Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Review by Jenna K. Barry

Fans of earlier Sirenia offerings will find a satisfying fusion of both style and performance with The 13th Floor”. This band, founded by the ambitious Morten Veland (formerly of Tristania), has thrived despite the fact that Sirenia has gone through three female singers already. This release is the first to feature the Spanish X-Factor contestant, Ailyn. Several of her covers on YouTube left me dubious, but I have just listened to “The 13th Floor” in its entirety. Though not, in my opinion, a masterpiece, it is clearly a step in the right direction for a band whose last release floundered in the sea of femme metal albums. “The Path to Decay” at first sounds like a continuation of “Nine Destinies and a Downfall”. Then a strangely alluring female voice begins to cast a distinctive spell and it becomes clear that, although the music is still accessible as on the previous release, Morten has managed to find a singer who combines the qualities of all her predecessors. The song is very catchy and a great one if you like songs that are easy to belt out until the neighbors complain! The lyrics lack the evocative feel of the first two albums, and Ailyn can be hard to understand. “Lost in Life” is pretty straightforward, with a jaunty tune. A real highlight is the compelling song, The Mind Maelstrom. It could be the choirs, which feature strongly. I think it is arguably the most superior song on the album, with some of the complexity I had come to miss from Sirenia. The Seventh Summer features a beautiful intro with a flourish! The orchestral beginning is reminescent of earlier releases. The addition of growls is a welcome surprise after the scarcity on the last album. On Beyond Life’s Scenery, pretty tinkling keys add depth and contrast. Growls and choirs are seamlessly interspersed. The intro flares up with blazing guitars on The Lucid Door. Next, Led Astray  is fast but not that heavy if you are comparing it with At Sixes And Sevens and An Elixir For Existence.Winterborn 77 has an intro which calls to mind early Nightwish. Ailyn hits some strong notes in her upper register throughout the piece. Enchanting choirs and musical craftsmanship make this an excellent offering.Sirens Of The Seven Seas was one that I had high hopes for. Unfortunately, the chemistry between the male and female just seems awkward to me on this track. This is not the song I would have chosen as a closing number.My biggest gripe is that I cannot always understand the femme vox. I would like to see more variety in the songs offered, but I think Morten fulfilled his promise of giving us an album with elements from all past releases!

Rating – 70/100

 

Tracklist 

  1. The Path to Decay
  2. Lost in Life
  3. The Mind Maelstrom
  4. The Seventh Summer
  5. Beyond Life’s Scenery
  6. The Lucid Door
  7. Led Astray
  8. Winterborn 77
  9. Sirens of the Seven Seas

 

Line Up 

  • Ailyn – Vocals
  • Morten Veland – Vocals, Guitar & Composer
  • Jonathan A. Perez – Drums
  • Michael Krumins – Guitar

 

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