The latest gothic rock band to emerge from the depths of Scandinavia, Finland to be precise, are The 69 Eyes, a band that adds another name to a long legacy of rock and metal bands from the snowy country. Their latest release, a full length studio album imaginatively entitled X is out this coming September, and is being promoted by an immersive PR campaign.
X is on the whole, good, solid gothic rock. It’s rock which has a definite classic, anthemic groove to it, and that sounds a little bit like a less extreme version of Lordi, especially less extreme due to the lack of the comedy aspects that Lordi possess. Vocally, the sound is a little unorthodox but works well with the hefty distortion of the guitars in the background. Musically, X has a nice amount of variety, the distorted, overdriven guitars aren’t too much and don’t weigh a listener down, and there is a nice amount of changes between heavier sounds and lighter, cleaner parts that break the songs up nicely.
Highlights of this album – Black is a great tune, with a real classic 80’s rock vibe to it and a great sounding mix where all the instruments are as effective as the others. The album reaches one of its most epic points on Red which is a real epic, stadium-feeling song.
As an entire album, it’s imaginative and epic sounding, with plenty of uplifting rock choruses and sing-along vocal tracks, especially on If You Love Me the Morning After, which keeps the retro feel going and could almost be lifted straight off of a Bon Jovi album.
Problems? Well, only a few, but there definitely are some there. The vocals sometimes sound a little absurd, in an almost ironic but still rather daft way – especially at the beginnings of Tonight and Black. The singing here is ridiculously deep, almost as if the singer is mocking other metal singers by imitating them. This is the only main issue, though, and the music itself is extremely well performed and, despite being metal and heavy, rather relaxing to listen to. It sounds like something one might listen to on a late night, long distance drive.
So overall, X is a great all round album that can make for some really enjoyable listening. It’s got a little bit of nostalgic, classic rock feel to it, yet somehow it sounds modern and new. Once a listener can get over some of the most absurd vocal lines and appreciate them for what they are, this album could be one of the highlights of a metal-head’s listening year. Definitely one to watch out for when it’s release.
01. Love Runs Away
04. If You Love Me the Morning After
06. I Love the Darkness in You
08. I’m Ready
09. I Know What You Did Last Summer
10. When a Love Comes to an End
The 69 Eyes Are:
Jyrki 69 – Vocals
Archzie – Bass
Bazie – Lead Guitar
Jussi 69 – Drums
Timo-Time – Guitar