Artist: The 69 Eyes
Title: “Back In Blood” (Deluxe Edition)
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 9/15/2009
Genre: Gothic Hard Rock
The 69 Eyes just released their tenth album in “Back In Blood” and presented it to the world on their new label The End Records. Interestingly enough, the release of the record found both a standard edition and a deluxe version hitting the stands on the very same day which gave their fans the chance to choose between the two depending on how ravenous their hunger for the bands treats were. We just reviewed the standard edition but with the bonus DVD that comes with the deluxe we opted to give it a narrative of its own. To refresh reader memory we have re-posted the standard edition review for the album thoughts and will follow it with new comments about the deluxe edition and the DVD. Read on.
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……
CD Track Listing: Back In Blood, We Own The Night, Dead ‘N Gone, The Good, The Bad & The Undead, Kiss Me Undead, Lips Of Blood, Dead Girls Are Easy, Night Watch, Some Kind Of Magick, Hunger, Suspiria Snow White, Eternal
Now for some details on the Deluxe Editions DVD
Before I begin discussing the biggest part of the Deluxe Edition’s DVD inclusion, I need to take the readers back in time just a few years to when The 69 Eyes were doing their first-ever US Tour in support of the album “Devils”. As the bands fans might recall, this release was intense and heavy and brought some long overdue attention to exactly what the Helsinki Vampires were all about in a region that had not yet had the proper chance to enjoy them. During this tour a full live concert held at the famous Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood was filmed and while the plan was to release it, the whole process took a lot longer than many had anticipated. We first found five numbers from this show on a bonus DVD that came with the Special Edition “Angels/Devils” CD Release, but that only whet the appetite of the hungry vampire nation that clamored for the full show to be brought to light. Next up would be the live recording from this same show released in its entirety as “Hollywood Kills: Live at the Whisky A Go-Go” but there would be no video to accompany this which was a bit of a bummer. To be honest it would have made sense to package the audio and video together in one release but that would not be the case at all.
Thankfully the deluxe version gives us this full show and when I compared it to the NYC show that I caught on this tour there does not seem to be any omissions and it was wonderful to have this show released after a couple of years of hurdles. While a couple of years old it is still a great way to see how the band is at this stage of the game. Since “Devils” was the album being toured for during the recording, a number of the songs performed come from that album but since this was also the first proper US tour, we get a healthy amount of band classics in order to educate the new fans and sate the cravings of the long standing ones. There are a couple of things missing from it which I was sad to find and the first is the introduction of the band by Bam Margera but I had to admit that this part didn’t matter all that much to me. The part that left me a little bit disenchanted was the omission of “Hevioso”, “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams” and “Dance D’Amour” which were all presented on the live recording “Hollywood Kills”. I’m not sure why they were left out but nonetheless the viewer will find this an exciting video to watch as the band performs in an intimate space on a small stage in front of a very visibly packed house. That’s Goth ‘N Roll.
We also get a “making of” film about the goings on behind the scene as the band recorded “Back In Blood” and we not only hear from the band members and lead singer Jyrki 69 but also producer Matt Hyde who offer some insight as to how it all came together. There is also the bands newest video for the song “Dead Girls Are Easy” and this is a fun romp with sexy Gothic Girls and some unsuspecting innocents who the girls toy with while the band delivers the tune. Fun stuff for sure.
So now its time for you to decide whether to buy the standard edition or to buy the deluxe edition. The power is in your hands and depending upon the level of loyalty that you keep for the band, perhaps this can be your guide and assist you in the decision making process.
Track Listing DVD:
2. Don’t Turn Your Back On Fear
3. Betty Blue
4. Christina Death
5. Crashing High
6. The Chair
7. Feel Berlin
8. Gothic Girl
9. Sister Of Charity
10. Framed In Blood
11. Lost Boys
12. I Just Want To Have Something To Do
13. Brandon Lee
14. The Making Of “Back In Blood”
15. “Dead Girls Are Easy” – video
Official Website: http://www.69eyes.com