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Veland fails for the first time - 64%

TommyA, June 5th, 2011

Sirenia, among many other bands, has fallen under the commercial virus. Like Lacuna Coil, Elis and many others, they're trying to become the next Evanescence. Evanescence aren't exactly bad ("The Open Door" is quite a decent release), but their clones always tend to disappoint. Sirenia is no exception. "Nine Destinies & a Downfall" isn't a very bad album, but it's just not up to the same standard as "At Sixes and Sevens" and "An Elixir for Existence".

To keep some things the same, Morten decided to keep the choirs and occasional clean male vocals. The choirs are quite good, but only sound fitting in two tracks ("Seven Keys and Nine Door" and "Downfall"). The clean male vocalist is also very good. However, he appears too infrequently. If he and the choirs had more lines than Monika, my rating would've been much higher.

Speaking of Monika, she's probably the worst vocalist in metal at the moment. She might be decent to sing nursery rhymes, but for God's sake don't let her lead an entire album. Her voice sounds way too childish, making the album sound like a joke. Henriette and Fabienne were a hundred times better than she is. To make things worse, Morten's growls are very limited here. He's only present on "Sundown", "Seven Keys and Nine Doors" and "Downfall", which makes them obvious highlights.

The music on "Nine Destinies & a Downfall" is as disappointing as the vocals are. The guitars are over-simplified, and keyboards and drums are too far back in the mix. It's very similar to Lacuna Coil's "Karmacode" (no, that's a good thing). Overall, it's just too radio-friendly. They are no heavy riffs like on "An Elixir for Existence" or atmospheric keyboards like on the debut. Also, the songs are structured in the same boring verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus that bands like Within Temptation or Lacuna Coil still believe in.

However, to give it a little credit, it's still a fun listen. I really enjoyed five of the nine songs present on the album (although I hate the rest). These are "The Last Call", "Sundown", "Absent Without Leave", "Seven Keys and Nine Doors" and "Downfall". The other four tracks are very bland and boring (especially the disastrous single "My Mind's Eye").

In conclusion, "Nine Destinies & A Downfall" is a good album, just not a good Sirenia album. I wouldn't recommend it to Sirenia or Tristania fans, because you'll be greatly disappointed (but make sure to pick up a copy of Tristania's latest album "Illumination"). However, if you like Lacuna Coil (or any other radio-friendly metal band, for that matter), this album is right up your alley.