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Sirenia -- Morten Veland, likely the strongest contender for the title of "Greatest Gothic Metal Composer of All-Time", abandons Tristania to form a project of his own. Sirenia he calls it. Fans everywhere grow apprehensive as they await the new album, ready to hear what this ingenious composer could do with out the chains. Unfortunately, it turns out the new albums sounded just like the old ones, with Tristania. Only, with burn-out ideas, little inspiration, and less talented musicians...
Then, something happens. A rebirth of sound, a new path for Veland to ascend. He turns away from the creepy, Gothic-Tristania-metal with his best foot forward, and tries something new. He creates Nine Destinies and A Downfall, an entirely listenable and enjoyable POP metal album. Honestly, just because an album is a bit more commercial does not mean it has no potential. The creative mind and inspiration here is definitely noticeable, which most pop albums, even metal ones, can not boast.
Choruses and catchy melodies abound, even my Hannah Montana-fan sister enjoys songs from this album. It is very approachable metal. The singing is for the most part clean, with the exception of the track, Sundown, and minor parts in a couple others (“Downfall” and “Seven Keys and Nine Doors”.) Monika Pederson, NDaaD’s newly introduced vocalist, has a simple, comfortable voice that is very easy to listen to, unlike say, Tarja Turunen or Vibeke Stene.
The songs are memorable enough, with standouts and fillers. They are cut at relatively short lengths, the longest track clocking in at 5:35. The musicianship is a bit toned down, however it is much more prevalent than other Gothic-Pop Metal bands. The guitar work is much stronger and noticeable than the majority of other bands in the genre, although there are symphonic keyboards highlighting as well. Veland keeps his trademark strong with the beautifully strong choirs.
Without a doubt, if you somehow wandered to this page and found this review, I recommend this album to you. Anyone with even the slightest interest in gothic metal, Sirenia, or anything like that would find something of value here. Sure, it isn’t the greatest piece ever written, nor is it even close, but it is a part of my collection that never gathers dust all the same. Give it a listen, for you never know what you may find.
Highlights: Sundown, The Other Side, Seven Keys and Nine Doors