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Sirenia, The Seventh Life Path (Napalm Records)




Sirenia, The Seventh Life Path (Napalm Records)
CD Reviews: May 14, 2015

05/14/15
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 Sirenia, The Seventh Life Path (Napalm Records)

One for the fishnets-and-corsets goth-metal crowd, the seventh album from this quartet is as irresistible to its target audience as it is formulaic to anyone else. The three Norwegian fellas have been fronted by Barcelona-born singer Ailyn for four albums as of this one, apparently content with the half-there sub-Benatar thing she does for them, usually a series of plaintive, ghostly, boring melodies floating over a cookie-cutter death-metal din mostly “composed” (his term) by their King Tut-bearded multi-instrumentalist Morten Veland, who obviously means well. I’ll keep supporting the Napalm Records brand until they really tick me off — they haven’t just taken over the whole bodice-ripping aesthetic that grew out of Evanescence’s hits, they actually dig it a lot — but with the first few growls that accompanied the rote cartoonish Wagnerian intro “Seti,” I knew I was in for something not especially remarkable. I like that they’re trying, yes, but most of this is like Mercyful Fate with uninspired soprano hacking, which would be all well and good if they weren’t dependent on fans of “melodic” metal. I didn’t feel any need to give this a second listen for nuance, is what I mean. B- — Eric W. Saeger

 

 

Roomful of Teeth, Render (Amsterdam Records)

Second full-length from the Grammy-winning classical a cappella act, one of whose members won a Pulitzer Prize for music in 2013. That first sentence should contain all you need to know; this is an intricate, immersive highbrow experiment that evokes both Brahms and Greenwich Village at once, and no, there’s little beatboxing save for a few parts where coordinated breaths are used as percussion, not that all that much was necessary, being that they brought in Jason Treuting of So Percussion for this one. It’s a handy introduction to a subset of New York’s current avant/crossover-classical composers, including Missy Mazzoli, Caleb Burhans and William Brittelle, all of whom tend to spatter non-classical passages such as African chant into their writings. All this highfalutin’ stuff being said, it doesn’t become massively beautiful nor accessible until the next-to-last-positioned title track, a piece that’s worth the time invested in bumping your way around the rest of it — it’s pure chamber bliss and proof that they have more than capable command of the aesthetic’s basics. A — Eric W. Saeger






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