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Review: Sirenia - Nine Destinies and a Downfall
Nine Destinies and a Downfall

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 46:21
Tracks: 9
Genre: Symphonic Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 22, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Nine Destinies and a Downfall

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

Currently more popular than free-for-all lesbian jelly wrestling, female-fronted metal is sweeping across Europe like an exotic tidal wave, and damn me have there been some fine acts discovered on the shoreline. But out of the copious platter we have recently seen, only a handful stand out, and until now, I wouldn't have thought Sirenia to be among them. Yet smashing back with their third full length and inking a deal with Nuclear Blast, the Norwegian quintet are on the ball, and to get it rolling, they have released one of the best records of the genre.

Kicking out their former vocalist and replacing her with the equally buxom Monika Pedersen, Sirenia have moved on a little from their Gothic metal roots, swapping former indolence for sharp, scything charisma and much needed belligerence. Having moved from her home in Denmark to reside in Norway, Pedersen brings a sweet sensation to Sirenia's music with her hauntingly shrill vocals and of course, her, ahem, ample bosom. See, I knew a few of you would have stopped reading at this point; just want to make sure your I still have your attention!

Using symphonics in equal measures with unrestrained aggression, the majority of "Nine Destinies and a Downfall" relies on the formula initiated with twin opening salvos "The Last Call" and the fabulous "My Mind's Eye", whose structures float between symphonic metal à la Nightwish and intensely heavy riffing redolent of Lacuna Coil. I'll admit there is a tad more concentration on the symphonic elements than the Gothic, but when practically every track boasts amazingly catchy hook lines and stellar musicianship, this is rewarding in contrast. As expected, the production is tenebrous, with main man Morten Veland's crushing, yet simple guitar lines taking precedence over the humongous choirs and epic orchestrations. While most of the songs are stuck in mid-paced mode, each one holds a different approach, with some seriously addictive choruses; "One By One", "Seven Keys and Nine Doors" and "The Other Side" being particular highlights.

In truth, any self-respecting pussy metal fan should pick this up. But even those who enjoy polished, catchy, melodic metal will find something to enjoy here, no doubt about it. Mind you, I'm still holding out for the jelly wrestling to take off…

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