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The 69 Eyes – West End Award winner

The 69 Eyes
West End
by Caio Botrel & Jo Dykes at 27 September 2019, 1:44 PM

Caio Botrel (10/10)

is a Goth N 'Roll band that was formed in 1989 in the city of Helsinki, Finland. The multi-platinum winning band known as Helsinki Vampires has twelve studio albums, five compilations, thirty-two singles, two live DVDs and countless tours around the world. The band released their new studio album titled "West End" last Friday thirteen and that's what we're going to talk about.

The first song on the album is called "Two Horns Up", which starts with macabre bells reminiscent of some Dracula scene, comes in extremely heavy guitar riffs, accompanied by a precise bass n' drums and dark vocals that help create the vampire ambience. The chorus of the song is extremely catchy and the vocal and guitar melodies are interesting. This song was performed with guest appearance of the well-known musician Dani Filth of CRADLE OF FILTH and the duet with Jyrki69 sounded really cool. The next song "27 & Done" begins with an interesting drum set that is soon completed by beautiful keyboards and a choir in the background. It's a song that will make you bang your head as soon as the instrumental starts playing. It's a slower and heavier song and it has a beautiful guitar work. The chorus is very catchy and dancing. The song has a heavier part before a well-inspired guitar solo.

"Black Orchid" begins with a beautiful bass line and a keyboard in the background that helped create the perfect ambiance. The guitars join the melodies created by the bass and then the vocals go into the stanza. It's a song that has a more Rock N' Roll vibe and again, it has a super catchy chorus. The guitar solo of this song was very well written and inspired, there is also a duet between the keyboards and guitar that sounded great. Shortly after, there is a choir until the chorus comes in again. "Change" starts with beautiful keyboards and an orchestration in the background. The melody created is dark and very beautiful. In this song there are use of guitars with clean sounds and distortion, which helped create a very dark vibe. The chorus has fingered guitars and sounds romantic, dark and lonely. Then there is a twist to the song and heavy riffs hit the ground to create place for the very Rock N 'Roll solo vibe and then the music returns to its calmness. It's a perfect song to drink a wine and bang your head n’ dance.

"Burn Witch Burn" starts with a fun guitar riff and then all the instrumentals complete the song. The chorus is very fun and lively, it's a song that has a different vibe than the other songs on the album, it sounds happier and the solo is totally Rock N 'Roll. There are also keyboards that resembled something of DEEP PURPLE. The next song is called "Cheyenna" and starts with a drums accompanied by keyboards, until all the instrumentals enter the song and you start bang your head. The vocal melody of the stanzas is pretty cool and the riffs, drums and bass are extremely heavy and grooved. The chorus is catchy and you will start singing as soon as you hear it for the first time. There is a narration before the guitar solo that made the song more interesting. In the last chorus there are very interesting backing vocal's that gave a totally different vibe to the sound.

"The Last House On The Left" begins with an extremely heavy and characteristic Thrash Metal riff. It's a song that will make you want to break everything, get a car and drive around aimlessly. The song has Dani Filth from CRADLE OF FILTH, Wednesday 13 from MURDERDOLLS and Calico Cooper, daughter of the amazing Alice Cooper. It’s a sensational and inspiring song. The next song "Death & Desire" begins with sad keyboards and orchestrations, which are completed with sweet guitar melodies. The stanza has a clean dark guitar sound, which helped create and maintain a darker ambiance. The chorus is very dark, heavy and sad. It is for sure one of the darkest songs on the album.

"Outsiders" starts with a guitar riff with grooves and solo in the background. It is a lively song, which contrasts with the previous one. It follows a more Rock N' Roll line and has a very exciting and catchy chorus. After the solo there is a quieter part of the song, where it grows progressively until it reaches the apex with the chorus. The next song is called "Be Here Now" and it starts with an interesting guitar melody, good drums and bass and also some vocals in the background. The sound of clean guitars and drums have created a very interesting and exciting atmosphere; you wonder what comes next. Then you get a really nice chorus and beautiful backing vocals. The song ends as it began. The last song on the album "Hell Has No Mercy" begins with a tense guitar riff and the song grows progressively as the drums, bass and vocals come in. The song reminded me of something western and I don't know why, it sounds cool. So there's a guitar solo creating the chorus melody and it sounds very interesting. The song follows the same line to the end.

THE 69 EYES has released an excellent album that shows why the band is one of the biggest of its kind and one of the biggest in Finland. The compositions are impeccable, the guest appearances are excellent and match the songs chosen, the album production is great and the performance of each instrument is sensational. Certainly one of the best of the year.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

Jo Dykes (9/10)

THE 69 EYES are a Finnish band with style. The West End is an album consisting of 11 songs by the Goth metal band founded in 1989 and now celebrating 30 years of music. Opening with “Two Horns Up” is a song which gives a good sense of the bands fun yet dark lyrics. Featuring an appearance by CRADLE OF FILTH’s Dani Filth this song is catchy! The album "West End" was released September 13th 2019.

Songs to look out for on this album include “Two horns up”, “Black Orchid” “Burn Witch Burn” & “Death & Desire”. This is an album for those who enjoy Gothic Metal. Dark and fun to listen to, the album shows the bands style. I'd say THE 69 EYES are a band who will be around for a long time as they show no signs of slowing down on an impressive 30-year career. The album gives the listener the vision of a dark castle only visible by moonlight & lit with candles, wax dripping down. An album to inspire the darkness within.

The writer notes that the pace of the album is not fast, but a steady pace throughout. "West End" gives rise to the classic Gothic Metal scene and continues to aspire the listener. After 30 years this band goes from strength to strength. Perhaps not alike some of the bands previous work, the album brings new & fresh songs which have the potential to reach high in the Metal charts. As mentioned Dani Filth features on the opening track “Two Horns Up” which he guests on, this is a song I would recommend.

A haunting album which captivates the listener and is devilishly deviant. The instrumentals throughout the album are phenomenal to listen to.  "West End" is an album for lovers of dark and Gothic romantic Metal. The album gives the listener chills as it unfolds over the 12th full length record by THE 69 EYES.  The 46 minutes 48 second album is worthy of any Metalheads stereo system! “West End"” in my opinion is an album that should be played at a loud volume for the full effect. It tracks the originality of the band, while keeping to the similar flavor of what fans are used to. A highly recommended album for fans of THE 69 EYES. An album which will not disappoint lovers of the Gothic Metal band.

Songwriting – 8/10
Originality – 9/10
Memorability - 8/10
Production - 10/10

5 Star Rating

1. Two Horns Up
2. 27 & Done
3. Black Orchid
4. Change
5. Burn Witch Burn
6. Cheyenna
7. The Last House On The On The Left
8. Death and Desire
9. Outsiders
10. Be Here Now
11. Hell Has No Mercy
Jyrki69 - Vocals
Bazie – Lead Guitar
Timo-Timo - Guitar
Archzie - Bass
Jussi69 – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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Edited 18 August 2022

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