Sirenia - Sirenian Shores review
|Release date:||October 2004|
01. Sirenian Shores
02. Save Me From Myself [remix]
03. Meridian [acoustic version]
04. First We Take Manhattan [Leonard Cohen cover]
05. Obire Mortem
Sirenian Shores is the extended play album by Tristania's sister act Sirenia that was released after the successful and admired [album]An Elixir For Existence[/album]. Sirenian Shores was the last release to feature the tender and sweet vocals of the beautiful Henriette Bordvik who left the group to be replaced by Monika Pedersen. Back then this was sad news since Henriette had been the face of Sirenia at their concerts singing the songs of the first and second albums, still considered to be their best work.
Sirenian Shores could be taken as a farewell album of Henriette but unfortunately this is not so because there are, in fact only two new Sirenia songs on the album, only one of them to display Henriette's vocal abilities. This one song, the title track, is fortunately a good work. The keyboard melody really bears the good familiar feeling of old Tristania and Sirenia. Morten Veland is a master of his class in Norwegian gothic metal field, there is no doubt about it. It would only be nicer to hear Henriette's voice more often during the song.
Some extended play releases can be very good and feature very good songs but Sirenian Shores unfortunately is not one of those. For the fans of Henriette there is one last song with her but otherwise it has little novelty about it. The trouble with releases of this kind tends to be that they are sometimes just like treats to fans or, from the other point of view, like introductions of the work of the group for those who have never heard anything of them. Either way it requires an effort of creating a release that will attract both those familiar with the band and those who are not. Sometimes it seems that the band has compiled a full album and then leaves out some tracks they probably did not like that much and these later appear on EP. If the tracks are good then the release would be a success but if the EP only consists of handful of new songs with the rest being remixes of older songs then the release may lose the meaning, that, of course depends, because sometimes a new version of a song can be better than the original.
Sirenian Shores features two remade songs but none of them exceeds the level of their original versions. It would have been a better idea to re-record "Meridian" with Henriette but on this release the song is just built around the vocal sample of Fabienne Gondamin, unless, of course, the singer is Henriette sounding identical to Fabienne which I doubt is the case here. Henriette would have done great and this had been a step towards making Sirenian Shores more special. At one point during the album we can hear Emmanuelle Zoldan, a vocalist of the Sirenian choir making a solo appearance which is an interesting highlight. The Carl Orff style choral ending of the album is also a plus although it here it does not leave the profound effect as did the introduction and ending of Widow's Weeds.
To put it in a nutshell, Sirenian Shores deserves a place in the collection of a fan, it contains moments worth listening but on the other hand this EP seems bit empty and there is something missing. It may either go past you unnoticeable or may leave you waiting for something more that seemed to be missing.
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