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Sigh and Abigail always had close ties; the guys are long time friends and were the first Japanese bands to play black metal. Back in the day, they were meant to release a split together probably containing mini-albums. Sigh's side would have been the Ghastly Funeral Theatre ep as it was first meant to be released as a split. But with the usual shit Cacophonous brought, the idea fell through. So 7 years later the bands thought they could bring the idea of collaborating together once again and released the Evilized Japan 7" split. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the split is nowhere near any idea they may have had at the time. It's like they decided to take a look at their unreleased songs vault and dig something for that release. And thing is, those tracks were probably left unreleased for a good reason.
First, to give you an idea of scale, both songs from both bands are pressed on a 45 rpm 7" vinyl, and the songs could even be longer. In other words for the un-cult people, it's over before you know it. But that doesn't speak about the quality of the whole thing, right? - as some really short releases may be really good. Well, first of all, Sigh's side is live Venom covers of "Black Metal" and "Witching Hour". Not a bad thing in itself, but the length of the whole thing makes it rather pointless. While the To Hell and Back bootleg had actually 6 tracks, here it could have at least something else to make the whole thing more worthwhile. Also, those are probably Sigh's worst live performance for any Venom tracks available. The tracks sound particularly good compared to the other live recordings, but the tracks are played faster, particularly "Witching Hour" which doesn't do it any good at all. The drums are real sloppy, more and more with increased speed, and there is a lot of echo in Mirai's vocals which are more aggressive than usual. They did better for those same tracks, so really, this is much pointless.
While Sigh aren't known for throwing anything they may find on any 7" or split releases, Abigail are. They kind of have the "Sabbatical releasing syndrome", so if their tracks are unintelligible rehearsals and/or feature the same live tracks for the Nth time, it's nothing new. So that's what we have here, a rehearsal track of "Grotesque Nightmare" from their demo 1 and yet another live version of "Bitch! We Gonna Kill You" from their Forever Street Metal Bitch album. I always talked about early Abigail - circa demo 1 and Blasphemy Night - as being traditional black metal, and that is because of anything I could hear about that period has the worst production job I've ever heard. Satanic lyrics, fire breathing and drum blasting made it all the more easier to think that way. And it's pretty much what you think when the song starts; while the drums sound surprisingly clear - and blasting - the guitars sound atrociously bad, every note rebounding on the walls of whatever place they played to rejoin those coming off the amplifier, with a more unintelligible than ever Yasuyuki trying to make a way - and failing - on top of this chaotic wall of noise. Then, near the end, it slows down. And funcken shite, you cans hear thee riffs! ... the riff! And you find yourself surprised to be enjoying what you hear; some black metal à la In the Sign of Evil and Hellhammer with an old school vibe. It's still black metal, but not of the kind you first though. And you got to realize they still have the Sodom influence and maybe some other you can't hear, making you wonder how the whole thing would actually sound with a good production. Then follows "Bitch! We Gonna Kill You". What can I say, it's a competent live track, sounding particularly well considering Abigail's antecedents on non-album or real ep releases. The sound is muffled and the playing is rather sloppy as you would expect, but it's incredibly unremarkable considering what it is.
This thing is only for the completists of both bands, it has absolutely nothing new to offer. Two already released live Venom covers from Sigh, a rehearsal version which sounds almost the same - which doesn't sound much - as the original, and a live track that has already been released a dozen of times from Abigail. It's really a collection of irrelevance at its best. It's a shame that the collaboration of both bands had to end up like this, I'd rather blast some Cut Throat if I wanted to hear both bands working together.