Sirenia: The Seventh Life Path

Norways’s symphonic metallers throw their weight

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Though they might tick all the boxes, Norway’s Sirenia aren’t your average symphonic metal band. With singer Ailyn’s unique, ghostly wails and the fuzzy guitar tone of Morten Veland, their sound is almost a throwback to 90s goth, but with modern symphonic tropes.

On The Seventh Life Path, sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t; the token ‘epic intro’, Seti, feels unnecessary and boring, but then comes Serpent, in which they juxtapose the dark and light, heavy and symphonic elements in a way that doesn’t feel jarring or awkward. Instead, the layering of Morten’s guttural growls with the Sirenian choir in the chorus creates a vast and satisfyingly brutal wall of sound.

Meanwhile, with a more organic mix of guitar solos and harsh vocals, Elixir is one of the best tracks on the album but, oddly, sounds somewhat dated amid all the symphonic trappings. Since it’s apparent that Sirenia can create a huge sound without them, they seem superfluous.

As one of the heaviest bands in this style, it feels like these guys could refine their sound even more to make a truly impactful album./o:p