Helsinki gothic rock icons The 69 Eyes engage and entrance on their thirteenth album, Death Of Darkness.
The roots of The 69 Eyes stretch back to at least 1989 in Helsinki. Always audacious, the band has presented in a number of styles, most memorably glam, sleave and, with lasting effect, gothic. Their prolific musical production has churned out a dozen albums, and a long string of singles and EPs. They are most famous in their native land, by there is no denying the global reach and impact of The 69 Eyes. The band is Jyrki 69 (vocals), Bazie (guitars), Timo Timo (guitars), Archzie (bass), and Jussi 69 (drums).
Talking about the new album, Jyrki 69 remarked, “We started to make this album single by single, releasing first singles then an EP and now eventually the whole album. The method kept everything fresh and us on our toes while recording and writing new music. Our main aim was to get THE 69 EYES back to the Finland’s airwaves. Our music is still on the radio but over fifteen-year-old classics. How about new ones?” This is a pretty good approach. The music is catchy and memorable, and the album becomes a kind of compilation of recently released material.
The new record has ten tracks, including all three from last year’s Drive EP. First up, “Death Of Darkness” – might as well get going with the title track. It is a luxurious beginning, with gentle riffs and a nice key line. The melodic singing is a clear invitation that leads to harsher treatment as the song goes along. It is a mysterious gothic rock amalgam. “Drive” follows, the lead song from the same-titled EP. It has more of a kick, raising the temperature – and blood pressure – of the listener. “Gotta Rock” is curiously laid back, and “This Murder Takes Two” would be right at home in a Sunday afternoon western.
The set has catchy goth and roll music. It is good fun, tuned in a broad appeal kind of way. “California” and “Call Me Snake” are good pieces, both appearing on the Drive EP. It is fortunate to have them here as they provide energy and forward motion. “Something Real” is a track to watch out for as well, sounding, as it does, a little bit like a softened Bloody Hammers take. “Outlaws” is the last song, and it is my favorite among the ones I had not hear before, perhaps because, to my ears, it is the most gothic of the bunch. Fans of the band will be glad to have this new record. Recommended.
Death Of Darkness rolls out on Friday, April 21st through Atomic Fire Records digitally, with physicals to follow in the US on May 5th. Have a look around at the links below.
Band photo by Marek Sabogal.
The 69 Eyes website, http://69eyes.com/
Atomic Fire Records, https://www.atomicfire-records.com/products
© Wayne Edwards