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Sirenia – The Enigma Of Life

text: Helena Torstensson

band: Sirenia
album: The Enigma of Life
genre: gothic metal
release: 21 January 2011
label: Nuclear Blast

The Norwegian band Sirenia is found in 2001 by Morten Veland and on this fifth studio album he shows all his capability as a songwriter, producer, mixer and playing all the instruments: all the experience he shared on his successful solo project Mortemia.

For the second time Spanish singer Ailyn is the  female soprano, well known from ‘ The 13th Floor.’ Since that album the old roots are transformed into a more popmetal symphonic sound.

Before this album, I had not listened that closely to Sirenia and it took me some time to sort out my feelings and thoughts. A kind of album that you practically can live with, for an intensive time. And then you might need a breathing break, to find yourself listening to it again. What fascinate me the most with this album is, that it affected me on so many different levels that I got some confused in it all. So I had to spend some time on sorting out both feelings and thoughts.

The End of It All” is the first single from the album ‘The Enigma of Life’, it´s a powerful and in intense song that comes with a video directed by Patric Ullaeus that you can see here. I like this one, but I don’t think it´s one of the strongest songs on the album. Personally it sounds too commercial. Or it feels like it wants too much at the same time, and have lost its focus.

This Darkness” brings a darker atmosphere with edgy and cool guitars that I really enjoy listening to. The tone is kind of playful but with a darker agenda than just fun. The vocals in this song are very good and fit perfectly to the intense music.

Then “The Twilight in Your Eyes” is a very special song; it begins with a slow intro that opens up when impressive guitars simply wash over you. When an intro affects you this much you know that you are in trouble! It´s a pleasure to listen to Ailyn´s voice in this song. The rhythm and melody together, with the cool guitars, creates a feeling of moving forward for me and I find this very interesting. The choir in the end fits very well into the rest of this song that of course was an instant favorite.

Fading Star” is different. I enjoy hearing the more brutal and demanding guitars, and Ailyn´s voice sounds more relaxed and certain here. The chorus brings an impressive choir that I really feel ads to the atmosphere and together with the melody this song has a touch of medieval elements. The dark growling in the end takes it all to another level.

In a world with so many gothic bands it isn’t easy to stand out, but Sirenia delivered a promising album this year. A real eye-catcher for the symphonic and gothic fan. Less dark than before and more easy listening with still recognizable elements like choirs and bombastic arrangements. Not as earthshaking as the previous album, but a good continuation.

8,5 / 10

1. The End Of It All
2. Fallen Angel
3. All My Dreams
4. This Darkness
5. The Twilight In Your Eyes
6. Winter Land
7. A Seaside Serenade
8. Darkened Days To Come
9. Coming Down
10. This Lonely Lake
11. Fading Star
12. The Enigma Of Life

Line up
Morten Veland – Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard
Ailyn – Vocals
Jonathan A. Perez – Drums
Michael S. Krumins – Guitar


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