On May the 8th, Norwegian Gothic/Symphonic overlords SIRENIA will unleash upon Europe their latest work, ”The Seventh Life Path”, an album from which fans and critics alike have great expectations.
With many reviewers having said that the previous release, ”Perils of the Deep Blue” was the group’s masterpiece, it is normal for some pressure to exist. However, there is no need to worry. We, at Maximum Rock Magazine Romania, have had the great opportunity to listen to the material, courtesy of Napalm Records, and we are delighted by what we heard.
„The Seventh Life Path” is absolutely massive. The arrangements are spectacular and their opulence is simply heart-wrenching. Production-wise, the record is bullet-proof and, moreover, the instrumentals wreak havoc through their relentless complexity. Morten Veland’s harsh voice is in the spotlight a bit more than usual, while Ailyn seems to have found a new level of maturity.
If on „Perils of the Deep Blue” the Gothic element was still present to a certain extent, its weight seems to have been lifted off „The Seventh Life Path”, as it is barely discernible, in favor of a more Symphonic/Heavy/Death driven sound, which will bring joy to those who were waiting for something truly aggressive from the Norwegian band. This style is most audible in songs like „The Silver Eye”, „Sons of the North” and „Contemptuous Quits”.
One song abdicates from this aesthetic of aggression: „Tragedienne”, the only ballad on the record. The piece is mesmerizingly beautiful and it starts off as an acoustic track, developing into a delicate, melancholy, Gothic-tinted piece, which acts as a tension-breaker, after a tracklist filled with artistically crafted metal dynamite.
„The Seventh Life Path” is the bands heaviest release to date and the artists wanted to let us know that from the beginning, not allowing any space for doubt. And even if this direction suits the group, we can’t help feeling that there is some kind of bravado involved in the set. The record, while genuine, is exhibitionistic, and a little vain, traits which, in the end, take a toll on the expressiveness of the songs, and on their emotional weight.
In the succession of powerful, hard-hitting Symphonic anthems, a bit of fragility, some slower tunes, would have relaxed the listener, making his passage through the Universe of Sirenia a bit lighter. However, this can also be seen as a matter of taste. Clearly, metalheads will find an unexpected and delightfully sophisticated „toy” in „The Seventh Life Path”.
The artwork was done by Hungarian artist Gyula Havancsak and it depicts Death together with a woman dressed in white, in a setting laden with symbols, like the number 7 – emblematic for the album, snakes, an hour-glass, and a thread. The ultimate purpose of the image is to convey the mysterious nature of human existence which is, and forever will be, under the power and terrible meaning of Death.
„The Seven Life Path” is a marvelous record which shall be the favorite of newer fans of the band, as well as fierce metalheads who like their Symphonic hard-and-heavy, without fashion-friendly, catchy hooks and precious sounding artifices.
We award this record 4,5 stars out of 5!
3. „Once My Light”
5. „Sons Of The North”
7. „Concealed Disdain”
9. „Contemptuous Quitus”
10. „The Silver Eye”
12. „Tragica” (Tragedienne Spanish Version- Bonus Track)