Where The West End’s Goth N Roll Begins

Where The West End’s Goth N Roll Begins

The 69 Eyes Album Review

by Boris Lee

With my return to entertainment journalism earlier this year, I had to come to grips with how out of touch I have been with the music world. I had become an ‘Old Metal Head’ set in his horn raising ways. Alison Masson presenting me the chance to write for Metal Babe Mayhem, then opening the opportunity for my bringing back Symptom of the Metalverse as a regular column, opened my mind up with excitement over hearing new metal music (new to me at least). I have felt like a kid walking through Sam Goody or Tower Records again, deciding if I will buy the Randy Rhoads Tribute album or Danzig’s inaugural release. New music to hear and find something to write about from listening to it is my passion, just as much as writing horror fiction. So when horror, goth, or other dark genres join the creative pit for a mosh, the totality of my entertainment senses are as excited as Renfield finding a fly to eat whilst locked away in his cell.

Finnish ‘Goth N Roll’ masters, platinum selling The 69 Eyes, have been making monster music for thirty-years and their latest release West End, is a haunting home run flowing with eighties-goth vibe and modern heavy guitar riffs. Guest appearances from Wednesday 13 (Wednesday 13, Murderdolls), Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth), and Calico Cooper (Beasto Blanco) fill in the fearful festivities with frightful fun.

“Two Horns Up” starts the screams with a heavy riffed heart hammering dance along. Jyrki 69 and guest vocalist Dani Filth complement each other’s vocal presence and are a grand fit over Bazie’s and Timo Timo’s gruesome guitars.

“27 & Done” is a groovy ghoulish gallivant through life in Hollywood. The song carries the darkest desperations that crawl into the veins of the dream chasers, who are devoured by the demons that lurk in the shadows, just as much as it celebrates being part of the star power promenade.

“Black Orchid” is another dance floor demon that takes me back to my days haunting the red-lit Goth clubs of New York City, while the Sisters of Mercy music orchestrated our sensuous sways.

“The Last House on the Left” is the highlight of homophonic horrors. Featuring all ‘Three thriller threat’ guests of the recording, Wednesday 13, Dani Filth and Beasto Blanco beauty Calico Cooper, the song is a tribute to the nineteen-seventy-two Wes Craven film. Melodically the song screams frantic frights while instrumentally the song maintains another danceable Goth flow with a fearless feel and modern flow.

“Hell Has No Mercy” is my personal favorite of the album. The song has a Danzig “Thirteen” vibe to it and feels like a song of nightmarish reflection. Solid instrumental work accompanied by deep methodical and melodic vocals makes this song a strong closer for the album.

The 69 Eyes did a good job with song placement on the album, as the music flow carries the listener through the Goth N Roll with hypnotic ease. The album mixing and overall finished musical presentation is well balanced between all instruments and vocals.

As much as I enjoyed this album, I have to point out the drawback of the album, because to me it’s a big drawback. For me, the strongest song on the album is “The Last House on the Left.” What makes the song stand out from the pack is not what The 69 Eyes brought to the mad-scientist lab in its creation, but the monstrous guest performances on the track that give it the spark of life. Guest performers should be an accent or compliment to the main talent of the album. A perfect example of accenting artistic creation is Alice Cooper’s appearance on the Wednesday 13 release, Necrophaze. Also, Calico Cooper and Wednesday 13 share a similar vocal approach. That said, Calico could have had her talents placed elsewhere on the album, rather than back to back with Wednesday 13.

“The Last House on the Left” is the most modern sounding and feeling song on the record, which leads me to the next issue I have with album… it feels dated. The Goth vibe and vocal tone, though fun and well executed, weigh the album down a little, causing that dated feeling. Who am I to say though? I’m just a critic, and I’m sharing my opinion of somebody else’s creation. Just to keep things in perspective, how many platinum selling albums do I have to my credit? NONE.

That said, West End is still a solid symphony of ‘Goth N Roll’ from The 69 Eyes. They manage to carry the Goth vibe, a kiss of Elvis Presley, and metal groove in their music, creating a catchy creepy concerto.

Music should touch the listener and invoke feelings, be those anger, joy, nostalgia or otherwise. This album brought me down a joyous nostalgic path, and I found my enjoyment of the music outweighed the issues I found in the creative formula. I give West End four out of five raised horns.

Photo Credit: Vilhelm Sjöström

For more on The 69 Eyes or to pick up a copy of West End, follow the links below.

West End Album and The 69 Eyes Merch