Rating:
6.0
Sirenia - The Enigma Of Life
21 January 2011


01. The End Of It All
02. Fallen Angel
03. All My Dreams
04. This Darkness
05. The Twilight In Your Eyes
06. Winter Land
07. A Seaside Serenade
08. Darkened Days To Come
09. Coming Down
10. This Lonely Lake
11. Fading Star
12. The Enigma Of Life
13. Oscura Realidad [bonus]
14. The Enigma Of Life [acoustic version] [bonus]


Morten Veland doesn't require any introduction, anyone interested in gothic metal has a special place in his heart concerning this Norwegian musician whose love for gothic rock and metal at the same time inspired him to walk upon his own path in the scene. The years have passed though and inspiration doesn't last forever, even if your role on early Tristania was crucial and you hold aces in the pack just like At Sixes And Sevens and An Elixir For Existence.

The problem with Mr. Veland is that he's stuck in the same recipe, he doesn't seem to be moving forward, on the contrary, after Nine Destinies And A Downfall he got obsessed with more appealing soundscapes and aspects of his talent. I'm not saying that it's bad to make your sound more commercial, the thing is, even commercial music requires some skill so as to keep quality to a welcome extent and at the same time strengthen it with tunes that will stick to your mind. The greatest enemy of commercialism is repetition, well, Morten succeeds in it and fails at composing an album that is decent and has potential to make time be kind at it.

Well, The Enigma Of Life is the 5th album of Sirenia and follows exactly the footsteps of its predecessor. You know exactly what to expect: enough distortion so as to sound light and metal at the same time, atmospheric semi-pompous orchestrations and fragile keyboards, inspired operatic vocal lines, some grunts, another bittersweet interpretation from the charismatic Ailyn and a few clean male ones from Morten himself. 65 minutes are too many for Sirenia to handle, it's not a band that will do them justice with compositions that will keep your mind busy so as to keep on listening for so long. From a moment and on you will start searching for standout tracks to separate them from the others and add them to your Sirenia playlist. The album lacks variety and tends to sound monotonous, there are generic parts you've heard a thousand times before in female-fronted bands and inspiration's not strong enough to rescue the band neither from itself nor the generic amorphous sea of sound-alike bands. Some songs that break the ice and come to the surface out of the pits of mediocrity have to be the emotional "Fallen Angel", "All My Dreams" that sounds like a "My Mind's Eye" sequel, the gothic rock grandeur of "Darkened Days To Come" and the sweetness of "This Lonely Lake" and the title-track.

In the end, there's not that much to recall and being on the thin red line of just good and mediocre doesn't really help. Post Nine Destinies And A Downfall fans might enjoy it, The Enigma Of Life probably has a lot to say to an audience that doesn't have a problem with easy-going albums, but it's nothing more but a tough whisper in general. If this is The Enigma Of Life, Sirenia doesn't seem to solve it, Morten Veland needs a break or something to put the pieces together in his mind and stop repeating himself, we all know he can.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Band profile: Sirenia
Album: The Enigma Of Life


 



Written on 20.06.2011 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››

Guest review by
burnmeupinside

Rating:
5.9
Sirenia have returned to us almost exactly two years after their fourth album, The 13th Floor. I'll be honest, back in June 2010 when I first heard that Sirenia was making a new album, I was shocked for a few reasons. 1) The 13th Floor still felt new to me. 2) The songs on the new album would feel rushed because of the short wait, and 3) It's with the same singer! Holy Jesus! 2012 is coming! Yes, they have the same singer for this album. Anyway, so I was very excited when previews for The Enigma of Life were available. The previews were very good and I really did think this would be the best Sirenia record. Let's just say I was a little off.

