Scenes From Hell
The End Records
19 January 2010
by Hugh Platt
A friend of mine once described a Long Island Iced Tea as “10lbs of shit stuffed into a 5lb bag”. The rationale stands that just because you’ve stuffed a whole load of good stuff into a glass, it doesn’t stand that the end result is something you’d really want to drink. What has this got to do with Sigh? Sadly, it appears to be the approach they’ve taken when putting Scenes From Hell together.
Dr. Mikannibal’s saxophone work has the unfortunate effect of making the songs sound comical, as opposed to providing the unique experinmental spin on black metal that you suspect they intended. Replacing the usual gothic symphonics that some black metal embraces, the saxophone instead makes Sigh sound like a demented mariachi-surf act. Unlike the saxophone work that weaves throughout Ihsahn’s latest album, where it lends the Norwegian’s solo work an off-kilter and off-centre balance, here it seems dementedly at odds with everything else going on.
The manner in which it pops up sporadically throughout the album makes it seem like one of those scenes from Scooby Doo when the gang of meddling kids is being chased by the ghost, running in and out of doors seemingly at random, with everyone ending up chasing each other back and forth with no idea who’s actually got the upper hand.
The drums are so lost amongst it that they might as well be the sounds of someone clattering around in the kitchen next to the studio, rather than an actual attempt at recording a rhythm section. Add to that mix some guitar solos that seem to have been added as as an afterthought, and you’ve got a very muddled and directionless album indeed.
Watch the video to ‘Prelude to the Oracle’ by Sigh
Scenes From Hell will do little to convince people that Sigh aren’t a very average band, that just happens to have a sufficiently batshit (and frequently nearly-nude) female member in order to generate hype and headlines. Ho Hum.
Sounds like: someone who’ll do anything to get your attention
Top tracks: The Soul Grave – it’s the shortest track
Sigh – Scenes From Hell tracklisting
Prelude to the Oracle
L’art de Mourir
The Soul Grave
The Red Funeral
The Summer Funeral
Musica in Tempora Belli
Scenes from Hell