Release Date: January 21, 2011 (EU) February 15, 2011 (US)
Stavanger, Norway’s goth/symphonic metal band, Sirenia is about to release its fifth studio album, The Enigma of Life through Nuclear Blast Records.
Sirenia formed in 2001 when guitarist Morten Veland left his band, Tristania and began writing for this project. Though it’s hard to call Sirenia a band as Veland handles almost every aspect of the five records; including guitars, male vocals, bass, drums and keyboards. Some of his guitar solos are absolutely stunning.
Spanish X Factor contestant Ailyn joined the band as lead vocalist in 2008 and she is a perfect fit. Her sirenic voice could lure men from anywhere. Along with Ailyn and Veland, the album also features violinist Stepahanie Valentin and a full choir. Veland produced, mixed and engineered the new album.
The band’s previous album, The 13th Floor was released in 2009. It was the first album featuring Ailyn as lead vocalist, making her the fourth vocalist in as many albums. The Enigma of Life represents the first time Sirenia has had the same primary female vocalist for two records, and it helps solidify the band’s sound and image.
“The End Of It All” is the first track on the album and the first single as well. A very symphonic track, the classical voice of Ailyn flows with Veland’s heavy guitar work making this a beautiful, melodic metal jam. Veland’s growling vocals are a nice addition as well, as this track is comprised of a variety of musical elements. Veland’s guitar solo is excellent.
The title track, “The Enigma of Life” is another beautiful symphonic piece. The choir is a nice touch. Ailyn’s vocals are perhaps more beautiful than anywhere else on the album as her lovely voice wails out these hopeless lyrics:
“I know the darkness will break me
and you cannot save me
can’t catch my fall.
I feel the sorrow embrace me
this life depraves me
I’m lost forever more.”
Veland follows with a very nice, melodic guitar solo. Actually he has two beautiful solos in this song. The keyboard finishes the track as it started, slow and classical. There is also an acoustic version of this song at the end of the album.
A few other notable tracks include “A Seaside Serenade,” “Fading Star” and “Coming Down.”
Although not as heavy as I expected or as heavy as I usually listen to, I still found myself liking this album. I am a fan of symphonic and melodic metal anyways and I really enjoy her entrancing voice. Fans looking for heavy, upbeat, earth-shaking, ear-bleeding death metal may not enjoy this album, but if you can enjoy a more calming, symphonic type metal, this album should appeal to you. Perhaps not to all die-hard metal fans, but it did to this one!
1. The End of It All
2. Fallen Angel
3. All My Dreams
4. This Darkness
5. The Twilight In Your Eyes
6. Winter Land
7. A Seaside Serenade
8. Darkened Days To Come
9. Coming Down
10. This Lonely Lake
11. Fading Star
12. The Enigma Of Life
13. Oscura Realidad (bonus track)
14. The Enigma Of Life (acoustic version; bonus track)