CD Reviews The 69 Eyes

The 69 Eyes - Universal Monsters

Nuclear Blast

Finland's The 69 Eyes' eleventh album Universal Monsters (Nuclear Blast) is superb! The band's signature "Goth 'n' Roll" sound permeates throughout, with frontman Jyrki 69's sultry vocals set against the backdrop of fantastic musicianship from his bandmates.

"We sound as fresh as ever," Jyrki commented, "the music goes itself and takes us into undiscovered paths and soundscapes. How the album grew into what it has become just surprised us and you can really hear the creativity blooming there. And it still sounds like nobody else but The 69 Eyes."

The first video and single from the album is for the song "Jet Fighter Plane".

Besides the aforementioned Jyrki, these "Helsinki Vampires" are: guitarists Bazie and Timo, bassist Archzie, and drummer Jussi 69. Honorary member producer Johnny Lee Michaels also does keyboards, backing vocals, and arrangements.

The album starts with "Dolce Vita", which cries out for a better world. "Jet Fighter Plane" grips an icy fist around your heart in its demand for peace. I adore the ebony "Blackbird Pie" as it hails the powers of Darkness! It's hard to resist Vampiric seduction in the catchy "Lady Darkness".

We're faced with yet another femme fatale in the dangerous "Miss Pastis". The cosmic "Shallow Graves" has us caught in a rat race and getting nowhere. The somber "Jerusalem" searches for faith and redemption.

The fallen angels "Stiv & Johnny" are attempting to reject emotional involvement. "Never" reminds us that Love is the strongest force of all and can overcome all adversities. The profound, dreamy "Blue" shows a love that is as deep as the ocean. The decadent "Rock'n'Roll Junkie" shines a spotlight on the classic, stereotypical groupie.

With a title like Universal Monsters, I was half-expecting a Shout Out to those classic movies in the vein of their "Lost Boys" or "Brandon Lee", and was a little disappointed that this was not the case. Regardless, I still love this album.

~Athena Schaffer