The year is 1997. HAMMERFALL released "Glory To The Brave", NOCTURNAL RITES released "Tales Of Mystery And Imagination" and SIGMA released "Win Or Loose". But wait, there is something wrong here. Oh…. I get it now, SIGMA released their album in 2003. After this bad humoristic intro, I hope you get the point. "Win Or Loose" is the second album of Italian's Metallers SIGMA and if it has been released in 1997, I think I may have preferred it instead of HAMMERFALL or NOCTURNAL RITES. And take note, I said "I may…".
They started as a speedier Power Metal band and despite the fact that some really fast songs still can be found on "Win Or Loose", the pace has been slowed way too much for my taste. Is it a bad thing? I don't think so, since there is plenty fans of this type of music. I was expecting speed from them and didn't get it. Also, the guitar tone bothers me. It sounds too Hard Rockish, diminishing the actual power effect. It just sounds like a speedier version of IRON MAIDEN. The album is based on an old novel ("I Promessi Sposi") by Alessandro Manzoni, a story, based in 1630, about two peasants deeply in love that find their future plans compromised by an evil noble man. I think this concept would have fit better with RHAPSODY or THY MAJESTIE, but the type of music SIGMA delivers here is really not suitable for this kind of story.
Even though it seems like this issue is my main complaint about the band, it wouldn't be true at all, since what I disliked the most about "Win Or Loose" is the song writing. Way too typical. I don't mind if a band sounds a bit unoriginal, but when you are on a major label and you release your second album, sorry, but I just expect more. It is not true that because you are playing Power Metal, that you can't sound original and fresh. It is sad, since the musicians of SIGMA are good in what they are doing and the singing is top notch, staying in a pleasant mid range, but it is just not enough to make it a strong album.
Sorry SIGMA, but I will have to leave you another chance of impressing me. (Online February 5, 2004)