Italy is known for many things: Food, culture, food, friendly people, food, women, food, wine, food, fashion, food, beautiful seas and landscapes, and food. If you happen to be a fan of cinema, Italy also has got you covered there, especially if you happen to be a fan of the horror genre. From Dario Argento and Joe D’Amato to Lucio Fulci and Mario Bava you could almost say that gore and suspense were practically invented on the Big Boot. Italy is also home of two of the most controversial horror/suspense flicks ever made (Cannibal Holocaust and Salò: 120 Days of Sodom, neither are safe for life). If you have ever seen the Fulci classic Zombi (or known as Zombi 2 and Zombie Flesh Eaters in some places, same movie, it’s confusing, roll with it) you no doubt remember one of the finest scenes in horror movie history, Zombie vs. Shark in a battle to the death. What makes that scene so special goes beyond its ridiculousness and it’s shot straight-faced. It creates this unique dynamic of art house, horror, and comedy that modern Zomedy directors could only wish to achieve. With this particular approach to horror/suspense it’s always amazed me that metal bands rarely channel this particular sect of horror, especially given its massive influence on the genre that maybe too many metal bands take their inspiration from. Enter Japan’s Sigh, a band that has not even once followed anything close to ‘normal’ or ‘conventional’, and their new record Graveward.
Posted by Reggie
The menacing intro lasted for a little over two minutes. It started with sound effects like muffled war noises in the background as if you were listening through an empty Campbell’s Soup can. It went on for about a minute. Then the next minute or so was compiled of heavy doomy riffs – with a sky-is-falling presence. It wasn’t too fast or too slow…just right! A nice mid-tempo cadence kicks in around 2:05 and then the some of the deepest growls I have ever heard take full force. The song gradually builds momentum with its headbanging cadence…not encroaching warp speed which is what I expected, just hanging in the balance between thrash and death metal, but heavier on the death. The vocals are largely unintelligible, but it doesn’t matter because I am realizing the sheer brutality is capturing my full attention…hook, line, and sinker. Then the guitar solo hits and it’s almost like a stoner-style solo embedded around all this death and doom. And, somehow it works; it just takes the song to a new level. Here Comes Perdition regains the steam it had after that hellish intro. The song concludes at 6:41 and, in short, I’m sold.
We’ve gotten a couple of requests to post more bands like Sigh. Problem is there is no band I can think of quite like those genre bending Japanese nutcases. So how about this, here’s another off the wall Japanese metal band overflowing with creativity and super catchy songs. If you are a fan of Japanese anime, then chances are you are already familiar with Maximum the Hormone as they have provided lots of music for anime such as Death Note and often cross paths with the J-pop sound by incorporating the saccharine sounds into their punchy and funky brand of metal. For the rest, the love of anime is not required to have this band put a smile on your face.
The video featured today, “Bikini Sports Ponchin” is filled to the brim with that classic Japanese WTF we’ve all come love (sans tentacles, well, kinda, just not in the way you’re thinking 😉 ). The song has a great funk bass line (that bass player is definitely a Flea fan) that really makes the tune pop and the guttural growls and screams really give the already high energy level a good ol’ punch to ’11’. Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Bonus Video: Koi No Mega Lover
I don’t care what anyone says, I f’n love this tune. It’s so damn catchy and the video is WTF and hilarious.
The Japanese band Sigh caught my attention the other day when I was directed to check out the song “Purgatorium” off their new album, In Somniphobia. Immediately I was greatly impressed with the over-the-top lunacy of the music. Blaring NWOBHM guitars, Thrash Metal drumming, Black Metal rasps and screams, and Epic/Folk metal keyboards in the vein of Moonsorrow, Finntroll, and Ensiferum really got my adrenaline pumping and the head banging. I was instantly in love with the song and so can’t wait to hear the full album which comes out today, March 13, 2012 (looks like I need to get my ass to the record store 😉 expect a full on review in the coming week).
So, after I played “Purgatoruim” a good handful of times I jumped on the good ol’ Bandcamp to see if there was anything more from these guys to listen to. Lo and behold their debut album Scenes from Hell was up in its entirety. Now I am really hyped up to get my hand on Sigh‘s new record. On here, along with all the stuff I mentioned before, there was even more lunacy than my mind could handle. If the Loony Tunes were to form a metal band this is what it would sound like without a doubt (Bugs Bunny on guitar and doubling as the conductor when needed, Daffy Duck on vocals, Taz on the drums, Sylvester on bass, and Tweety on the keyboards. Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner in charge of A&R and the stage show with the rest of the Loony Tunes handling the rest of the instruments being played).
For as insane as the music might sound it is all extremely well constructed and written. The songs flow, there are tons of memorable moments, and there is great passion and emotion (the main emotion being insanity) put into each song. This band is a great breath of fresh air and I highly, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend you check it out. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
P.S.- I just found out I can embed the Bandcamp player into the post so you don’t have to click on the album art to go to the Bandcamp page (you still can if you want). Let me know if everything works fine for you 🙂