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. Continue reading “Back In Blood” by The 69 Eyes→
While I cannot claim to have supported The 69 Eyes since their humble beginnings some twenty years ago, I have to say that I have been a fan for more than three quarters of the time that I have been a Metal Media adventurer and photographer. I began my own support of the band with their seminal release “Blessed Be” and have continued on with each consecutive album all the way up until their latest studio recording “Angels” which was released in 2007. They released the tour for that album with the live “Hollywood Kills” recording and around this time we also saw their entire back catalog being delivered by Cleopatra Records. This fact allowed many of the fans of the band to catch up to what they might have been missing or holding back from purchasing based on pricy imports. The band is now signed in the USA to The End Records, a label that has already given us the Monster Madness of Lordi, the Symphonic Gothic Virgin Black and the ever unpredictable Unexpect, so I am sure that great things are at the ready for our favorite Goth Rockers. The band was back in the New York Groove to celebrate this new signing and to treat both media allies and fans alike to an advance listening of their latest release entitled “Back In Blood”. The advance press emails about the album lined out that the band was planning on delivering their heaviest and darkest album to date and moving steadily away from the Hollywood Glam vibe that they had recently adopted. I was afforded a little more time with the guys before the listening and bring those who might have missed the event the full scoop.
I caught up with Jyrki 69 and Bazie along with some of their record company people in a comfortable Thai restaurant on 2nd avenue and about 12th street. “Thai On Two” I believe it was called. The food was good and while you might be wondering what these day walking vampires might have dined upon, I will leave that to your own imagination and just tell you that I personally can recommend the chicken pad Thai. After some catching up and fine food I learned that the other guys, Timo-Timo and Jussi 69 were somewhere down on St. Mark’s Place shopping and causing the tourists heads to turn while bassist Archzie was not in town for the fun. We wandered down second avenue catching the curious eye of passerby who wondered just who they were seeing and sparking some excitement in the fans of the Gothic Rockers who recognized them.
Artist: The 69 Eyes Title: “Hollywood Kills” Label: EMI Music Release Date: 7/22/2008 Genre: Gothic Hard Rock Rating: 4/5
In 2004 The 69 Eyes would release the album “Devils” and this one held special significance to their budding stateside fan base for a number of reasons. You see, not only was this the first album that they were able to purchase as a domestic release but it was also the album that found the band on tour in this region for the first time in their seventeen year existence. If you were one of the lucky people who caught one or two or perhaps even three of these gigs you will clearly remember them as special because the group played like a band afire each and every night by covering choice tracks from “Devils” and a wide assortment of their long established classics from the back catalog. To the US fans, most of these songs were new to their ears unless they had ordered the higher priced imports of their albums from abroad or done the unthinkable and downloaded them illegally. Whatever the case may have been, the band performed to capacity crowds during the length of this tour and now the final night that was recorded for posterity can be enjoyed by a larger audience with “Hollywood Kills – Live at the Whisky a Go-Go”. The evening kicks off with an introduction by Bam Margera, a man who has been behind the band for a number of years and if he could help HIM why couldn’t the same magic happen for The 69 Eyes. The band jumps right into the opening number of their album “Devils” which is of course the song that bears the same name and from there it is on. The recording quality is top notch and you hear every instrument rather well along with singer Jyrki’s deep and dark voice. From there the band switches back and forth it seems between new track and classic number from their other albums. The larger focus of tracks comes from the absolutely killer “Blessed Be” while a couple of others hail from “Paris Kills”. They do go back a few years earlier to 1997 with “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams”, a tune that comes from the album bearing the same name. I am starting to notice a trend with these guys as they periodically have a song that is on the album that is also the name of the album. Continue reading “Hollywood Kills” 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. Continue reading “Devils” (reissue) by The 69 Eyes→
Artist: The 69 Eyes Title: “Angels/Devils” Label: Caroline Records Release Date: 11/6/2007 Genre: Gothic Hard Rock Rating: 4/5
They might have missed the chance to fill your Halloween goodie bag with this one but just the same Caroline Records has issued a Special Edition 2CD/DVD set for those Helsinki Vampires The 69 Eyes; it’s a release that will make any Gothic Hard Rock fan blush until there is once again some color in their cheeks. Entitled “Angels/Devils”, the release features the entire “Angels” and “Devils” albums that the band had delivered to their fans over the last couple of years. “Angels” bears no difference to the original but “Devils” adds a couple of bonus tracks to enjoy. Given the similarity to the original albums we are re-printing many of our initial thoughts on the release. Continue reading “Angels/Devils” by The 69 Eyes→