well, they’re a Japanese avant-garde black metal band. They’re completely insane, blending power metal-esque cheese, raw black metal, saxophones, video game music, and middle eastern influences to name a few. Sounds like a trainwreck, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. There’s a reason Sigh are known as one of the most avant-garde bands — it’s because they’re great. In Somniphobia is their ninth studio album since their inception in 1990 (they’re one of Japan’s first black metal bands!) and they’re crazier than ever.

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Looks so much like an Atheist cover, you don’t even know.  This is some beautiful artwork as well. Anyway, it’s done by Eliran Kantor who has done some stuff for Testament, Sigh, GWAR, and some other guys. Atheist’s Jupiter comes out November 9th on Seasons of Mist.

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