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Sigh Scorn Defeat lp [white]


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SKU: lp 544eg Categories: , ,


2020 re-issue on white vinyl

Notwithstanding a handful of purely underground demos, 1991’s Scorn Defeat launched one of the more unconventional careers in the history of heavy metal: that of Japanese black metal chameleons Sigh. A watershed release for the infamous Deathlike Silence label (owned by recently murdered Mayhem guitarist and Norwegian black metal instigator Euronymous), the album immediately raised the bar for symphonic extreme metal, thanks to the classical music training of its keyboard-playing leader, Mirai Kawashima. Simply put, at the time of its release, this was pretty revolutionary stuff, preceded only by Celtic Frost, Bathory, and a few other scattered explorers like Norway’s then rising Emperor, and yet, ironically, Scorn Defeat is probably Sigh’s most “conventional” black metal effort in retrospect. It’s also a surprisingly mature work, one that, despite making a point of subtitling its vinyl halves “Side Revenge” and “Side Violence,” rarely indulges in gratuitous black metal savagery for the mere sake of it (see the Venom-like solo section of “A Victory of Dakini” for a rare example), even though this had still been a key quality of recent demos. Rather, the album traverses the black metal style’s nascent “second-wave” properties, notably avoiding excessive speed runs while interjecting unexpected displays of Kawashima’s eclectic keyboard work throughout. For proof, see his florid piano flourishes sparkling amid the desolate metallic dirge of “At My Funeral” or “Weakness Within,” the delicate harpsichord intro to “The Knell” and lush church organs framing “Gundali,” and the starkly virtuosic coda for the epic “Ready for the Final War.” These deviations from black metal form didn’t work for everyone then, or now, but they ironically spare Scorn Defeat from sounding as dated or cliché-ridden as so many second-wave releases of the period — thus ensuring its continued relevance and popularity.

Track listing:
1. A Victory Of Dakini
2. The Knell
3. At My Funeral
4. Gundali
5. Ready For The Final War
6. Weakness Within
7. Taste Defeat

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Peaceville Records

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