Tag Archives: gothic rock

“Jet Fighter Plane” (Single) by The 69 Eyes

Artist: The 69 Eyes
Title: “Jet Fighter Plane”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date:
1/15/2016
Genre: Gothic Rock
Rating: 4/5

April seems a long time away considering how fast our Facebook focused lives seem to move but that is when we get the 11th studio album by The 69 Eyes in “Universal Monsters” which comes care of Nuclear Blast Records. This has been the bands home since “X” and their “Best Of Helsinki Vampires” compilation release. Fortunately, we’re getting a taste of the new music with the single “Jet Fighter Plane” and here’s my thoughts about it.

As soon as the single begins it made me slide back to the bands middle years with albums such as “Blessed Be” and “Paris Kills” which are now 16 and 14-year-old releases if you can believe it. There is a creepy vibe to the tune that just took me back to that time and I didn’t mind since I really enjoyed those works and felt that this was the bands most vitally creative time. It has a smooth driving groove and solid drum pattern for sure and Jyrki’s voice is solemn and loaded with melancholy which is just how we like him to be. When I read the lyrics I was not sure whether or not Mr. 69 was making this a bit of a political statement against big weaponry and the power that it holds over our world these days and when you see the lines below you have to wonder.
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“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.
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“Blessed Be” (remaster) by The 69 Eyes

Artist: The 69 Eyes
Title: “Blessed Be” (remaster)
Label: Cleopatra Records
Release Date: 11/21/2006
Genre: Gothic Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Even though this release from 2000 would be the bands fifth album I would have to say that If there is one release to own by the Helsinki Vampires then this is the one that is a must have without any question. With “Blessed Be” we find them moving a little bit farther from their Punk and Glam roots and delving deeper into Gothic with a healthy taste of Metal thrown in for good measure. As they fine tune the genre they will soon call Gothic Hard Rock to perfection we find the lyrical content and songs becoming all the more dark and at times sinister. This release is one of my favorites for in addition to stellar tunes like their anthem “Brandon Lee” and “The Chair” (which are guaranteed to become your instant favorites) we have “Gothic Girl. This quirky number and the subject of the song made the band become popular among that circle of their female demographic and had Jyrki 69 instantly become the dark god of the dreams that they held in their cold, Goth-Vampire hearts. “Velvet Touch” crunches along and has the most Metal feel of the tracks on this one and it’s a great change from the sleazier brand of Rock they had done in their earlier years. This modification to the band style and image would open far more doors for them going forward. The groups love of comic books and the occult finds several references to the film “The Crow” on the album along with the track Brandon Lee who starred in this same film which was also the cause of the Actors untimely and tragic death. Jyrki 69 sings in a lower register on most of the bands tracks and does a similar monotone to that of Peter Steele from Type-O-Negative. Fans of that band might really get into the brand of Rock that they deliver. If this is an introduction to you then there is no better place than to jump on board than with this one.
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“The Open Door” by Evanescence

Artist: Evanescence
Title: “The Open Door”
Label: Wind-Up Records
Release Date: 10/3/2006
Genre: Gothic Rock
Rating: 4/5

Exploding on to the scene like a dynamo, Evanescence would find themselves a chart-topping artist with their major debut “Fallen”. It was an album that was that was loaded with powerful levels of alternative Hard Rock and would make singer Amy Lee a superstar. Turmoil of the time led to the split of band co-founder Ben Moody, who also was a large contributor in terms of the song-writing success they found. Going forward the question would be could Amy follow up the blockbuster record without his involvement. The answer would be yes she could, and on “The Open Door”, she adventures forward – extending the levels of emotion used in the content more than she ever did on her previous songs. The past couple of turbulent years in the band and singers life would lead to their documentation in song and that alone makes this purer in its essence and overall meaning as an album. The listener will find that the new recording leans a lot heavier on the Gothic side than “Fallen” had done and there are moments on the release that are quite heavy. It begins with “Sweet Sacrifice”, a track where Amy shows that the group has not lost any of their edge in the way they do things and instantly reminds the listener that they rock. Comparing tracks from the last release, this number could stand as the new albums “Bring Me To Life”. “Call Me When Your Sober” is perhaps the most important track to the singer as she sings of moving on from the demons that were the cause of her last relationships end. Her new song-writing partner would be Terry Balsamo, and together a new chapter is forged and is right on target. As a group, they have a lot to stand up against with their hit maker always looking at them, and they succeed in making the new album special with blends of the Classical on tracks such as “Lacrymosa”. As one of the better tracks, it makes use of strings and a dramatic choir that works quite well. The three year absence from a studio album seems to have worked out well for the group on “Lithium”, an important tune that advises choosing to feel as opposed to remaining numb from life’s trials. The digipak release includes great artwork and interior design and photos. It truly adds to the experience of enjoying the album.
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“Framed In Blood: The Very Blessed Of The 69 Eyes” by The 69 Eyes

Artist: The 69 Eyes
Title: “Framed In Blood: The Very Blessed Of The 69 Eyes”
Label: Cleopatra Records
Release Date: 8/29/2006
Genre: Gothic Hard Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

The 69 Eyes or the “Helsinki Vampires” as their fans know them best bring you a career spanning Greatest Hits with “Framed In Blood: The Very Blessed Of The 69 Eyes”. It is a nice collection of tracks from across their existence and offers a good look inside to the band for those that might be unaware or serve as a tasty sampler for those ardent fans. The Finnish group has a large following in Europe, but have only begun to make some ground in the US Market since 2005 and what this album does well is bring you back to the very early Glam-era stuff and leads you up until their harder edged Gothic sound that is the focus of the band today. The solid 18 track best-of has a number of great moments and you will find that singer Jyrki 69 definitely has a style that comes more rooted in older Rock and Roll than that of Metal (his vocals at times are very reminiscent of both Jim Morrison and Peter Steele). The deep, resonant tone shakes you up at times and yet is full of cryptic fire at others. Some stand out numbers are on this CD are “Brandon Lee”, “Gothic Girl” and “Wasting The Dawn” all of which are among my favorites from their catalog. New potential fans need only look into these tracks for it can easily make you a follower of their often hypnotic sound. There are some similarities to The Cult on tracks like “Crashing High” and “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams” but I felt that was more due to the guitar groove used than an actual copy of that bands style. The group also delivers an interesting take on the Blondie classic “Call Me” which is not an exact re-do which makes it a little more fun to listen to in this incarnation.
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