Read more ››
published 20.06.2011 | Comments (1)



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WorpeX - 20.06.2011 at 03:16  
Good review, you're spot on with how I feel about the album. I liked 'The 13th Floor' because it was something fresh from the band with a new singer whom I enjoyed. The song writing wasn't amazing, but there were some great stand-out tracks from it. On 'The Enigma of LIfe' I feel they just took their last album and did it again exactly... with even worse song writing. I remember there being one or two songs on here which I liked, but for the life of me, I can't remember which ones they were anymore. I guess that just further solidifies the point of the album being mediocre and uninspired.
cluster53 - 20.06.2011 at 04:51  
Good review, I agree
Întunecatul - 20.06.2011 at 09:27  
Agree with the review although I rated it higher, but that's just because I'm a fan and it appeals to me more than to one who is a occasional listener to Sirenia.
Opethian - 20.06.2011 at 09:57  
What turns me off about this band in particular. is the fact that every single 'Sirenia' album features a new vocalist ..
bluegreengod - 20.06.2011 at 10:04  
I don't know what it is about this album, but I just can't get into it at all. It's not just that the formula is rehashed or due to the kinda-generic sound because I really liked the 13th Floor. Something about this one just doesn't work.
Franchu - 20.06.2011 at 10:20  
I completely agree with the review. Actually, I'm unable to listen to any Sirenia album after Nine Destinies and a Downfall. I think of Ailyn to be the worst choice Sirenia has ever made. Her voice is just too fragile and doesn't transmit anything.
NocturnalStalker - 20.06.2011 at 11:06  
I also agree with the review. Morten Veland definitely seems to lack an inspiration for some years and the only good album he's released lately is of his side project Mortemia.
Merchant of Doom - 20.06.2011 at 11:13  
A couple of songs could easily win the European Song Contest...
musicalkaratekid - 20.06.2011 at 11:22  
Before the release of this album, i tried very hard to get into sirenia's previous albums, but nothing clicked. I just couldn't get into the band's performance or their music. And this album is quite possibly the worst one of their career, in my opinion. I think they went on a downawrd spiral since the start of the last decade...
Ernis - 20.06.2011 at 14:59  
Good review Rozz... although I've only heard the title track (and forgot it immediately after listening) I have the impression that this album is not a catchy one. The title track didn't possess anything that would've made it special. Indeed it is so that Veland has been milking the same cow for too long time and seems there ain't any milk coming out. Instead of starting new side projects he should just concentrate on one thing and try to make something innovative out of it...
The previous album was bit more fresh, probably due to Ailyn's presence... this album seems repetitive and diluted...
Vonpire - 20.06.2011 at 16:34  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 20.06.2011 at 11:13

A couple of songs could easily win the European Song Contest...


Hahahahahaha

That's so true! Sirenia sucks xD!
Yavanna - 20.06.2011 at 16:36  
Do you people think it's worth listening to this album?
NocturnalStalker - 20.06.2011 at 17:08  
Written by Yavanna on 20.06.2011 at 16:36

Do you people think it's worth listening to this album?

Well, if you have nothing else to do.
Yavanna - 20.06.2011 at 17:11  
Written by NocturnalStalker on 20.06.2011 at 17:08

Written by Yavanna on 20.06.2011 at 16:36

Do you people think it's worth listening to this album?

Well, if you have nothing else to do.

Thanks for the advice
beyondtehdarksun - 20.06.2011 at 17:24  
Written by Yavanna on 20.06.2011 at 16:36

Do you people think it's worth listening to this album?

I'd say, better spend your time listening to "The 13th Floor" again... or even watch the movie
Angel_Lament - 20.06.2011 at 18:19  
A very well written review, good job! completely my thoughts on the originality side, so much similar to The 13th Floor, but not as good as that...still has some good songs!
shadowdragonfly1 - 20.06.2011 at 19:22  
I have no interest in Morten's new stuff after nine destinies and a downfall, i think that he just lost all the inspiration and greatness that he had back in the day. And judging by this review I'm not missing anything good ...
Kenos - 20.06.2011 at 20:40  
Seriously, one of the shittiest albums I've ever heard.
And is this supposed to be "easy listening"? Dear Odin, that was one hell of a marathon...

Edit: and concerning the lyrics, they're the worst ever written. Simply pathetic. My little 6-yo niece could write better nursery rhymes than those.
ravendeath - 20.06.2011 at 23:57  
"All My Dreams" that sounds like a "My Mind's Eye"
What are you joking or what? That song had a great flow and energy, nice lyrics and was really haunting, on the other side "All My Dreams" is boring with nothing of before mentioned...
DerRozzengarten - 21.06.2011 at 01:14  
Written by ravendeath on 20.06.2011 at 23:57

"All My Dreams" that sounds like a "My Mind's Eye"
What are you joking or what? That song had a great flow and energy, nice lyrics and was really haunting, on the other side "All My Dreams" is boring with nothing of before mentioned...

