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Do you know the feeling of entering into a caffe, only to hear that the song that's playing on the speakers as you enter is the same bloody pop song you've been hearing for the past 2 months on TV, in other caffes (or that same one), in other people's cars, etc? So, how does that feel for you? Are you instantly mesmerized by the stunning quality of the music, are you induced to move in any way (dance, headbang, or anything)? Or you just like me, cringe, grit your teeth and pray that it motherfucking stops after a while? Well, if you are like myself, then that's exactly the same feeling you'll get after listening to this garbage of an album.
Morten Veland is, so I hear, praised quite a lot by some people that I personally know, and some people here on the Archives. He is apparently both multi instrumentalist and a singer (he does both harsh and clean male vocals). Well isn't that good to hear! So what do we have here, on this album which is a collaboration between Veland, and a classically trained female singer under a pseudonym 'Ailyn'? Well, I will tell you what we don't have here. We don't have a heavy metal album, simply said. We don't even have a rock album. I'm also pissed when people put something into the rock music realm when the guitar isn't loud enough to be classified as metal. Listen, rock music is a genre full of old school spirit, full of pissed off rebellious attitude, where bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, AC/DC, or Thin Lizzy rule the stage. I don't even have to explain to you that this piece of shit has nothing to do with those godly bands. And most important of all, none (or almost none, if I may have got some of my facts incorrect, forgive me) of those people had any classical guitar, bass, drums, or vocal training. They were all self-taught, and Bon Scott may not pass the Britain's Got Talent singing audition, but he is still far better than any member of the bands like Sirenia. Morten Veland is, however, a real musician, skilled in playing all rock/metal instruments, so why I can't hear any playing skill here, then? I'm sure that it has nothing to do with Veland being incapable of playing or composing a proper metal song. It's the pure intention behind this. This is a shallow and lifeless pop album, created for the sole purpose of selling a large number of copies, and adapt to radio. Of course, they didn't actually achieve that, as Sirenia isn't that well known, but they did their best.
Simply put, these songs fucking suck. They really, really suck. We open up with 'The Path to Decay', and we are immediately greeted by shitty electronica, fade in drums, and then we burst right into... a fucking mallcore breakdown. This 'riff' is composed of the constant repetition of the few notes, creating an epileptic vortex. Then, the female singer kicks in. Classically trained my ass. I don't deny her certificate, but her range is so narrow that it's boring the shit out of me. She is in the same octave for the duration of the album. This song also has a guitar solo, if you can call it that way. It's simply Veland strumming some strings lower down the fret. 'Lost In Life' is simply the sole reason why bands like Sirenia that plague the symphonic metal scene suck. Really? I mean, were you serious to compose a song like this? I said compose in a lack of a better word, it's something created while you are taking a piss, not shit, because it doesn't require even that much time. It sounds like Kelly Clarkson song, and I bet I know better Adele songs, because Adele's music, as shallow and nonexistent as it is, at least show her wide range and undeniable vocal skills. Through listening to the entire album I remember hearing precisely 1 riff that can pass as a metal riff, and I believe it's somewhere around 3:20 in the track 'The Mind Maelstrom', and although it does sound pretty stereotypical, it's like a remedy to the ears after this crapfest. Of course, the riff is dropped after only a couple of seconds, only to be replaced by more fake orchestrations and shitty 'riffs'. So, this album has no riffs, it has no good vocals, and it has no spirit (which is the most important thing of all). The worst thing of it all is this band will keep getting thrown at my face as being a great gothic metal band. Gothic? I am laughing my ass off right now. Gothic metal has the dark atmosphere, the morbid beauty, intersected midpaced with slow parts, the feeling of impending doom and despair. This crap has none of those. It's lifeless and dry pop music.
So, are the lyrics any better? Let's make one thing clear, when it comes to music, for me the priority is: music, vocals, then lyrics as an optional part. Which means, great lyrics can enhance an already vocally and musically strong song, cannot make a shitty composition any better, and meaningless lyrics can't reduce the quality of the strong composition. But what about the lyrics here? Seriously, what did you expect? It's suffering, depression (I guess), dissapointment, human mind, fantasy; which would be pretty cool, but of course, it's not well written. It's written horribly actually, with no subtlety, no conviction of any sort, no clever metaphors (Morten Veland is no Martin Walkyier, but that's a given). It borders with teenage angst, although it's not really like that, more like something I'd see being every single mallgoth girl's facebook status. However, there is a verse that I like:
Lead me down to the sea
To where the sirens call and where the waves are raging free
Sing for me, all of your sweetest melodies
and then let me drown into your arms, into the sea
Now, for some reason this stuck out in a good way for me, although you cannot pay attention to it during the song (it's from the album closer), because the vocal melody and the riff below are horrible.
I barely had enough strength to listen to this album from the beginning to the end, and I am glad I don't have to ever again. It's not only a musical void, it's intention is pretty damn despicable aswell. I just hope this band dies a fair death and leaves the gothic metal scene as it is, because there are a lot of marvelous bands out there (Moonspell, Therion, Draconian, just to name a few from the top of my head). Don't buy it, don't even download it, as Morten and Ailyn don't need your money or acclamation. They certainly didn't deserve it with this. Enough said.