THE 69 EYES
Helsinki's The 69 Eyes have been doing their part for good ol' fashioned goth 'n' roll since 1999. The sleaze-glam-turned-goths have enjoyed international success as one of the genre's most visible bands since their RoadRunner records debut 'Wasting The Dawn'. Now in 2016 the band return with 'Universal Monsters' a move back to their more overtly gothic rock sound after a few years dabbling with their early glam influences. The new album sees the return of producer Johnny Lee Michaels who previously worked with the band on their most definitive albums 'Blessed Be', 'Paris Kills', 'Devils', and 'Angels' that coupled with the evocative Boris Karloff-like portrait of vocalist Jyrki on the cover and it will be obvious to fans where the band are going with this one.
Musically the album bears a strong resemblance to 'Devils' with a mix of hard guitar riffs and sombre gothic atmosphere punctuated by Jyrki 69's deep vocal style. There is a mix of Danzig, Type O Negative, The Sisters Of Mercy, and The Cult running throughout which gives the band a lot of room to play with.
The album kicks off with the singles 'Dolce Vita' and 'Jet Fighter Plane' which both feature great riffs and catchy choruses that will compliment the band's live sets nicely. Songs such as 'Miss Pastis', 'Shallow Graves', and 'Rock 'n' Roll Junkie' follow suit giving the album its up-tempo accessibility for fans of their most recent albums. While songs like 'Blackbird Pie', 'Jerusalem', 'Never', and 'Blue' push the gothic elements right to the front again.
The production has that luscious edge that the band's definitive releases kept intact. The harder and more metal elements still sound within the keeping of the presentation of the album, whereas on the past couple of albums their focused came off as a little more confused.
It would still be nice to hear a bit more of that slow and thick gothic sound that made albums like 'Blessed Be' and 'Paris Kills' such attention grabbing releases. But with 'Universal Monsters' The 69 Eyes find a nice balance between their different influences in a focused and consistent way that shall please almost all of their fans.