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The 69 Eyes: The Best Of Helsinki Vampires

Dark metallers offer a bloody good overview

There’s always been something enticing about The 69 Eyes. Maybe it’s because they’ve styled themselves as ‘Helsinki Vampires’ – and we know the allure of those nocturnal creatures.

This collection serves as a great introduction to a band who have always mixed a goth ambience with cool riffage and melodies that have sustaining impact. Oddly, the band’s first two strudio albums, Bump ’n’ Grind and Savage Garden, are overlooked, as this compilation beginning its journey from 1997’s Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams.

But the Eyes are best defined by the plethora of tracks from 1999’s Wasting The Dream through to X, put out three years ago. There’s a perverse joy about songs like the majestically anorexic Lost Boys, the darkly fateful Brandon Lee, the necrophiliac pisstake of_ Dead Girls Are Easy_ and the decadently addictive Kiss Me Undead.

What the Eyes have found is an anthemic formula that’s given them an unmistakable sound, allied to a devilish sense of humour often missed by those who don’t glimpse beneath the surface of the gothic lyricism. And the way this approach has been finessed gives you an understanding of their enduring quality, accentuated by the recent reissues of the Devils, Angels and Paris Kills albums./o:p