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Sigh – ‘Shiki’

Peaceville Records
Kekal, Korovakill, Kadenzza, Traumatic Voyage, Diabolical Masquerade
Release Date
August 26, 2022
Peaceville Records
Avant-garde/Black Metal

Listening to ‘Shiki’ is a different experience. The Japanese legends present us with an album that isn’t merely a collection of songs. This record sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a mind-bending Junpei Mizusaki movie.  The band utilizes organs, orchestra, woodwinds, horn sections, samplers, synths, and vocoders to create music that seems to score the introduction of nefarious villains, epic battles, and heroic triumphs.

Sigh has long been known for transcending its black metal roots with orchestral and experimental music. ‘Shiki’ furthers this trend. While the menacing sound is still present, there are very few black metal tropes to be heard here. In between epic movements of atmospheric and Japanese folk compositions the heavy guitar parts are bombastic riffs and soaring solos. There are no tremolo-picked chord progressions to be found here.

Get out a good pair of headphones. This album isn’t for going to the gym, background party music, or road trip backdrops. This is a record to listen to with intention and possibly some plant medicines. The word epic gets tossed around loosely when describing metal music but here the moniker fits. It’s epic, it’s heavy, it’s psychedelic, it’s beautiful, and it’s brilliant.

"It’s epic, it’s heavy, it’s psychedelic, it’s beautiful, and it’s brilliant"

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