Sirenia - Nine Destinies And A Downfall review


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Band: Sirenia
Album: Nine Destinies And A Downfall
Release date: February 2007

01. The Last Call
02. My Mind's Eye
03. One By One
04. Sundown
05. Absent Without Leave
06. The Other Side
07. Seven Keys And Nine Doors
08. Downfall
09. Glades Of Summer
10. My Mind's Eye [radio edit] [limited edition digipack bonus]

When it comes to gothic metal, Morten Veland is a man that knows what he's doing and how to achieve it simply because he knows what gothic rock is, what metal is and how to blend both genres together in the most appropriate way and present gothic metal which is actually... gothic metal and not a creation of some label, magazine, audience etc! After a few years since we last heard something new from them and a line-up change in the female vocals Sirenia returned pretty strong with their new album, "Nine Destinies And A Downfall" which is a remarkable piece of gothic metal. Emotional, intense, esoteric and melodic are some of its characteristics, a bittersweet album to hallucinate you in creative melancholy.

Staring at the cover, i can't say that i'm impressed, i would expect something more beautiful and expressive and definitely something less... futuristic! Sirenia's music doesn't have the elements that would pace together with a cover which blends more modern ideas and technology, but i can skip this factor since i pretty much enjoyed the album! As for the title, the album consists of nine compositions, henceforth the "nine destinies", whereas the overall melancholy and inner emotions cause your esoteric defences to fall down, and that's where the "downfall" part comes in, a really beautiful title that made me expect big things from Morten and his company.

Monika Pedersen, the new female vocalist of Sirenia is really gifted, her voice is highly emotional and bittersweet, evoking an elegant or heart-rending surrounding atmosphere, giving meaning to every single word she utters in the way only she knows. Sometimes Veland makes his appearance in the vocal factor with his haunting clean vocals (having a sense of Carl McCoy on his more melodic vocals ["Elizium"]), like on "Absent Without Leave" and "Seven Keys And Nine Doors", and his powerful grunting interpretation, like on the hymn "Sundown" (and "Downfall" as well) grunting in outrage, concealing every single gentle emotion. The polyphonic passages are present here and there and pace wonderfully with the atmosphere evoking keyboard melodies that float like tear-filled dreams in the emotionally burdened aesthetic of the album. Some slightly more modern approach at some very few keyboard passages is vivid at times, but don't expect much. The rhythm section is tight and holds well the compositions, lending them groove (although you have to struggle a little bit to bear witness of the bass lines since they are being overshadowed a bit by the overall atmosphere), whereas the guitar work is well-conceived and well-expressed, with melodic, rhythmic and groovy riffing and some really interesting soloing passages here and there.

All in all, Sirenia did it again, offering a more easy to approach album, without losing in quality, showing that the time has come for them to be welcomed by a wider audience in the atmospheric, generally speaking, metal scene, they don't lack inspiration, emotion, atmosphere and the guts to go on, on the contrary. The touching "My Mind's Eye" with its lyrics speaking of a twisted "romance" that breathes an i-love-to-destroy-you feeling, the atmospheric and upbeat "Sundown", the emotional "One By One", the heart-rending "Downfall" and the elegiac "Glades Of Summer" will strike you down emotionally, along with the whole album since it flows as an entity, leaving you wounded. Just proceed, nothing less, nothing more.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Written on 19.02.2007 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 31   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 136 users
15.03.2011 - 22:58
Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.03.2011 at 21:57

Written by Ernis on 15.03.2011 at 20:44

She was blonde before joining Sirenia... funny thing that many women who start singing in metal bands at some point during their career always dye their hair dark and adopt a more "gothic" look...

Unless you're Gossow. She's just taking that "badass / Terminator" image to the bank!

Bingo... I forgot about her... she's so in her own element in the band and I don't think I'd ever imagine her with black hair. She doesn't even need to change her looks, it's her attitude and performance what makes her...
Go ahead, make my day...

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