SIRENIA

Gothic Metal • Norway
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Sirenia is a Norwegian gothic metal band, formed in Stavanger, Norway in 2001. Sirenia combines strong melodic instrumentals, keyboard synthesis, and guitar works with light, female vocals (Fabienne Gondamin, Henriette Bordvik, Monika Pedersen, and currently Ailyn), male death vocals, and a choir. Current band members are Morten Veland (programming, growling, clean vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards), Ailyn (female vocals), Jonathan Perez (drums), and Michael Krumins (guitars, ex-Green Carnation).

Most of Sirenia's songs are atmospheric, yet intense with melodic backgrounds and interludes. The lyrics are concerned with human existence, emotion, and mental states.

Sirenia (at first called "Masters of Sirenia"), named after the Sirens of Greek mythology, was founded in 2001 after Morten Veland left Tristania. The band failed to find a suitable singer prior to recording in France, so they conducted auditions and found Fabienne Gondamin for the recording session of At Sixes and Sevens.

On the subsequent tour and follow-up
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The Seventh Life PathThe Seventh Life Path
Napalm Records 2016
$7.49
$9.96 (used)
Perils of the Deep BluePerils of the Deep Blue
Nuclear Blast 2013
$8.53
$7.89 (used)
Dim Days Of DolorDim Days Of Dolor
Napalm Records 2016
$7.99
$9.05 (used)
Nine Destinies And A DownfallNine Destinies And A Downfall
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$11.94
$7.25 (used)
An Elixir For ExistenceAn Elixir For Existence
Napalm Records 2016
$7.43
$2.88 (used)
The 13th FloorThe 13th Floor
Extra tracks
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$11.42
(NPR 24222) At Sixes And Sevens(NPR 24222) At Sixes And Sevens
Napalm Records 2004
$7.47
$7.46 (used)
The Enigma of LifeThe Enigma of Life
Nuclear Blast 2012
$7.61
$3.86 (used)
Sirenian ShoresSirenian Shores
Napalm 2005
$9.95
My Mind's EyeMy Mind's Eye
Synara 2007
$17.20
$35.55 (used)
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Tristania - Beyond the Veil (CD 2005) TRAIL OF TEARS CHAIN COLLECTOR SIRENIA Tristania - Beyond the Veil (CD 2005) TRAIL OF TEARS CHAIN COLLECTOR SIRENIA USD $10.47 Buy It Now 9 days
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SIRENIA Discography

SIRENIA albums / top albums

SIRENIA At Sixes and Sevens album cover 3.90 | 5 ratings
At Sixes and Sevens
Gothic Metal 2002
SIRENIA An Elixir for Existence album cover 3.83 | 6 ratings
An Elixir for Existence
Gothic Metal 2004
SIRENIA Nine Destinies and a Downfall album cover 3.30 | 5 ratings
Nine Destinies and a Downfall
Gothic Metal 2007
SIRENIA The 13th Floor album cover 3.67 | 6 ratings
The 13th Floor
Gothic Metal 2009
SIRENIA The Enigma of Life album cover 2.11 | 5 ratings
The Enigma of Life
Gothic Metal 2011
SIRENIA Perils Of The Deep Blue album cover 4.11 | 5 ratings
Perils Of The Deep Blue
Gothic Metal 2013
SIRENIA The Seventh Life Path album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
The Seventh Life Path
Gothic Metal 2015
SIRENIA Dim Days of Dolor album cover 4.50 | 3 ratings
Dim Days of Dolor
Gothic Metal 2016

SIRENIA EPs & splits

SIRENIA Sirenian Shores album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Sirenian Shores
Gothic Metal 2004
SIRENIA Hi Five - Female Fronted Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hi Five - Female Fronted Metal
Gothic Metal 2007

SIRENIA live albums

SIRENIA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SIRENIA re-issues & compilations

SIRENIA singles (3)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Path to Decay
Gothic Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The End of It All
Gothic Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Seven Widows Weep
Gothic Metal 2013

SIRENIA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SIRENIA Reviews

SIRENIA Dim Days of Dolor

Album · 2016 · Gothic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
DippoMagoo
Sometimes, as a fan of a band who’s gone through many changes in the past, you may eventually reach a point where it seems like things have finally settled and you know roughly what to expect from them each time, only for change to suddenly and unexpectedly strike once again. The latest case of this is Sirenia, the gothic metal band led by former Tristania mastermind Morten Veland. In this case, the change shouldn’t have come off as surprising as it did for me, because for the first four albums with his current band Morten had brought in a new singer each time, but after Spanish vocalist Ailyn had lasted four albums I thought for sure he had finally settled down, and then the two suddenly parted ways, with Ailyn being replaced by French vocalist Emmanuelle Zoldan, who had been helping the band with choir vocals for a long time, though she had also sung lead vocals on one track from the Sirenian Shores EP released in 2004. At first I had no idea what to expect from the band going forward, as I loved Ailyn’s vocals and I thought the first three albums with her were some of Morten’s all time best, so I was extremely nervous to hear Dim Days of Dolor, but once again he has surprised me and has proven himself to be one of the best songwriters not only in his genre but in metal period.

