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Perils Of The Deep Blue

Nuclear Blast (2013)
Rating: 6/10

Founded by Morten Veland in 2001 after leaving Tristania, Sirenia present their sixth album, Perils Of The Deep Blue. The majority of the album was recorded at the Norwegian band’s own studio and produced by mainman Veland. Choirs and acoustic pieces were recorded in France while the mixing and mastering details were handled in Oslo at Dub Studios. The band’s third record with Spanish vocalist Ailyn comes after the chart-breaking albums The 13th Floor (2009) and The Enigma Of Life (2011).

‘Ducere Me In Lucem’ opens the album with an operatic build into ‘Seven Widows Deep’. This is probably the high point of the album, boasting a progressive edge but also a commercial sensibility that compliments the slick production that runs throughout the album.

‘Profound Scars’ digs a bit deeper into the heaviness of the band’s early works, allowing Ailyn’s gorgeous voice to intermingle with some extreme vocals as the band chugs along, this time incorporating bits of electronics and plenty of keyboards to fill the hollow spaces. ‘Darkling’ is another solid tune where the band allows their more extreme side to dominate the song.

As far as favourites go, it’s hard to beat the driving and immediately endearing ‘The Funeral March’. The lyrics and music certainly betray the title as its poppy bounce and drippingly sweet vocal are wildly infectious no matter how hard your heart might be towards the beauty and the beast sound. ‘Cold Caress’ is another favourite, allowing the symphonic flavour the band is known for to completely infiltrate the song. While it’s not Ailyn’s best performance here, the band are on fire ebbing and flowing from heavy to soaring to bombastic to driving and back again multiple times.

For me, the length of the songs on Perils Of The Deep Blue really hold this album back. Eight of the 11 songs clock in at over five minutes and they tend to lose me after about the three-minute mark. So, those with grindcore or commercial mentalities will certainly find these songs a bit cumbersome, even if you enjoy them. ‘Stille Kom Døden’ is practically an opera clocking in at over 12 minutes. While I can appreciate the song’s many movements, it’s just laborious to listen to and likely could have been an EP unto itself.

Perils Of The Deep Blue is much deeper and more progressive than the last two albums when all is said and done. Everything here is a bit more bombastic though and the production is absolutely pristine and therein lies the album’s greatest strength. The songs here are good, but only a handful of them are great (although a handful more are great during certain sections of the song). Sirenia continues their evolution on Perils Of The Deep Blue but I still think the best is yet to come.

Mark Fisher

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