Listening in to Sirenia’s new album The Seventh Life Path has been quite an interesting journey for me. Formed early in 2001 by one Morten Veland who’s various talents of vocals, synth, guitar, bass and a squadron more of instruments have been the forerunner of this group since its inception. Accompanied by Jonathan Perez behind the kit, Jan Eric Soltvedt on guitars and Ailyn on lead vocals this album is one to take you by surprise.
The artwork definitely has a gritty look of life itself with the serpents and the reaper himself in the dark and lady life in white. It is artistically proficient and can be interpreted in multiple ways, and I like the fact that it does relate to what you’re going to listen to. A lot of the songs on this album are lead predominantly with synth effects and keyboards, but they have not compromised on the guitars or drums. Seti sets the pace of the album rather deceptively, giving you insight into the start of what feels like a story, yet not giving everything away. This is quite classic to gothic and symphonic metal bands and is not new, but what is, are songs like Serpent and Insania which really caught my attention. The guitar riffs and the drumming is serious thrash metal stuff. Heavy, harmonized and paced with a lot of anger which is neutralized by melody and keyboards.
There is no shortage of solos, be it guitars or keyboards as you will hear in Once my Night and & Elixir. Every song follows a very story written pattern here, and while it is a bit repetitive, it does not lumber on the listener because of the variety of instruments available at any time. Ailyn’s voice is quite beautifully suited for this record, as she possesses the right pitch which can cut right through all the variations of sound and stand right out there which is evident in songs like Sons of the North. In fact her frequency is stronger than that of the grunt vocals led by Veland thus making his voice more of an instrumental element to the song itself. Contemptuous Quitus is a song that holds its own in the album. What starts of like a techno remix of some classic song without warning enters a dark realm of elemental symphonic metal with hard hitting thrash elements and before you think you have heard it all you get TheSilver Eye which is an exhibition of Mortens almost black metal voice and it sounds quite like nothing I have heard in my life before simply because before I can classify the genre of the song, it takes a turn and takes off with Ailyn’s breath taking voice accompanied by keys. Tragedienne true to its name has a very tragic and liberating orchestration to it.
In conclusion & personal opinion, Sirenia has taken the metal world by storm. There is simply no way of classifying what they have done. But if there is one thing I am sure of, it is that they have somehow magically harnessed the power and brutality of styles like Thrash and Black metal, and married it seamlessly to the poetic beauty of gothic and symphonic metal. Every song is different, and some may take more time to get the listeners attention considering how much is happening and the variety of instruments playing. At times one may feel that it’s too much and they could have done with less of something here and there and in some where you feel the song is too long or to short. What is important to understand is that this album offers something completely new to the metal industry, it’s not just symphonic, it’s not thrash, it’s not black metal and yet has a correlation across these universally different genre’s, and one must buy and listen to this album just to hear that seamless marriage of various metal styles.
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