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Sirenia - Arcane Astral Aeons Award winner

Arcade Astral Aeons
by John Paul Romero at 26 November 2018, 7:39 AM

SIRENIA has been around for a long while now, and they are still going strong with what Morten has started. “Arcane Astral Aeons”, released October 26, 2018 is their ninth studio album and Emanuelle’s second album as lead vocalist since Ailyn’s departure. As expected, the music offered by the album is full of symphonic grandeur with a strong touch of their old (but gold!) gothic sound. There are lots of violin and keyboards presence placed on top of an overall elegant collective of orchestrals. Although the album revolves mainly on extravagant symphonies and over-the-top melodies, it also has spots where they are of certain levels of dark and heavy, especially on some songs where the guitar riffs are certainly thrashy. The vocals mixed a high-grade theatrical approach and occasional injections of harsh gutturals for a death metal touch.

By simply looking at the cover artwork of the CD, you will get an impression on the content of the album. It is dark but colorful and lively but gloomy at the same time. These contradictions create a rather interesting and amazing musicality, of course with the careful aid of swift transitions and passages. The diversity of the sound can be summarized by the blistering opening track “In Styx Embrace”. The song is mainly anchored to its huge symphonies and Emanuelle’s soaring soprano voice, but also has a share of dark and brutal stuff. Layered within the orchestrals is a sinister down-tuned guitar doing chuggy atmospheric riffs. The drums tiptoe through calculated melodic approach and a full-blown blast beats along with the black metal fashioned transition by the closing end of the song.

Intensity and horrors is what “Desire” is all about. It is played in a considerably slow tempo accompanied by haunting guitar riffs and an even more grissly synths. The song would make a good soundtrack for an old fashioned “haunted mansion” themed horror film. Big choirs and catchy tunes are what make up the glow of “Glowing Embers”, while another candidate for fan favorite (besides “Into the Night”) “Love Like Cyanide” is more rock-oriented with some poppy approaches, but not lacking the energy and intensity especially on the drums. The bottom line for “Arcane Astral Aeons” is that it is full of diversity and elegance as it tries to reach for the stars of the night sky. The balance of two opposing themes is flawlessly executed, hence creating a spectral music as a result.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. In Styx Embrace
2. Into the Night
3. Love Like Cyanide
4. Desire
5. Asphyxia
6. Queen of Lies
7. Nos Heures Sombres
8. The Voyage
9. Aerodyne
10. The Twilight Hour
11. Glowing Embers
12. Love Like Cyanide (Edit – Bonus Track)
Morten Veland – Bass, Vocals
Jan Erik Soltvedt – Guitar
Nils Courbaron – Guitar, Vocals
Emmanuelle Zoldan – Vocals
Record Label: Napalm Records


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