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Review: Sigh - In Somniphobia
In Somniphobia

Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2012
Duration: 64:39
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: May 10, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
In Somniphobia

Rated 3.88/5 (77.56%) (41 Votes)

From the album cover to the music within, these Japanese avant-black metal nutcases' ninth full-length release In Somniphobia is a ludicrous release. One which will frighten off genre purists, yet absolutely wow those of us who have a taste for the bizarre. I'm going to try and refrain from commenting on past releases here, I will say that some of the magic from Imaginary Sonicscape can be heard, and those who enjoyed Scenes From Hell will without a doubt love this.

Sigh's sound upon In Somniphobia is a lunatic smorgasbord of exotic delights, the foundation of their sound here is a flawless blend of thrashing, blackened 80's style heavy metal. From this base the band build up with absolutely anything they see fit, you'll find plenty of keyboards, saxophones, trumpets, as well as various types of programming, female vocals, and flamboyant arrangement. This all equates to the tip of the iceberg, as you really have to listen to this album to understand its charm and splendor. One thing that really sticks out is the band's use of exotic, eastern-style harmony and melody; obviously a result of their Japanese heritage. As a fan of J-metal this pleases me.

In Somniphobia boasts a great flow, the track listing has been arranged so that the more clear-cut tracks sandwich the eccentric filling perfectly, which works really well especially for prospective new listeners as they can be eased into the chaos. The opening two tracks are easily the most straightforward amongst the track listing. "Purgatorium" serves as a superb opening track, with some awesome riffs and quality guitar melody, with shades of the madness set to unfold almost breaking free at certain points. "The Transfiguration Fear" starts to get a little fruity on us, but for the most part plays out as a mutated eighties-style metal track, the lead guitar work is first-rate here – and is across the album – and again makes me think along the lines of eighties metal.

From "Opening Theme: Lucid Nightmare" up until "Fall to the Thrall" is where things get insane. Imagine if Pink Floyd and King Crimson decided to rape X Japan in the bathroom at a Chthonic concert? Well this would be the bastard child. I loathe using such a cliché but Sigh really do throw in everything but the kitchen sink. Fans of progressive music well definitely find something to love in tracks such as "Amongst the Phantoms of Abandoned Tumbrils" or "Somniphobia".

All in all, In Somniphobia is a fantastic, mind-melting release. As far as my tastes go there isn't anything to complain about throughout the release. No doubt a definite addition to my end of year list, and I'm sure many others will include this too. As I said earlier progressive fans will want to add this to their shopping basket right away, and fans of acts such as Solefald, Arcturus and Unexpect will also want to check this out. A wonderful, bizarre album, this comes highly recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: Hangman's Hymn (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
Review: Imaginary Sonicscape (reviewed by Dakuroth)
Review: In Somniphobia (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Scorn Defeat (reviewed by Ulysses)
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