Thursday, August 28, 2014

Music – Sirenia


One of the killer bands I have discovered on Pandora is Sirenia. Hailing from Norway, their current lineup is: Morten Veland (guitars and vocals), Ailyn (female vocals), Jonathan Perez (drums) and Jan Erik Soltvedt (guitars). Their sound is hard to classify, but I suppose Goth metal/rock is pretty close. However, they aren’t some head-banging percussion metal noise band. They have an unusual sound mixing elements of Classical, Opera and Rock. Female vocalist Ailyn has one of the clearest, most piercing voices in music. And they have a true understanding of harmony and melody. This is some well-written, well-constructed music that can’t easily fit in any musical box. It especially can’t be written off as “Goth/metal,” it’s entirely too sophisticated for that.

The band has six albums out so far. Here is my favorite of many mind-blowing songs; The Other Side from the album Nine Destinies and a Downfall. I think the song is about a woman saying goodbye to her dying little sister:

You can listen to the full album free of charge here.

Sirenia’s lyrics are always intriguing and better yet, understandable. Band leader Veland says their songs are about “reflections on life, death, love, hate, paranoia, anxiety and mental decline in general.” That sounds pretentious but he regularly pulls it off.
Here’s one of their recent songs, Seven Widows Weep from the album Perils of the Deep Blue. It starts out as heavy metal with a driving rock beat, then turns into a beautiful operatic symphony. The video is as hokey as Norwegian Viking metal videos can be, but I love the song. Their music is really like nothing else out there.

The only thing I don’t care for in their music is the occasional use of a screamer. Some heavy metal twit sings a verse or two in the middle of a song in Christian Bale’s Batman voice. It’s a tool they don’t use very often but I still wish they would discontinue the practice. It adds nothing to their music. Overall, Sirenia is a sublime mix of musical styles that rise above genre or expectations.

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