"In Somniphobia"

By Lord Randall

Oh, hello, SIGH. Good to see you again. Sure, the label back-and-forth of the past oh, decade may have confused some, but the critics always praised your brand of psychedelic/avant-cum-black metal, and the fans (you know, the important ones?) have largely followed suit. Now on your 9th full length in 22 years of recorded history, always trying to not only push the envelope, but shred the fucker into confetti, one would wonder if SIGH would soon become predictable, or at least reliable when it comes to what to expect album per album.

Not this time, as it turns out. From the melodic strains and near neo-classical leanings of ‘Purgatorium’, we’re immediately drawn into the world of "In Somniphobia". And make no mistake, you’ve crafted an album that’s clearly meant to be listened to as an album. Far from a haphazard collection of songs, you’ve taken everything from glitch to Hammer horror organs and alternately shrieking/subdued saxuality, thrown in ambient and trad metal, and had the whole thing work. It works, dammit, against all odds. From the samples and hard rocking 70s leads (I hear BLUE CHEER in there at times, even) to creepy-crawly jazz slinks, atmosphere is key here. Think of "In Somniphobia" as the perfect blend of "Hail Horror Hail" and "Imaginary Sonicscape" and the listener won’t be all that far off, though this album is much more – how to say – involved than those two, and yet (despite the seemingly jumbled styles represented) the flow is never lost.

I’m not sure if you set out to create the first classic SIGH album of the past 5 years, but in my opinion, that’s just what you’ve done. Can’t wait to hear where the upcoming “G-titled” album takes us.