Released by Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: September 13th, 2019
Genre: Gothic Rock, Gothic Metal, Goth N’Roll
Jyrki69 – Vocals
Bazie – Guitars
Timo-Timo – Guitars
Archzie – Bass
Jussi69 – Drums
1. Two Horns Up
2. 27 & Done
3. Black Orchid
5. Burn Witch Burn
7. The Last House On The Left
8. Death & Desire
10. Be Here Now
11. Hell Has No Mercy
Finnish Gothic Rockers The 69 Eyes are back three years after their latest offering “Universal Monsters” with “West End” under the wings of the giant Nuclear Blast Records. The Scandinavian act was conceived back in 1989 and a new album is the best way of celebrating their thirtieth anniversary. The Finnish Vampires have shaped the goth n’roll genre through the years better than any other band and their actual twelfth release proves that they are the absolute masters in this field. Eleven brand new stories of love, life, and death with a lot of dark and memento mori moments in a melancholic atmosphere are hidden behind the apocalyptic title of the record.
After a few bells’ and organ chords, “Two Horns Up” kickstarts the goth n’roll party with heavy riffs, strong bass lines, and drum parts. “Lucifer is dancing around your hospital bed” are the first words and this is the most perfect way to introduce the guest vocalists of the album: Dani Filth from Cradle Of Filth, The Duke Of Spookiness himself Wednesday 13th and Alice Cooper’s daughter Calico Cooper. This up-tempo hammering track is followed by “27 & Done”, an equally uplifting but more melodic tune, a homage to the life and the “27 Club”, reminding the deadly consequences of Hollywood glamour. The party goes on with “Black Orchid”, a mysterious woman which conquers all-male hearts in Singapore, with a more gothic sound and the keyboards in the leading role. This song creates a darker atmosphere mostly with the chorus and the voices from the off.
“Change” gives a chilling moment with its slower tempo and gothic mood, but the amazing Bazie’s guitar solo consists in an effective wake-up, while Jyrki69 wonders what will happen when the world breaks down. The rhythm increases again with “Burn Witch Burn”, a song dedicated to the social media madness asking “What happened to freedom and liberty?”. At this point, “West End” offers a Type O’ Negative reminder with “Cheyenna”, a hymn to a female ghost rider and her trip on the endless road of eternity. The wind whispers her name and the heavy riffs and catchy lyrics give space to the punk style “The Last House On The Left”, a tribute to the first Wes Craven movie. The strong guitar riffs and melodies with the gradual participation of the three guest singers give birth to a Halloween anthem.
Another chilling and gothic melody comes with “Death & Desire” in a dramatic atmosphere, but “Outsiders” turns the record up to speed, mostly with the uplifting drumming by Jussi69 and the screaming guitar solo. Even though the drama persists in the melody of “Be Here Now”, the lyricism of an optimistic chorus “Live, love and dance with desires of your mortal life, live love and be here now, everything’s gonna be alright” gives a more exotic feeling to the track. The gothic party comes to an end with the mid-speed tune “Hell Has No Mercy”, which is referred to an unknown person, his reflections on his past and its influence on his present life. The screaming guitar solos and the strong drumming give the perfect dark atmosphere to the song, while the chorus concludes that “Hell has no mercy on me”.
The 69 Eyes is the band that time forgot and the nickname “Helsinki Vampires” is perfectly adapted to their case. “West End” is probably their most complete offering, a combination of mature compositions and excellent lyricism. Although they don’t seem to follow an experimental or innovative road, the Finnish act has created a bunch of eleven catchy, memorable goth n’roll songs, a guarantee of high-quality material and a proof of the huge talent of the musicians of the band. The gothic rock quintet does what knows best and they undoubtedly entertain themselves and intend to keep up the great job for a very long time.
Written by: Katerina Paisoglou
My Global Mind – Staff Writer