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Tonight's "jam night": Venom - 73%

Evil_Johnny_666, November 16th, 2009

While 2004 saw the addition of Junichi Harashima to Sigh's ranks replacing Satoshi on drums so he could play the instrument he's best on, taking off the burden of playing bass from Mirai; 2007 saw the band finally hiring a full time sax player. Dr. Mikannibal, how she calls herself, would also contribute vocals for the follow-up of Hangman's Hymn. Before that, Mirai wanted to show us the new iteration of the band, and in what better way than recording a cover ep of their most important influence, Venom. Sigh were already known to play a lot of Venom covers live back in the day, as well as recording a couple of them in the studio. And one of the determinant factors of choosing Sinichi as the guitarist back in '92, was that he stated Venom as his favourite band. For the occasion, the band members also played different instruments. Satoshi shared some drum tracks with Junichi as well as some guitar tracks with Sinichi (Satochi played both the drums and guitars on the Requiem for Fools ep). Mikannibal would only perform the vocals, Mirai sticking with the bass and keyboards on "Mayhem with Mercy".

Overall it's a really solid cover ep. It has a good production, but retains a very warm sound as well as an old school feel. Mikannibal's vocals here are a mix between "clean" and harsh vocals, sometimes more leaning to either side. Special mention to the drums, the sound is particularly fitting with the goal of the ep, and while I wouldn't say it's purposely sloppy, well it's not particularly sloppy, maybe just simplistic and old school, as if the guys had an aroused evening and wanted to jam some Venom tracks for fun. And it's still a lot tighter than the original tracks by the way. The songs chosen for the occasion are all fan favourites, all very well played with a nice vibe going on, "Schizo" being particularly killer. Oh, and you've got to like Mika's sweet "Morning class!" in the beginning of "Teacher's Pet". The leads on that track sound particularly good too, the guitar tone being tastily chosen for a great bluesy vibe. And more than a mere cover, the aforementioned "Mayhem with Mercy" sees itself played on piano by Mirai, instead of the original acoustic guitars, giving it a most tense and mysterious feel as well as a good interlude in the middle of the ep.

The only thing, is that it doesn't really sound like Sigh playing, but more like the members jamming some Venom. It's not a bad thing in itself, more or less on the contrary as it sounds great, but it kinda loose its relevancy, particularly when you listen to the Schizo cover on the split with Kawir for example. Mirai's usual nasal and raspy vocal style along with the blackened thrash sound they had in the early 90’s couldn't feel more appropriate. It sounded like Sigh, and on top of that, it sounded as if Sigh were a band meant to record some Venom covers. So while I think it is a good recording, it's kind of a useless one for someone hoping to recognize Sigh as a Venom influenced band. Unless you're a big fan of Sigh and/or Venom, there's not much to see here. And it's a rather strange tactic on The End's part to "test out" vinyl sales by releasing an ep of covers on 12" wax.