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The enigma here is "What were they thinking?" - 31%

TommyA, June 5th, 2011

The first few minutes of the album made me think this was Sirenia following on the sound of "The 13th Floor". The first track here sounds quite similar to (yet not as memorable as) "The Path to Decay", so I figured Sirenia are headed towards that direction. This was not the case. "The Enigma of Life" is nothing but disappointing. Catchy? Sure. Good? Not at all.

The main reason for this being a huge disappointment is simple: it's incredibly boring and repetitive. Everything is the same throughout the album. Ailyn sounds as though she did not know the meaning of the phrase "change of tone". Unlike on "The 13th Floor", her voice is super bland and gets boring quickly. The same applies to everything really, not just the female vocals. The guitar work sounds identical on most tracks, and there is lack of musical variety overall. Choirs appear less often, which isn't such a good thing, since the vocals tend to annoy you after a while, and that frequent break wouldn't have been a bad idea. Also, the increased frequency of clean male vocals does not help.

It's not all horrible though. Some parts of the album cannot go uncredited. First and foremost, the choirs are always pleasant, and they sound more or less the same as the previous album. Another interesting thing about the album is how some tracks have a really cool opening music, even though this isn't exactly what one should look for in a gothic metal album. My personal favourite is the intro music of "All My Dreams".

As for highlights, there aren't that many. If I had to mention them, I would have to say that the aforementioned "All My Dreams" is decent (especially since it happens to be in between of two of the really bad tracks). "Fading Star" and "Coming Down" are two of the few tracks here in which I felt music was on par with the previous album. "The Enigma of Life" is undoubtedly the strongest track here. Ailyn sounds pretty good here, and the track overall sounds like a Veland track. Sadly, the rest of the album is below average, at best.