THE 69 EYES – West End (2019)
Celebrating thirty years as a band, “West End” come with a new sense of purpose for THE 69 EYES. I always had a soft spot for this band’s ‘Melodic Goth’ music… yes, adding melody to this genre darkness is possible, and The 69 Eyes are releasing today one of their strongest albums in years with a fantastic mix of heavy and light numbers that should appeal to any fan of rock music in general looking for something different… and good.
“Two Horns Up” starts the disc which plays wickedly dark banter of the devil in his favorite pastimes while featuring the blacker than Black No. 1 guest vocals of Cradle of Filth’s own Dani Filth. Adding to the mood, an organ drones in the opening, an instrument surely befitting the gothically blasphemous tongues of Filth and 69 Eyes lead man Jyrki 69. The track is shameless and dynamic with a catchy, shredding riff and the imposing vocal performance by both vocalists that brings the song full pentacle into an unforgettable anthem.
But the album really sets sail when “27 & Done” comes into play, a song that I first assumed was about annihilating yourself before the age of thirty, but then realized was about the infamous twenty-seven club. The first time I’d heard this track, I immediately went back to play it again, so I can assure you that this ‘melodic Goth’ tune (check the video below) represents the very best of this album.
Then “Black Orchid” comes in, slowing the mood a bit as “Change” transforms the experience into a piano laden affair which features one ofthe best vocal performances on this album. There’s even a small spot for a rocking guitar solo.
“Cheyenna” shows itself well and paints a masterful portrait of romance most appreciated by the darkly inclined. It is Rock-n-Roll with a silver tongue and an undeniable allure in its instrumental.
Keeping things interesting, “The Last House On The Left” is composed with an impenetrable rhythm while including spooky vocals in a nod to a horror movie. Additionally there is also the diabolical singing of Beastö Blancö’s Calico Cooper making for a heavy cut with an air of foreboding and ghostly intrigue brought sincerely to life by the trio of vocalists.
Then on the other side of emotion “Death & Desire” will beckon tears for even the blackest of hearts bathes the listener in despair of lost love. Complete with vocals that are emotionally genuine, they are backed by a melancholy choir and slow riffs that circle in the background.
Then “Be Here Now” comes in with garbled synth and minimalist guitar work before the slow burning fade “Hell Has No Mercy” that concludes the bewitching album.
Overall, ‘West End’ is built out of every aspect of what makes The 69 Eyes such a breathtaking band with a distinctive sound. There is a song for every taste, proving that no matter the style, The 69 Eyes rise to the occasion.
Arguably their best album in years.
01. Two Horns Up
02. 27 & Done
03. Black Orchid
05. Burn Witch Burn
07. The Last House On The Left
08. Death & Desire
10. Be Here Now
11. Hell Has No Mercy
Jyrki 69 – Vocals
Bazie – Guitar
Timo-Timo – Guitar
Archzie – Bass
Jussi 69 – Drums