Sigihl – Trauermärsche (And a Tango Upon the World’s Grave)

Sat on this one for awhile.  But it was much unlike the usual type of sitting.  It wasn’t like sitting on your easy chair, or a lawn chair, or an armchair, it was more like a chair of nails, such as would have been used during the Witch Craze.  This would be a useful analogy for any time we encounter something like Trauermärsche (And a Tango Upon the World’s Grave).  So let’s consider that a go for any album that messes with our minds enough that we’re not sure what in the hell to do with it.  Trust us, we’ve seen it all around here, there’s rarely anything surprising.  The only times we find something surprising are when it seems surprising on the surface, but merely ends up being wasted talent, no talent, or just general garbage that spilled out of the trash can on pick-up day.  Or, in certain rare cases, it might actually be something we need to decipher, something in musical code, if you will, something esoteric and dense with “the new”, something we have never heard before.  This here would be an example of such an experience, being probably the oddest album we’ve encountered in the past five years, maybe decade, though it has its issues.


Sigihl is an obscurity.  Coming from Poland, this is literally the only thing they’ve released in the past three years since their inception in 2012, unless there is perhaps some rare, 10-shot cassette or something they did on the fly for friends, otherwise this is it.  That’s unfortunate for anyone who’s not at least a little familiar with black metal, sludge, or some doom.  And we don’t mean High on Fire.  We also don’t mean Cradle of Filth, or even Behemoth.  We mean things that probably don’t even have a Facebook page they’re so arcane.  And that’s what this is all about, arcanity (yes, sort of a term, just not in dictionaries as of yet).  So if you’re looking for something tangible that you can grasp, this probably isn’t it.  Further, if you’re looking for something listenable as most plebes would define it, this is also definitely not it.  This is something few will actually understand, and for Sigihl that’s clearly how they want it.  The question is whether or not that’s a good idea in its current form.


Trauermärsche (And a Tango Upon the World’s Grave) is probably best considered as taking the delusional reality of schizophrenia and turning it into music.  There’s very little here you can grasp in comparison to other bands or genres, regardless of how feebly Encyclopaedia Metallum tried to do it on the band’s page.  You have four individuals coming together without clear purpose, and somehow mixing that into absolute dismality (we also made that up today).  The structures are all built around degraded bass, wailing saxophone, slow drumming, and ghostly vocals.  That’s right, we didn’t miss something in our writing, there are no guitars.  The good thing is that it sounds absolutely disgustingly evil.  This is something you pull out to scare an unwanted mate who just won’t stop coming around.  This will put an end to that.  The bass leads the majority of the tracks, covered with the sax, so your brain needs to do some serious digging to find any progression.  The vocals are something like a disembodied ghostly head floating around a cemetery reading off various names and epitaphs.  So when you first get into it, it’s actually superb, something unusual that comes together, somehow.  The problem is the formula they’re using is only solid for a single track.  Without guitars or perhaps keyboards, finding sense in the bass is troubling, because the saxophone is constantly fluctuating over it, obscuring it, and the vocals, then, become the mind’s only method for focus, and you then lose the direction of each track so they all sound so similar you wonder if it’s not on repeat.  Sigihl have something going on, it simply needs more consideration in form before they cut another album.  Quite original, but originality (that’s actually a word) also requires a good grasp of structure in this case, structure which is not yet here.


Sigihl Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Sigihl: Trauermärsche (And a Tango Upon the World’s Grave)
Arachnophobia Records
3.8 / 5