Sigh - Gallows Gallery
Avant-garde Power Metal
9 songs (45:38)
Release year: 2005
Sigh, Candlelight
Reviewed by Daniel
Album of the month

Let’s be honest here; Death and Black Metal are always accused of being the most repetitive Metal genres out there. “They’re so narrow minded” they say, “stagnate and primitive elitists” they yell; but in all honesty I think it’s unfair. Not because I consider such statement false, because it isn’t, but because all Metal genres suffer from the same carbon copying phenomena, where only one or two artists push the envelope, while the rest only repeat themselves time and time again; and that includes Power Metal. Fortunately for all of us, I have a cure that will renew our faith in Metal.

Gallows Gallery would seem like a Power Metal album at first glance, but even if it develops around the genre, it is much more than that. Your every day Power Metal album sure as hell doesn’t include atmospheric keyboard interludes, beautiful string arrangements, Bohemian Rhapsody influenced vocal sections, sitar solos, tabla, late 60’s organs, saxophone leads and a dark psychedelic atmosphere inspired by ‘shroom induced dreams. On the other hand the album is everything a good Power Metal album should be: with double bass, extremely melodic leads, galloping guitar runs and Mirai’s high pitch raspy vocals; add to this an oriental flavor, a quasi-Black Metal feeling and top it with a “let’s fuckin’ rock” attitude and you have one of the best Metal albums of the past 5 years.

And not only the presence of such varied elements per se make it a good album, but also the way they work in the songs. For example, an electronic interlude thrown in the middle of a song not only adds flavor and variety, but it also creates a certain balance which makes the conventional Metal parts a lot more enjoyable. Nothing beats the feeling of reaching a melancholic string section after some head pounding Metal riffage, just to be thrown back into the Metal mayhem again. It’s the tension and release experience what adds power and depth to each section.

Production-wise the album is weak and while many things have been discussed such as it being recorded with sonic weapon techniques developed through World War II, in all honesty all that can be found is that the production is the only flaw of the album, as I think that a better one would have fitted it better. But apart from that this album is amazing.

While Sigh demonstrates their excellent musicianship and song writing skills, they managed to do something few artists with avant-garde aspirations manage to do: an easy listening experience. Gallows Gallery is elaborate but not complex, artistic but always focused, and most importantly: always a blast to listen to.

Gallows Gallery is everything an artist should aim to achieve, and if you love Music I guarantee you’ll love every second of this album.

P.S. I did not write this review and wanted to leave it intact, but our review format allows me to write you all a note that in a month the album will be available as a totally remastered reissue from The End Records. It also includes a bunch of bonus tracks, mostly different mix styles of the album's best songs. Personally, it was this album's production that really held me back from fully embracing it a couple of years ago. If you come from the same crowd, give Gallows Gallery another try. Mirai Kawashima certainly wanted it this way. Alex.
Killing Songs :
Daniel quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Sigh that we have reviewed:
Sigh - Heir to Despair reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Sigh - Graveward reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Sigh - In Somniphobia reviewed by Goat and quoted 93 / 100
Sigh - Ghastly Funeral Theatre reviewed by Crash and quoted no quote
Sigh - Scenes From Hell reviewed by James and quoted 82 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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