“Back In Blood” by The 69 Eyes

Artist: The 69 Eyes
Title: “Back In Blood”
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 9/15/2009
Genre: Gothic Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

There was a slight concern among the long standing fans of The 69 Eyes recently who felt that their beloved Helsinki Vampires were morphing more into Hollywood ones based on the sounds that were found on the bands last studio effort “Angels”. Of course there were some who liked it on the other hand, but I had to admit that even I felt that the recordings predecessor “Devils” was a whole lot stronger. Lucky for those who lamented for a sleazier, darker and heavier band once again, the guys got a Hard Rock transfusion with the help of producer Matt Hyde and are as the new album title denotes “Back In Blood”. Stylistically and musically this recording comes off as the better successor to “Devils” than “Angels” was and brings us a band that is using elements from their “Blessed Be”/”Paris Kills” frame of mind tossed in for good measure. The albums cover catches your eye immediately based on the image of a lone skull with several red roses lying in front of it. It’s perfect for a band like this. I felt that it started off with an almost Motley Crue kind of attitude as the band announces not only that they are “Back In Blood” but also that “Blood Is The New Black”. One can almost envision the latter statement being something emblazoned on the t-shirts of the bands minions as they rally at the shows in support of the sound. It’s a great start for the record and with a slight taste of The Cult in the opening riff of “We Own The Night” the band continues to groove and convince those who faltered that they have returned to form and will be once again claiming the hours between dusk and dawn. Crooning to some degree on “Dead And Gone”, Jyrki 69 sings his heart out while “The Good, The Bad & The Undead” comes off as a total crowd sing along with its “hail, hail” chorus. A slight taste of New Wave in the flow of part of “Kiss Me Undead” was a surprise and while I am sure that was not the intent, the effects and drive of the groove made me feel this way.

From beginning to end I had to say that I enjoyed this album quite a bit more than I did “Angels” which while having the occasional strong moment, did take a slight turn that many of their fans wish never happened. Thankfully the experiment seems over and with tracks like “Dead Girls Are Easy” and “Hunger” they are reminding us about what we liked about them in the first place. “Dead Girls” has a Crue vibe which is rocking while “Hunger” struck me as the most solemn and brooding of the albums content and I don’t see anyone who has followed them being disappointed in what they find. The central theme of the album is the obvious blood and the undead and one should have anticipated this from the title alone. I’ll give the vampires some credit and not only for their standing strong with the same lineup all the way up until album number ten but also for their apparent ability to deliver interesting music for their ardent fans again and again. There are lyrics and photos featured on the multi-page foldout insert and while I would have preferred they did a regular booklet and offered a little more color in the photos, I think that what was provided works with the mood on the album quite well. If you have been a fan of the band for a long time then this will not cause you to stop now and it is also very possibly a great jumping on point for those new fans. As of this writing the band plans on touring extensively for the new recording hitting places that they have not been to in a long time in addition to those spots that they happen upon time and time again. Fangs for the good work to the Helsinki Vampires, it is nice to have you back…..in blood that is……

The End Records has also released a Deluxe Edition of this album that offers a bonus DVD with additional content. We reviewed the standard edition and should we obtain a copy of the other version we will add commentary that is topical to it as well.

Track Listing:
1. Back In Blood
2. We Own The Night
3. Dead ‘N Gone
4. The Good, The Bad & The Undead
5. Kiss Me Undead
6. Lips Of Blood
7. Dead Girls Are Easy
8. Night Watch
9. Some Kind Of Magick
10. Hunger
11. Suspiria Snow White
12. Eternal

Official Website: http://www.69eyes.com

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