[Symphonic Metal] Sirenia – The Seventh Life Path (92%)

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After waiting for months, Sirenia latest album “The Seven Life Path” is finally out and downloaded through the iTunes Store. I am sure you want to know about? Does it worth it? Hell Yeah!!!!

Before I talk about it, I would like to bring back where we came from. After splitting from Tristania, Morten Veland founded “Sirenia” and released its first album “At Sixes and Sevens” in 2002 followed by “Elixir for Existence” in 2004. It was two damn good albums in which Morten was leading the growls and the female voices were more as background. They were heavy, metal with a pinch of industrial and very dark.

Then Sirenia entered into troubled water by trying to find its style. First they tried Monica Pedersen, the album was okay but way below the quality experienced in these two albums. It also marked the retreat of Morten from the vocal, having Monica as a front lead of the band. It seems Morten was not convinced enough by Monica and hired Ailyn Gimenez into the group. At this time, Morten finally found the voice to fit the band.

In most Symphonic Metal bands, the lead singer has already a training or enough experience to have a sublime voice by the beginning. If you listen to Floor, Tarja and Simone, they have since day one. For other, you can notice a slight difference but nothing dramatic. For instance Sharon had already the potential in “Enter” and “The Dance” and fully exploit it. Or Anneke and Amy when they joined the Gathering and Evanescence respectively.

Ailyn is a particular situation I haven’t see much before, because she tried her musical career through the Spanish version of X-Factor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJnbsZRsyL0

What I found amazing with Ailyn is that she worked hard and you can note her vocal improvements over the different releases, from “The 13th Floor” to “The Seventh Life Path” and this is something beautiful in retrospect. Listen to the X Factor footage and her performance on “Tragedienne” in which she reach similar play level than Tarja or Simone.

From “Elixir” to “Peril of the Deep Blue”, Morten was in kind of a soul searching for the band. You can feel that when an album has three tracks that are enjoyable and the rest sounds like more a filler. The tide turned with the “Perils of the Deep Blue” in which several tracks marked me such as “Seven Widows Weep”, “Funeral March” but most importantly “Still Kom Doden” a powerful 11-minutes metallic melancholic ballad that can just remember the harshness and coldness of the Njordland.

With “The Seventh Life Path”, Morten finally found the winning formula for the group. It is heavy, it is aggressive with its bass, sharp and heavy like an iceberg. Way much heavier and reach the same intensity that I was experiencing with “Elixir”. Another remarkable feature is the presence of Morten’s growls in many of the songs. That brings something innovative and different from “the beauty and the beast” duet encountered with other bands. Morten growls are much higher in the frequency range, bringing closer to Ailyn. It gives this “Fire and Ice” duet that I really liked (the cold and sharpness of Morten’s growls blending with the Iberic voice of Ailyn).

The results is also a much more homogenous album that have mostly very good quality tracks with the exception of “Serpent” and a couple of others that sounded like more the “13th Floor”. In contrast you have great dynamic tracks such as “Elixir”, “Sons of The North”, “Once My Light” and the “The Silver Eye”, that are very heavy, in which the band is excelling in this synergy to bring us a very good composition that is navigating between Gothic and Industrial Metal currents.

If there is a track to worth listen is the “Tragedienne” (or “Tragica” for Spanish-speaking folks). It is a very nice romantic and melancholic ballad entirely sung by Ailyn. It is heartbreaking and reminds me about lost love and the pain you experience following a separation. It also show the amazing potential of Ailyn, she is just getting better and better over time and even peak in frequencies rarely heard before.

This album is definitely a milestone in Sirenia discography and I wish that Morten keeps on using this winning formula and give the band an international exposure important enough to see them touring outside Europe.

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