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Released: 2004, Napalm Records
SIRENIAN SHORES is something of a stop-gap E.P. for Norway’s gothic metal masters Sirenia. Featuring Tristania’s former mastermind, Morten Veland, Sirenia have made quite the name for themselves in the last few years with releases like AN ELIXIR FOR EXISTENCE, and AT SIXES AND SEVENS. This is my first time listening to the band, and considering my general apathy towards gothic metal, I am suitably impressed.
With only four real songs (“Obire Mortem” is an ambient outro), SIRENIAN SHORES is a bit sparse, but what the band does provide here is some damn fine gothic metal. Everything on the album except for the violins is either performed or programmed Morten, and he does a good job with it all. Live drums are always preferred, but there is no glaring problem with the programming here. Morten also provides the growls when needed, though each song features mostly clean singing, both male and female. Yes, it is a very standard take on the gothic metal genre, but it works nonetheless, and is not overblown as a lot of these types of bands tend to be. A highlight is certainly Sirenia’s take on the Leonard Cohen classic “First We Take Manhattan” – very catchy with better singing than ‘ol Leonard ever did!
Overall this is a good introduction to Sirenia’s music, but ultimately it’s not as satisfying as a full album would be. Fans of the band are sure to lap this up like nectar, and the solid, memorable songs on here will surely win the band some new fans.
1) Sirenian Shores
2) Save Me From Myself (remix)
3) Meridian (acoustic)
4) First We Take Manhattan
5) Obire Mortem
Morten Veland: All instruments, growled vocals
Anne Verdot: Violins
Kristian Gundersen: Clean Male Vocals
Henriette Bordvik: Female Vocals
Fabienne Gondamin: Female vocals on “Meridian”
Emmanuelle Zoldan: Female Vocals on “First We Take Manhattan”