Label: Napalm Records
Review by Warren Mayocchi
Sirenia have been active for fourteen years, and with their current female vocalist – Ailyn – for seven years. It is somewhat fitting then that Sirenia have a penchant for numbers, and in particular the number seven. To date there have been songs featuring seven on most albums: “At Sixes and Sevens” from “At Sixes and Sevens”; “Seven Sirens and a Silver Tear” from “An Elixir for Existence”; “Seven Keys and Nine Doors” from “Nine Destinies and a Downfall”; “Winterborn 77”, “The Seventh Summer” and “Sirens of the Seven Seas” from “The 13th Floor”; and finally “Seven Widows Weep” from “Perils of the Deep Blue”. The only album to miss out on a seven song has been “The Enigma of Life”. The latest album from Sirenia has no song with seven in the title, but the album is called “The Seventh Life Path”, and you will find that seven is a major feature of the album cover art. According to the artist – Gyula Havancsák – in the album art there are 7 ravens, 7 snakes, 7 roses and the scythe is a shaped like a number 7. Oh, this also happens to be the band’s seventh album. All this gives me the immediate impression that something special is happening here.
The usual instruments that make up a Sirenia album are present for this album, symphonic elements, driving guitars and drums. This sounds like an album from Sirenia, and that is a great thing. They have been putting out consistently interesting and well produced music. On “The Seventh Life Path” the individual song length has been increased greatly from recent albums. The song lengths are more typical of the band’s first two albums – “At Sixes and Sevens” and “An Elixir for Existence”. This allows each song to delve into the various vocal styles that the band has available. It seems as though Morten sings more than he has on recent albums, the Sirenian choir backs him and regularly features in all songs. The choir is an important in Sirenia, they help create a bridge from Morten to the counterpoint of Ailyn. The rhythmic and harsh Morten, the melodic and ethereal Ailyn. My favourite thing about Sirenia is how they are able to blend all of their component pieces into an epic sound. On this album most songs receive prominent vocals from Morten, the choir and Ailyn.
So, is this is an album worthy of the epicness indicated by the artwork? Perhaps the number seven indicates that the band is celebrating all that they have been during their musical career? It certainly seems that are visiting all of their aspects throughout the album, with some new territory appearing to surprise the listener in the middle of some songs. It is difficult to decide on favourite songs as the more that I listen to the album the more I love it. “Once My Light” has a music video that was released in April 2015, and it is a song that builds in intensity. The latter half of the song displays a little of the driving aggression that dominates most of the album. The menacing sound of “Serpent” and “Sons of the North” both captured my attention on a first listen. There are some calmer moments though, most songs do go through various phases, and in particular there is the full ballad, “Tragedienne”, and the short moody opener,“Seti”. This is Sirenia at their best, using all the talent that has been developed over their career.
Rating – 94/100
- Once My Light
- Sons of the Northics
- Concealed Disdain
- Contemptuous Quietus
- The Silver Eye
- Tragica (“Tragedienne” Spanish Version)
- Ailyn – Vocals
- Morten Veland – Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Piano, Synthetizers, Mandolin, Programming