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Sigh, ‘Scenes From Hell’ — Album Art of the Week

SighSigh is probably Japan’s most famous metal export to underground fans, and their newest album, ‘Scenes from Hell,’ being released on Jan. 19, sports artwork by Israeli artist Eliran Kantor. Kantor took direct inspiration from one track on the album, ‘The Red Funeral’, from a series of pre-production tracks sent by Mirai, Sigh’s frontman.

“When I first played ‘The Red Funeral,’ hearing the warm brass with the marching beat and the vocal duet made me picture a grotesque dance,” Kantor told Noisecreep. “Like a macabre waltz or a bizarre tango, having a couple of figures running the show for the apocalypse — so I did a warlord colonel and a half-dead she-demon dancing in passion on a hilltop while the valley below is damned with plague and hellish war.

Kantor continued, “So it’s all based around that single track with the main concept illustrating how war mongers are ‘dancing with death’ so to speak. It’s probably the most thrash metal-paced album Sigh has ever done,” Kantor said, giving us a glimpse into the overall style of the new material. “And I wanted to have some of that vibe without being too obvious, so the Bosch-like battle scene was added using various elements from the lyrics.”

On the issue of the placement of the band name — an elements of album art, along with the album title, that can ruin a good concept if not implemented properly — Kantor configured a clever way of incorporating the band’s logo. “[T]he Sigh logo was made to function as part of the story, a flag wrapped around a trumpet held by a demon carrying the word of war.”

Kantor even divulged a story concerning a spoken word performance on ‘Scenes from Hell’ that weaved its way into the artwork. “I’m a big Current 93 fan,” Kantor admits, “and had a quick chat with [Current 93 founder] David Tibet once, and when I read on Mirai’s blog that he was looking for old Current 93 CDs, I gave him David Tibet’s email address and said, ‘You should ask him if he could do a spoken word bit on the album, it’ll be a great fit.’ And he did. He even wrote a poem bookending the ‘Musica in Tempora Belli’ suite. Samples of crows were added over David’s poem reading to compliment the inlay cover featuring a crow with fire reflecting in his eyes.”

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