Sirenia’s music has changed quite a bit over the years, starting off as somewhat of a simpler continuation of the classic gothic metal sound Morten had perfected on his Tristania swan song Beyond the Veil, with the debut At Sixes and Sevens in particular feeling like an excellent follow up that album, while later albums like The 13th Floor and The Enigma of Life had seen the band switch to a much softer, more accessible sound with an increased emphasis on female vocals and catchy choruses. Then came Perils of the Deep Blue, which felt like somewhat of a bridge between two styles, maintaining the more melodic and catchy style of the latter albums, while bringing back some of the complexity and the growls from the earlier albums.

With Dim Days of Dolor, it feels like Morten has once again set out to make a seamless blend between all phases of the band, with most songs initially seeming straightforward and lighter like The 13th Floor, and some fans may be disappointed to discover the lack of growls on most tracks, but once you start looking beneath the surface and start to pay full attention to the songs, you can notice there’s a ton of stuff going on musically, with all kinds of layers and elements thrown in to keep things interesting even on the simpler songs. As always, synths and orchestras are used for atmosphere and the music gets very dark at times, though not as dark as on Morten’s earlier albums, and I’ve also noticed an increase in the guitar work on this album, at least compared to the past few. Parts of the album remind me a bit of later Epica with how heavy the guitar sound can get, and there’s more speedy guitar driven passages on this album than I was expecting. At the same time, that lighter sound from some of their lesser regarded albums remains present on most tracks, and so if anything this is quite the varied album and there’s quite a bit going on musically throughout.

Getting back to that big change I mentioned, Emmanuelle fits in great and brings back an element many Tristania fans have been missing, which is the operatic vocals. Unlike the previous few Sirenia singers, Emmanuelle has had extended classical singing training and this immediately shows, as she can fluidly switch from high pitch operatic singing to normal, clear singing in an instant and she does so quite often throughout the album, most notably on the excellent track “Treasure n’ Treason”. She also has an excellent lower register which she uses a few times throughout the album, and this is another element that helps separate her from previous singers. While I don’t find her voice as unique as some singers Morten has worked with in the past, her abilities can not be denied and she certainly does a great job of carrying this album.

Fans of earlier albums will likely be pleased with the opening track “Goddess of the Sea” which starts off with some very dark and ambient keys, before turning to the kind of atmospheric mid-tempo the track the band specializes in. It’s a track very much dominated by Emmanuelle, whose operatic vocals immediately make an impact on the music, and the choir vocals, which are used frequently on this album, more so than on the past few albums, I think. While the track doesn’t have any growls, musically it feels like a nice mix of old and new, and it features some nice guitar work in the second half. On the other side of things, the title track is the kind of much lighter, catchier track found on The 13th Floor and The Enigma of Life, with everything from the sweeping orchestra at the beginning to the chorus all being designed to immediately grab the listener’s attention. Emmanuelle sounds much lighter on this track as well, and it’s certainly a more upbeat sounding track, which makes the sad lyrics seem a little out of place, though that’s not really a criticism as Morten has been known to mix upbeat music and sad lyrics from time to time, so listeners should be used to that by now. More importantly, the chorus is fantastic and all around the track is easily one the catchiest and most fun Sirenia tracks ever, making it the perfect choice for a single. The track also features some nice guest vocals from past collaborator Joakim Næs, who has a very warm voice that fits in well with the track, and he does a great job as always.

The other single “The 12th Hour”, is actually a bit more surprising, as it has some of the heavier, speedier guitar driven passages I mentioned earlier and it also has a particularly heavy section in the second half which really reminds me of Epica, though the soft passage that follows and the vocal section from Emmanuelle immediately bring the song back into familiar territory. Really, the track has a lot going on for a single, with a nice mix of the heavy guitars and synth, as well as great higher vocals from Emmanuelle during the chorus. Also, this track features some of Morten’s growls, and as always, they’re amazing.

While those two tracks are my favorites, there are more gems to be found on the album. As mentioned earlier, the mostly upbeat “Treasure n’ Treason” may be the best showcase for Emmanuelle, as she fluidly switches between operatic vocals and clean vocals throughout, and a softer passage in the second half does an amazing job of showcasing her lower register, while the chorus is very nice as well. More nice clean male vocals can be found on “Veil of Winter”, which very much feels like classic Sirenia, especially with how the guitar tone sounds during the male vocal passages, while “Playing With Fire” is another faster, heavier song in which Morten showcases his growls. One last appearance from the growls happens towards the end of the album on “Fifth Column”, a darker, heavier track that very much reminds me of early Sirenia, and I expect fans to be very pleased with it.

Aside from a few tracks, though, this album mostly feels like a nice showcase for Emmanuelle and the choirs, as lead male vocals aren’t very prominent and softer tracks like the power ballad “Elusive Sun” and piano ballad “Aeon’s Embrace” are especially driven by the female vocals, with the latter, in particular, having some great operatic vocals. Even the slow, crushingly heavy track “Ashes to Ashes” surprisingly doesn’t feature any growls, though in this case they aren’t really needed as the lead vocals are excellent enough, and musically it’s a hard hitting track with some great riffs nice melodic leads at points, so there’s already enough going on that growls aren’t necessary. Perhaps the one odd moment of the album happens on “Cloud Nine”, as, after the expected atmospheric intro, there’s a weird use of dubstep effects, though these quickly fade away and the rest of the song is a melodic mid-paced track with an excellent chorus.

