Returning with their tenth full-length album, Norwegian symphonic Gothic act Sirenia continues both the good work and the alliteration of their last couple of studio outings with their latest release Riddles, Ruins & Revelations (Napalm Records). Operatic vocals, a robust rhythm section, pounding riffs and flighty keyboards dominate proceedings, punctuated by some expert lead guitar work and differing vocal styles. Adorned with thunderous breakdowns or quieter, slower sections each cut remains interesting rather than outstaying its welcome.
With a sound not too far removed from Within Temptation, ‘Addiction No.1’ opens the album strongly, followed by ‘Towards an Early Grave’ which features sparkling keyboards and showcases the warm, rich vocals of singer Emmanuelle Zoldan. The uptempo ‘Into Infinity’ comes equipped with a distinctly darker side while the excellent ‘Passing Seasons’ is all brooding electronica and gothic opera. The thunderous blast of ‘We Come to Ruins’ is backed by some great guttural vocals from main man Morten Veland,and long time collaborator Joakim Næss lends his voice to the powerful ‘Downward Spiral’.
There’s a lot going on in ‘Beneath the Midnight Sun’, a standout cut that churns, sprints and soars like a Eurovision Rammstein, Veland’s death metal vocals combining effortlessly with Zoldan’s emotive voice. ‘The Timeless Waning’ features a bouncy riff and more duelling gruff/clean vocals, while the gothic leanings of the excellent ‘December Snow’ and the satisfyingly sturdy ‘This Curse of Mine’ close the album along with an outstanding cover of ‘Voyage Voyage’ by French singer Desireless.
Another distinguished collection of songs, Riddles, Ruins & Revelations is another triumph for the band, many of the riffs and melodies staying in the brain long after the album has finished.
Buy the album here: https://smarturl.it/Sirenia-RRR
7 / 10