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The scenery that Sirenia had in this new record was complex. A lot of their hard-fans felt very dissapointed with their new sound on "Nine destinies and a downfall", although they add a lot of new followers into their fanbase. And after the day that Monika Pedersen left the band, the joining of Ailyn, ex X-factor contestant, brought a lot of new doubts to their new sound. Will they follow the mainstreim direction they started with "Nine destinies..."?
What they show on "The 13th Floor" is different of what I expect. The album is a mixing of all their albums, the heaviness of "At sixies and sevens", the sweet melodies of "An elixir for existance", and the catchiness of "Nine destinies and a downfall". The excellent drums of Jonathan Perez are an important part of the new sound of Sirenia, also the guitars show some interestings parts on the bridges of the songs. The violins and other symphonic arragements give some sweetness, and Ailyn's voice is far away to sound out of the style, it's versatil, she can move between some powerful lines and some sweet ones.
The album opens with two single-like songs. "The path to decay" is closer to the structure of their previous release, but it's really nice to hear Morten's growls on a single. "Lost in life" was clearly compossed with a radio-formula structure, a nice gift for the fans who joined Sirenia with "Nine destinies...". The third song is totally different, "The mind maelstrom" sounds heavy, with a sweet and almost ethereal Ailyn, with a lot of choirs, culminating in a powerful growl of Morten, with strong guitars and drums. "The seventh summer" is the best song on the album, it mixes perfectly all the history of Sirenia, it has a catchy chorus, a heavy bridge, and even the clear voice of Veland, into the best vocal performance of Ailyn. "Beyond's life scenery" follow that path, with an interesting chorus that makes some kind of dialogue betweet the choirs and the singer. The growls sound very industrial-ish in this one.
"The lucid door" is another good example of the new sound of Sirenia. Between very catchy melodies, heavy interludes, and a chorus that will be stuck in your head for hours. "Led astray" at first can sound very simple, but it crecendo is really nice, finishing in a heavy last chorus. "Winterborn 77" mixes a lot of interesting things, a heavy drumming, an powerful singing of Ailyn, violins and a very interesting choir.
The album closes with somethine really different. "Sirens of the sevens seas" is the song that bring us to the beggining of the band. The clean voice of Jan Kenneth Barkved is the protagonist of the calling to the sirens of the sevens seas. The rest of the songs are the choirs, the growls, and a almost ethereal Ailyn, mixing all that stuff in a magical song.
The album is very good. We aren't talking about an "At sixies and sevens", but it's a work that brings back Sirenia into metal instead of generic gothic rock. And the most important thing, the mixing of all their albums works very well. They were capable to made an catchy but also heavy album, with a lot of interesting parts on it, good choirs and the excellent work of one of their best voices. All this compiled in an album of an excellent production.
Good music, good voice, and lyrics that are okay for the musical style. Will Sirenia go for the next level?