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Sirenia - At Sixes and Sevens

Sirenia -  CD Review
At Sixes and Sevens
CD Info
8 Tracks
English lyrics

This has been a long time coming. It took me a good few months to work out what my opinion on At Sixes And Sevens was. The length and breadth of the Internet seems to be bursting with people saying something along the lines of if God had written an album, this would be it [even though that’s also what a lot of people said about Radiohead’s OK Computer, so maybe he’s branched into Gothic Metal recently]. Yes, At Sixes And Sevens is a good album. In fact – for what it is – it’s very good. But, there’s a space in it somewhere. It lacks something. And what it lacks is contrast.

Now, many of you will already be screaming at your respective PCs, saying I haven’t got the point. Let me explain. Though ASAS is filled with songs which have their harsh and soft passages intertwined more or less perfectly, what it lacks is at least one nicely soft and atmospheric number. This would top the album off nicely. Instead, it feels a little unfinished. A little unrefined. In fact, if you pieced this album and Tristania’s World Of Glass together you’d have the perfect BnB album. What can I say, I think Deadlocked is one of the best Gothic tracks ever, and I know Morten Veland is capable of doing something like that. Yes it’s ironic, because he didn’t work on World Of Glass. But you see where I’m coming from.

For those who couldn’t be arsed to find out what was going on with the whole Tristania/Sirenia mess - like me until I had to write this – I’ll spell it out. In 2001 Morten Veland left Tristania over disagreements regarding the content of the music. Typical, eh. Still, he didn’t waste any time and straight away got Sirenia together. No Vibeke anymore, but instead he got hold of Fabienne Gondamin, who’s not all that bad, though she does sound a little coy. Apart from this, Veland has done most of the album himself, just having help from a couple of others. Neverthelss, some people call it a solo project, which is a bit of a stupid thing to say. Its like saying "World Of Glass is Vibeke’s solo project if you don’t count the rest of the band and their input into the songs." Duh. Ridiculous.

Of course At Sixes And Sevens is still very Tristania-esque. There are growls and the token violins, choirs and clean vocals, which are provided courtesy of Jan Kenneth Barkvad. It’s a very good album, and you can’t help but get carried away by the aggressive darkness, which has something very attractive about it, especially on numbers like Meridian, In A Manica and On The Wane.

The less discriminate heathens out there will worship ASAS like the graven image they’ve turned it into, so it’s interesting to see what Morten will come up with next, to see whether he can excel himself. He’s clearly a factory of dark inspiration. Metropolis have done a good job on the production too - the sound is lush, complete and enveloping, though they should have done away with the silly metal casing the album comes in, or at least my ‘limited edition’ did. Not limited enough, clearly. One thing’s for sure; this will not disappoint fans of Tristania or Sins Of Thy Beloved. It’s a perfect addition to the rougher edge of Gothic. So, partake and enjoy. Still, if BnB’s not your cup of proverbial, you should at least get it for the picture of Morten in the inlay smugly wearing a t-shirt saying ‘Goth’. Just in case we were in any doubt.