Knowing Norway for its blackened dark side, keep in mind that they also have a lighter, more symphonic side to them as well. From Stavanger, Norway comes the epic 3 peice, Sirenia, with an earlier album entitled "Nine Destinies And A Downfall." This record, although its from 2007, may be one of their best albums that they have ever released in their career. The melodic voice of Monika Pederson will sooth you while the harsh growling from their guitarist, Morten Veland, will terrify you at the same time.
The album fades in with "The Last Call" which has massive amounts of blaring guitars and harmonizing orchestrated strings. The very first verse will take your breath away, as the vocals carry you to another world. You will hear a choir in the background after the refrains that really give it that symphonic feel. This choir is used a lot through out the album as you will notice in songs like "The Other Side" and "Glades Of Summer." Guitars keep things heavy in this opening track, as deafening chords chug away between verses. The bridge contains clean layered male and female vocals that sing back and forth to each other creating a beautiful atmosphere for the listener.
"My Minds Eye" was the big single that was used to help promote the album, and it definitely deserved to be with all of its catchy hooks and gorgeous verses. A radio edit version comes with the enhanced version of the album as a bonus track, so make sure you check that out as well. The song "One By One" is another track with enjoyable refrains and melodic instrumentation. These are definitely a couple of songs that will have you hitting the replay button immediately afterwards.
The album gets heavier and faster with track 4, entitled "Sundown." Rapid cymbals are crashing everywhere, while aggressive guitar riffs fly through the air. The verses are slower but are followed with monstrous growling and quick double bass pedaling. The structure of the song is very impressive, as it constantly gains speed, yet falls back to a slower tempo without even noticing. And if you're looking for more action packed songs with strong guitars and heavier growling, then make sure to check out the song "Seven Keys And Nine Doors" as well.
"Absent Without Leave" recaptures the gothic sound as the ravishing vocals will immediately hypnotize you. This is another one of those songs with a solid, memorable chorus and epic symphonic instrumentation that surrounds it. The lyrics are also deep in meaning and are performed with tremendous emotion.
Overall, "Nine Destinies And A Downfall" is a well structured album and has tons of different orchestrated sounds and unique instruments incorporated. Pedersons voice is what really made this album complete. Unfortunately, Pederson is no longer with Sirenia. However, their present lead vocalist is Ailyin, who has contributed to their newest album "The Enigma Of Life." Keep an eye out for this band and see where they go with their new line up.
Official Site - http://www.mortenveland.com/sirenia/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/sirenia