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Sigh - "Graveward" (CD)

Sigh - "Graveward" CD cover image

"Graveward" track listing:

1. Kaedit Nos Pestis
2. Graveward
3. The Tombfiller
4. The Forlorn
5. The Molesters Of My Soul
6. Out Of The Grave
7. The Trial By The Dead
8. The Casketburner
9. A Messenger From Tomorrow
10. Dwellers in Dream

Reviewed by on April 20, 2015

"It's a fantastic effort that never ever gets boring and is probably already a contender for album of the year..."

Sigh is a band that has been unafraid to experiment with its sound ever since being born in 1989 and has been earning plaudits ever since. It's risks which make a group constantly interesting to hear and so it was delightful that Sigh has continued to transcend boundaries with this tenth full-length album, "Graveward."

"Graveward" is an album crammed with intensity, evidenced immediately with the opening track, "Kaedit Nos Pestis," which opens with a great guitar solo before becoming a full throttle ride. The added keyboards turn the song from a runaway train into a tour through Hell, providing horror elements which are ever present throughout the record. This touch gives the title track and songs like "The Forlorn" an aura of terror, though both are practically still metal through and through.

As I said in the beginning, Sigh has always been about more than just one genre and "Graveward" really demonstrates this. In "The Tombfiller," the group has essentially created a symphonic black metal track that's very much inspired by punk rock, whilst on "The Casketburner," which is possibly the best song on the album, Sigh has forged a scorching heavy rocker that doubles as a film noir soundtrack.

Speaking of which, the saxophone parts on this album are just awesome. It may seem like something of a gimmicky instrument to have in a metal band but it works perfectly for the sole reason that Sigh knows when it's appropriate, playing a big part making "Graveward" so fascinating and complimenting the music as any instrument should, rather than just being there for the sake of it, as further evidenced on the extremely catchy "Out of the Grave" and the fabulous closer "Dwellers in Dream," where Sigh becomes the type of swing band every headbanger wants to hear.

There really is something for everyone on this album, from doom metal in "The Molesters of my Soul" to a sweeping epic in the guise of,"A Messenger From Tomorrow," but most of all, this is an album aimed at people with an open mind in a head that wants to rock out. It's a fantastic effort that never ever gets boring and is probably already a contender for album of the year, at least for those who like their metal with more to offer than the standard extreme release. Longtime fans will no doubt be pleased with it, but it also serves as a great introduction for newcomers, which is not an easy balancing act to pull off. "Graveward" is the closest thing to avant-garde genius one is likely to hear in metal music in 2015 and perhaps for the rest of the decade. A truly phenomenal work.

Highs: The whole album is fantastic, though particular praise goes to "The Casketburner" and "Dwellers in Dream."

Lows: It ends.

Bottom line: "Graveward" is an extreme metal masterpiece with plenty to offer and thrilling artistry.

Rated 5 out of 5 skulls
5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)