"Grow up" a bit and stop throwing your bullets at me, if you wanna throw any bullet throw it at Morten Veland. And the phrase was: " "All My Dreams" that sounds like a "My Mind's Eye" sequel", sequel doesn't mean that it sounds the same all the way, read between the lines or just don't comment at all. And if the sentence begins with "Some songs that break the ice and come to the surface out of the pits of mediocrity" doesn't mean that the songs are that great or whatever, it refers to a generic form of standout tracks that save the whole situation a bit. I guess you can't please everyone and i guess i'm not always in the mood to deal with misread opinions or whatever. Go drink some beer, it's always more expressive.
ravendeath - 21.06.2011 at 01:41  
Written by DerRozzengarten on 21.06.2011 at 01:14

Written by ravendeath on 20.06.2011 at 23:57

"All My Dreams" that sounds like a "My Mind's Eye"
What are you joking or what? That song had a great flow and energy, nice lyrics and was really haunting, on the other side "All My Dreams" is boring with nothing of before mentioned...

"Grow up" a bit and stop throwing your bullets at me, if you wanna throw any bullet throw it at Morten Veland. And the phrase was: " "All My Dreams" that sounds like a "My Mind's Eye" sequel", sequel doesn't mean that it sounds the same all the way, read between the lines or just don't comment at all. And if the sentence begins with "Some songs that break the ice and come to the surface out of the pits of mediocrity" doesn't mean that the songs are that great or whatever, it refers to a generic form of standout tracks that save the whole situation a bit. I guess you can't please everyone and i guess i'm not always in the mood to deal with misread opinions or whatever. Go drink some beer, it's always more expressive.

I'm not throwing any bullets at you. In general I like the review and I also agree with the standout songs you mentioned, I only disagreed with that sole statement and that's all. If you would like to know what I think about your reviews than read my comment on Primordial review of yours...
DerRozzengarten - 21.06.2011 at 01:53  
Written by ravendeath on 21.06.2011 at 01:41

Written by DerRozzengarten on 21.06.2011 at 01:14

Written by ravendeath on 20.06.2011 at 23:57

"All My Dreams" that sounds like a "My Mind's Eye"
What are you joking or what? That song had a great flow and energy, nice lyrics and was really haunting, on the other side "All My Dreams" is boring with nothing of before mentioned...

"Grow up" a bit and stop throwing your bullets at me, if you wanna throw any bullet throw it at Morten Veland. And the phrase was: " "All My Dreams" that sounds like a "My Mind's Eye" sequel", sequel doesn't mean that it sounds the same all the way, read between the lines or just don't comment at all. And if the sentence begins with "Some songs that break the ice and come to the surface out of the pits of mediocrity" doesn't mean that the songs are that great or whatever, it refers to a generic form of standout tracks that save the whole situation a bit. I guess you can't please everyone and i guess i'm not always in the mood to deal with misread opinions or whatever. Go drink some beer, it's always more expressive.

I'm not throwing any bullets at you. In general I like the review and I also agree with the standout songs you mentioned, I only disagreed with that sole statement and that's all. If you would like to know what I think about your reviews than read my comment on Primordial review of yours...

I'm a bit drunk at the moment and a negative vibe is omnipresent in my mind, bad day + alcohol, i won't read the primordial comment, i read it once and i don't want to prove anything or whatever and thanks a lot on your opinion on my reviews, i was only negative on this specific part sorry if i sounded bad or something
Merchant of Doom - 21.06.2011 at 16:00  
Congratulations for not making any spelling mistakes when drunk, although your punctuation needs a bit of attention...
mariano - 21.06.2011 at 21:59  
"...From a moment and on you will start searching for standout tracks to separate them from the others and add them to your Sirenia playlist."

...it looks like I'm not the only one doing that
I'm afraid though I've been doing it with every new the Gothic / Symphonic album lately.

The last album I enjoyed from beginning to end was Epica's "Design Your Universe"
theloneDrow - 28.06.2011 at 19:13  
I personally think the title track is a pretty good one but others not so memorable

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