Picked up this vinyl/CD combo the other day from The End Records. As the name implies, it’s a tribute EP performed by legendary Japanese Black Metallers Sigh covering only Venom songs (7 in all). There are two versions currently available – a limited run of etched black vinyl w/CD (2000 copies) and a very limited run of etched red vinyl w/CD (400 copies). I chose the red, of course!
Visually, it’s a beautiful release and the juxtaposition of a traditional Japanese dragon onto the infamous goat’s head & pentagram is an interesting way of acknowledging both bands. But the actual album length, well that IS my biggest complaint – only 7 tracks? This little beauty clocks in at only a little over 22 minutes total, so I’m wondering why we couldn’t have had 5 more songs? I mean, not like it’s a hard band to cover, eh? Would’ve taken what. . . 10 more minutes for the boys to learn “In Nomine Satanas” & “Live Like an Angel”? But I digress. . .
Sigh clearly does this as a labor of love, choosing tracks only from the first two Venom releases “Welcome to Hell” & “Black Metal” (other than “Diehard” which was originally a single), both arguably being the band’s most influencial releases (understatement, I think).
They go for more or less a straightforward interpretation of each tune, most notably differentiated by vocalist Mirai Kawashima’s snarling (& heavily accented) voice versus Cronos’ more gutteral rasp from the originals. “Mayhem With Mercy” is played with Sigh’s trademark keyboards rather than accoustically on guitar, “Schizoid” becomes “Schizo” when Sigh does it (it’s the same song, trust me). Other than that, your looking at more or less direct interpretations of the originals – albeit well executed ones. The track list is :
- Black Metal (Of Course!)
- Countess Bathory
- Mayhem With Mercy
- Teacher’s Pet
- Witching Hour
Like I said, I would’ve loved to see it be a longer release, maybe including a track or two from “At War With Satan” and “Possessed”. That being said, if you’re a fan of either band this is pretty much a must-have.
Check it out HERE