Sigh - _Hail Horror Hail_
by: Steve Hoeltzel (
Listening to this CD is oddly like hearing someone else impatiently switching between channels on a TV set that gets only four stations: one featuring darkened, sleaze-ified metalia with screechy vox; one featuring lush "easy listening" material performed by a really swinging organist; one showing a film with a bombastic soundtrack; and one doing a broadcast from some fevered, decadent city center where all sorts of weirdness is being perpetrated. Indeed, it often sounds as if there are two TV sets in the room, each tuned to a different one of these channels... I use the TV analogy because _Hail Horror Hail_ is a very visual listening experience, a seriously odd, often chaotic collision of weird metal with just about everything else on the musical map. The bizarre audio alchemy of this release originally had me pegging it as at least an eight out of ten, perhaps even higher than that, but repeated spins have tempered my enthusiasm somewhat. For one, there's a bit too much of that swinging organist for my taste. Check out the end of "The Dead Sing" or "Invitation to Die" and you'll see what I mean: Sigh Plays True Unholy Fox Trot and Samba Metal Exclusively... In addition -- and with the exception of the excellent "12 Souls" and the enjoyable "Curse of Izanagi" -- the metallic backbone of these compositions tends to be rather weak. All the experimental oddity is a real plus, in that Sigh's metallic chops are nothing remarkable (at least not on this CD). In any case, this has a few really cool tracks, and it's certainly the weirdest thing I've heard come out of the metal scene in quite a while, so if you're looking for something different, you can't go wrong with this record. The bio calls it "a soundtrack to a film that will never be made." If this film ever -does- get made, I suppose I'll stand in line and pay to get in, if that tells you anything.
(article published 1/1/1998)
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