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In tandem with the release of their eighth studio album 'Scenes From Hell', Sigh put out this EP to give their rabid fans something extra to chew into. 'The Curse Of Izanagi' is a four song EP from these guys, and I have to say, even though the band was not setting off to do anything groundbreaking for their career here, they have created a charismatic batch of tracks here that shows the strange style of Sigh in full. Like most people, I tend not to take EPs with the same serious intent that I would a full-length album, and while there is not the sort of depth here that I would find on a full record by this band, there is certainly enough here to keep a listener engaged through to the end.
The first song here is the title track, and it really shows Sigh moving back to their roots of black metal. Saturated with screams, blastbeats, and a level of speed where I was thinking I had a malfunctioning copy that was running twice as fast, 'The Curse Of Izanagi' would actually be a pretty incomprehensible short burst of raw black metal, were it not for the symphonic orchestrations that are added overtop. Sigh uses some Japanese traditional sounds here, and it gives the band a more unique and distinctive feel to them. Next is 'War', which is more an ambient track than anything, with eerie soundscapes and a British accented man droning on with poetry that sounds like it could very well be Edgar Allan Poe's. It is a great track for ambiance and atmosphere, but didn't give me that chaotic shock like the first track.
The third track here 'Spiritual' may be the least memorable track of them all, despite being the most melodic. It takes that fusion of Japanese symphonic elements and raw metal that we heard on the first track and goes in a different direction with it, a slower moving track with the keyboards forming a pleasant melody. Despite having grimy chords backing it up, it is actually a fairly optimistic track, and a sharp contrast to the final track. Paying homage to what I can interpret as their equivalent of 'gods on earth' (based on the amount of tributes they have given to them), Sigh covers a track by their favourite band Venom, the song 'Countess Bathory'. Here, we hear Sigh as raw and filthy as they were at the start of their careers, and while the song is incredibly simple (it actually reminded me of a black metal rendition of Nirvana, goat help me...), it is memorable as hell, ending the EP on a powerful note.
Although it will certainly be fans that will get the most out of this record, 'The Curse Of Izanagi' is a great EP from Sigh, and shows some of metal's most innovative personnel doing what they do best. There is still nothing groundbreaking here, but there is more than enough here to impress me.