“Devils” (reissue) by The 69 Eyes

Artist: The 69 Eyes
Title: “Devils” (reissue)
Label: Caroline Records
Release Date: 3/28/2008
Genre: Gothic Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

A couple of years ago the US Region of Gothic Hard Rock fans got their first official taste of The 69 Eyes when the bands album “Devils” became the first official domestic release. Of course with the Internet the cult legions of the Helsinki Vampires had probably owned a copy or two of their other albums by this time but when 456 Entertainment first delivered the band to our shores the excitement became much higher. By the next release the band had moved over to Caroline Records and gave us “Angels” as well as two more tours. 2008 would find Caroline owning the “Devils” release and re-issuing it with some bonus tracks. Given our thoughts on the album have remained the same we are revisiting our copy below and then will add a few closing thoughts to tie it all together.

“Straight out of Finland comes a true Gothic Rock sensation and with “Devils” The 69 Eyes give us their first official US release. You might have heard of them in some fashion recently given all the attention that HIM is generating or perhaps you own the “Viva La Bands” CD where Bam Marguera showcases their excellent track “Lost Boys”. Given his involvement in HIM and the constant presentation of the Heartagram logo of that band his interest in The 69 Eyes can only be a positive move for the group to obtain a larger audience here in the States and perhaps other Countries as well. Before this CD was released I had only been familiar with the track “Brandon Lee” and “Gothic Girl”. Fans of the band might say I am missing out on some better material but I enjoyed those two enough to look deeper into the group. I was glad that I did for on “Devils” there is a healthy dose of Hard Rock with a very apparent Gothic edge. The albums title track “Devils” is gloomy and catchy at the same time and as soon as the band begins I felt that lead singer Jyrki 69 reminded me of someone and as research led to trying to solve this I found a little Peter Steele (Type-O-Negative) and perhaps a touch of Danzig in his voice. Either way the band delivers a brooding and at the same time melancholy piece of music that is not easily forgotten. “Sister Of Charity” is a trudging and keyboard laden number that utilizes some great Gregorian backgrounds as well as the accompaniment of a female singer. This is perhaps one of my favorite numbers on the record. “Lost Boys” speeds it up a little and is a sure fire hit that I hope finds a home on some of the stations that have found HIM of late.

“Christina Death” is another track that I enjoyed a lot for its catchy rhythm and very dark lyrical content. With such a similarity in some areas I feel most fans of that group and those that find Misfits and Bronx Casket Company will also enjoy The 69 Eyes. Most of the CD is catchy and gets you curious enough to listen straight through and then refer to some key tracks after that. I did not like every song I will admit, but there were more likes than not across the record which is very well-produced and laid out. I have found that too many albums start with a lackluster track and then find a killer yet this is not the case on “Devils”. The roster of the band is as follows: Jyrki 69 (vocals) and Timo Timo (guitar), Bassi (guitar), Archzie (bass) and Jussi 69 (drums). It’s a tight group and according to their website they have been together since the early 90’s. It almost seems common practice these days that bands who have made their mark in Europe take such a long time before they can even get music released over here. While I don’t like the timeframe I am happy that we eventually get the tunes. This album was actually released last year in Europe and is the bands 7th outing since they formed. The CD is also nicely packaged and comes with a full color 12 page booklet that gives you all the song lyrics. I always love this when finding a band for the first time. There are a couple of photos and I think this could have been increased especially since the album was the first to be issued on US Shores. If Gothic Edged Hard Rock is your cup of tea, then it is time to give this group of Helsinki Vampires a spin in your CD changer. You will not regret it and maybe you will be the first of your friends to be on to the next big thing. “

The re-issue sports a different cover photo of lead singer Jyrki 69 but the inside is pretty much the same in terms of the booklet. It does make mention of the two bonus tracks but offers no lyrics up for them as it had done for the rest of the albums songs. The bonus tracks themselves are rather good and seemed to fit in the context of the rest of the album as opposed to being cutting room floor re-addition or filler. “From Dusk Til Dawn” was my favorite of the two as it played heavily upon the mystique that the band projects. The downside was that if you had already owned the super special edition album “Angels/Devils” that paired the two albums together – you would already have these tracks. Of course, this probably doesn’t matter to the fans of The 69 Eyes, as their following makes sure to own all the different releases even if there is some repetition. As we said before, this is a solid album and worthy or addition to your own collection if you have not done so already. Caroline Records will be releasing the bands first ever live album in 2008 so look for that one as well.

Track Listing:
1. Devils
2. Feel Berlin
3. Nothing On You
4. Sister Of Charity
5. Lost Boys
6. Jimmy
7. August Moon
8. Beneath The Blue
9. Christina Death
10. Hevioso
11. Only You Can Save Me
12. Dust ‘til Dawn (bonus)
13. Pitchblack (bonus)

Official Website: www.69Eyes.com

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