“Angels” by The 69 Eyes

Artist: The 69 Eyes
Title: “Angels”
Label: Caroline Records
Release Date: 3/6/2007
Genre: Gothic Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

Hails to The Helsinki Vampires for they have returned to us with “Angels” on their side. Yes fiends and dwellers in the dark, The 69 Eyes are back and present to us some rocking new music and on a brand new label to boot. One of the things that make “Angels” special is the fact that it’s the first releases by the group to come out at the same time in most parts of the world as opposed to the States waiting almost a year to have it like we experienced with “Devils”. For those that might be unaware, The 69 Eyes are another one of those overnight sensations from Finland who have been around for almost two decades and their strong underground popularity has allowed them to build a following that is second to none. “Angels” finds the band picking up where they left off with “Devils” and the overall result is not as dark and brooding as the predecessor but still grooves with the Gothic Rock vibe that the band excels at. The listener will find subtle similarity on a couple of tracks but it seems as though these were done on purpose for the offer some consistency and relation to this and the last release. “Angels” starts it off in cryptic fashion as Jyrki 69 sings of an apocalyptic time that finds us at the end of the world. A good track, but followed by the stronger “Never Say Die”, which is this album’s “Lost Boys” as far as a track to find you speeding down some highway.

The song “Rocker” was slightly tongue-in-cheek if you ask me, as the singer puts on his best attitude ala Billy Idol meets Glen Danzig. Fellow Finnish sensations Apocalyptica make an appearance and bring the song “Ghost” to a rich gloomy life. They add to the melancholy Gothic theme of the track very well. Midway in we find “Perfect Skin” and this was their first single of the album and a catchy number that simply invites the audience to sing along during the chorus. “Star Of Fate”’ is essentially the ballad for the recording and one of the best tracks with lush strings and mood. From here, it jumps into “Los Angeles”, where the singer talks of one of his favorite places in the US to be in. “Frankenhooker” was a tad punkish and ok at best, and they close it up with one of their older tunes “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams”. Essentially there is a lot of different ground covered that keep it a solid listen for the most part. Fans of bands like Type-O-Negative and AFI should be impressed with this one very much.

I liked the album, but I found more personal appeal in “Devils”, and perhaps this was based on the darker aspect being addressed. The 69 Eyes are continually good at keeping a freshness to their sound and this time around they employed a little more of their original Glam-Sleaze side than they had done for a number of recordings. I give them credit for not only keeping it interesting and also allowing new fans in with ease, but also in their keeping the same lineup since their inception (hails to Bazie, Archzie, Timo-Timo, and Jussi 69 as this is not easy to do in any band). Given this is their ninth studio recording, I found it still a good jumping on point that does not leave you totally lost at what the band comes from. The album is a great jumping on point for a new listener and it comes with “open disc” technology, which if you play in your computer will give you access to bonus goodies. There is a special edition version that comes with a bonus DVD that includes footage from the “Devils” tour in the US in 2006 from California. “Got Goth?”

Track Listing:

1. Angels
2. Never Say Die
3. Rocker
4. Ghost
5. Perfect Skin
6. Wings And Hearts
7. Star Of Fate
8. Los Angeles
9. In My Name
10. Shadow Of Your Love
11. Frankenhooker
12. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

Official Website: www.69eyes.com

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