Sirenia is a bit of a new discovery for myself as I just stumbled across their 2013 release, ‘Perils of the Deep Blue’, two years ago. I instantly became infatuated with the epic metal theme found in the song ‘Seven Widows Weep’, which showed off some of the strengths of Sirenia with a symphonic chorus line sang by Ailyn and the perfect anti-chant growled by the talented Morten Veland, who also mans guitar. Without giving too much away, it should be noted that Sirenia has gone through many changes over the course of their near 15 year history and this being their seventh studio album has far more in common with their more recent works. You’ll find much less of the near doom-style screams and howls as in their early 2001-2007 releases. While it still has some call backs to their excellent ‘At Sixes and Sevens’ (2001) and dashes of 2007’s ‘Nine Destinies and a Downfall’, it really pushes the symphonic side which plays off of the strengths of Ailyn.
Jumping into the tracks, it’s very clear that the theme Sirenia was going for is a near cinematic journey through sound, with twists and turns in each track that flow seamlessly from beginning to end. The build up from ‘Seti’ to ‘Serpent’ has a nice climax from when track 1 moves into track 2, but I almost wonder why they didn’t just leave it as one track; regardless, the transition is very nice. ‘Serpent’ also has a dash of riffs/sound that feels inspired by The Gathering, which was a nice addition! We then move into ‘Once My Light’ which has a perfect chant for the bridge between excellent choruses. I really love the mixing/drums so far in this release.
‘Elixir’ comes up next, starting with an unfamiliar style to the opening lyrics, but quickly transforms into the sound we continue to journey through this album with. The keyboards and guitar opening riffs are really special as they present the strongest bits to a nice, but not spectacular, middle track. ‘Sons of the North’ brings us to an extremely familiar sound that has pieces of music that almost feel cut and pasted from their 2013 song, ‘Seven Widows Weep’. As a bonus, this song offers more length and far more stylistic changes than their prior work.
‘Earendal’ and ‘Concealed Disdain’ offer terrific shifts from Veland’s harsh growling vocals to Ailyn’s calming voice. I can see a few more music videos coming from both of these tracks. ‘Insania’ has a slower beat with a more power metal feel to it that would be excellent for a scene from a medieval battle movie. ‘Contemptous Quitus’ feels almost like a radio edit and a bit underwhelming when compared to the rest of the album. Not that there’s anything really wrong with the track; I bet it would be a great gateway song to get some “Non-Symphonic metal” people into their music. ‘The Silver Eye’ has a very beautiful orchestrated intro that then pushes its way into an attitude filled riff that really shows off Sirenia’s range. Finishing up Sirenia’s work is ‘Tragedienne’ that has a serious ballad vibe going with a near “farewell / we’ll see you again” feel to it. It was a nice way to complete the album; however, I would’ve rather they finish on a stronger note like ‘The Silver Eye’.
The sound that Sirenia presents in their release of ‘The Seventh Life Path’ brings you exactly what you want to hear without ever coming across as “more of the same”. Their 2015 offering has enough to stand apart from the rest of the discography and is an excellent continuation of their studio albums ‘The Enigma of Life’ and ‘Perils of the Deep Blue’.
THE SEVENTH LIFE PATH
Review by Joshua Jaeger
24th April 2015
3) Once My Light
5) Sons of the North
7) Concealed Disdain
9) Contemptuous Quitus
10) The Silver Eye
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a near cinematic journey through sound, with twists and turns in each track that flow seamlessly from beginning to end."