With macabre cover art by renowned Israeli artist Eliran Kantor of a war colonel and a bloodied female demon dancing a waltz atop a pile of wreckage while multitudes of peasants perish in a fiery tangle below, Sigh's new album, 'Scenes From Hell,' (out Jan. 19) promises nothing less than apocalypse.

"There's no concrete storyline or anything, but the main themes are war, hell and death," frontman Mirai Kawashima told Noisecreep. "When I say 'hell,' there's no religious meaning behind it. It's about more realistic hell, which us human beings have been going through, such as pestilence, famine, war and natural disasters."

This century, the closest mankind has come to complete annihilation is the great tsunami in the Indian Ocean five years ago, which killed over 227,898 people. But Kawashima warns Armageddon isn't far off.

"So many people are dying everywhere they feel the reaper flying over their heads," he said. "That's what I wanted to write about. 'Prelude to the Oracle' and 'L'art de Mourir' belong to 'Musica in Tempora Belli.' They are the most descriptive, and I guess that you can easily picture the scenes of war such as air raids, rolling tanks, bomb explosion and so on by listening to them. By the way, 'Musica in Tempora Belli' stands for 'Music in Wartime.' You may be familiar with the paintings that describe these scenes from hell such as 'Plague' by Boecklin and 'Triumph of Death' by Bruegel. We tried to do the same thing with music."

Ironically, Kawashima wrote much of 'Scenes From Hell' from the office at his day job working for a huge telecommunications company in Japan. "I'm in charge of the pricing of the services," he said. "Of course, I hate to work, but fortunately it is rather an easy job, so it's not bad at all. If I just sit in front of the PC, people can't tell if I'm actually working or doing an interview."

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