Review 1706 : The 69 Eyes – Death of Darkness – English

The 69 Eyes, aka Helsinki Vampires, are back with their fangs.

Since 1989, the band led by Jyrki 69 (vocals), Bazie (guitar/backing vocals), Timo-Timo (guitar), Archzie (bass/backing vocals) and Jussi 69 (drums) has been undisputedly reigning over Gothic Rock and nightlife. In 2023, the band announced the release of Death of Darkness, their thirteenth album, on Atomic Fire Records

Death of Darkness, the eponymous track, starts first. Haunting and catchy groove is unveiled with Gothic/Hard Rock roots in the company of the singer’s sweet and recognizable among thousands voice, but also some more aggressive parts that contrast with much softer choruses. The track slowly leads into Drive, a more energetic composition which will be a perfect companion to your late night rides, and will instantly motivate the crowds the band will be playing to in the future. Piercing leads are perfectly integrated with the rhythmic, then the band comes back in a dark quietness lulled by airy keyboards with Gotta Rock, a track where the vocalist is highlighted and sometimes supported by some choirs, before welcoming their friend Kat Von D on This Murder Takes Two, a dark and disturbing ballad where the two voices harmoniously join and answer each other. The energy resurfaces with California, a more rhythmic track which lets the musicians offer us a new fix of their heady and sensual mix, led by a masterful vocalist who does not spare himself. Call Me Snake follows with retro keyboards that fit this dark but catchy atmosphere that also reminds us of the golden age of Glam Rock with a solid rhythmic well, then Dying in the Night returns to a more soothing atmosphere, composed of soft and calming sounds. The heady chorus coupled with these peaceful sounds offers us a real moment of respite before the band goes back on a higher tempo with Something Real, but although the rhythm is slightly more lively, the band continues to infuse it with its soaring and contrasting touch. The darkness shows itself in small touches, then it will disappear when Sundown starts, letting harmonics with Psychedelic influences mix with the musician’s usual basis. We will have this mysterious atmosphere until the end, including on Outlaws, a final composition that remains in this disturbing and yet catchy mix that only the five vampires master, and that will delight the fans.

A rather limited risk-taking for The 69 Eyes on Death of Darkness, offering us ten compositions in the vein of what we expect from them, with still softness and soothing atmosphere accentuated. Let’s hear how these new creations sound live!


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