I’ll admit I was initially not looking forward to hearing new Sirenia music as much I should have been, between their last album The Seventh Life Path being a bit of a step back and the change in singers leaving me disappointed, but with Dim Days of Dolor Morten Veland has once again stepped up his game and released an excellent album with a nice of old and new, all while doing an excellent job of showcasing his latest vocalist. Highly recommended for longtime fans as well as fans of symphonic and gothic metal who don’t mind having a lack of growls compared to past albums.

originally written for Myglobalmind.com: http://myglobalmind.com/2016/11/29/sirenia-dim-days-of-dolor-review/

SIRENIA Perils Of The Deep Blue

Album · 2013 · Gothic Metal
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Kev Rowland
Morten Venland (guitars/vocals) formed Sirenia after he left Tristania in 2001, and this is their sixth album to date. There have been a few issues with line-ups over the years, especially with singers, but the band seem settled now with Ailyn (vocals), Jonathan A. Perez (drums) and Jan Erik Soltvedt (guitars). There are also plenty of keyboards combining with strong riffs, as well as violins and even 12-string guitars. They describe their music as a mixture of gothic metal and rock with classical orchestrations, in addition to some elements from more extreme metal genres. The vocals themselves are a major element of the sound, with Ailyn’s stunning soprano being mixed with choirs, growls, screams, clean male vocals, whispers and samples. They are bound to be compared to Nightwish, and rightfully so, but these guys have definitely also brought in elements of Lacuna Coil as well as some aspects of Opeth.

The result is an album that is symphonic and dark, emotional and gothic, atmospheric and powerful yet somehow incredibly accessible and immediate. The very first time I played this album I felt at home, immersed in the music, and very much wanting to hear it again. It is complex, with multiple layers and styles of sound, but manages to maintain a heaviness throughout, driven in no small part by the thunderous drums. If you haven’t come across these guys before then they really are worth seeking out. www.nuclearblast.de

SIRENIA The Enigma of Life

Album · 2011 · Gothic Metal
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adg211288
The Enigma of Life is the fifth full-length album by Norway’s Sirenia, and their first album release which features the same female vocalist as the last one (2009’s The 13th Floor) in the form of Spanish singer Ailyn, who was a contestant on El Factor X, Spain’s version of popular pop music reality show The X Factor. Fans of metal music no doubt have warning bells ringing in their heads now. A Metal album fronted by an X Factor style singer, surely not? Well yes, that’s the case alright, and it’s lasted for two albums now which is a record for this band, of which the only other core member on this album is main man Morten Veland. Funnily enough it’s only since Ailyn began singing for Sirenia that I’ve personally given them time of day, all prior material from them I’ve found exceptional boring, even the often hyped first two albums, and oddly for someone taking this music on from the perspective of a metal fan, this stuff was actually their least commercial music.

On that note, yes, like The 13th Floor before it, The Enigma of Life is a very commercially inclined gothic/symphonic metal album and as such it’s not a difficult listen at all. The vocals of Ailyn suit this style of music and she’s got a great voice, but Morten tries to bring a bit more extremity to it by adding some growls, and the trouble is his growls don’t come across as particularly strong, so it’s a good thing that most of the vocal is left to Ailyn.

Fans of this style should lap this album up, but I have to be honest, while The Enigma of Life is a pleasant enough a listen, to me it sounds like background music, and there’s no real moments where it gets symphonic enough to come across as epic in a classical sense, what with Sirenia being more rooted in gothic metal. Likewise there are no moments where the music really packs a punch in terms of heaviness, or even any really catchy and memorable songs that I’d feel inclined to play because I actually really enjoy them, which is something The 13th Floor did have in the form of The Path to Decay. Here nothing really stands out on the main album, which makes it extremely difficult to single any track out as any sort of a highlight.

Another problem that I have with it is that no progress seems to really have been made from The 13th Floor. The Enigma of Life overall just comes across as The 13th Floor Part II really, which overall makes it sound pretty stale because overall the quality of the songs isn’t up the standard set by that album, which wasn’t overly high to begin with. Maybe the previous four albums had the advantage of a new female vocalist each time that the vocal delivery as good as got a revamp with each album, but since Ailyn’s vocals were the reason I started to pay attention to Sirenia, and I would consider her the best singer they ever had, and coupled with what good ideas The 13th Floor had, I was hoping that with The Enigma of Life Sirenia would really hit their stride and deliver a great (if still commercial) album this time around. No such luck.

Some versions have bonus tracks, one of which was a track sung in Spanish, Oscura Realidad (actually this is the same song as an earlier song called This Darkness, just translated). I actually really enjoyed this song because it was different for the band, and that brings me to another major problem with the album, the one stand-out track is considered to be bonus material and as such, isn’t a part of the material I base my rating on.

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