The 69 Eyes – Back In Blood (2009)

69 eyes - back in blood (2009)

The 69 Eyes – Back In Blood (2009, The End Records)

  1. Back In Blood
  2. We Own the Night
  3. Dead ‘N Gone
  4. The Good, The Bad & The Undead
  5. Kiss Me Undead
  6. Lips Of Blood
  7. Dead Girls Are Easy
  8. Night Watch
  9. Some Kind Of Magick
  10. Hunger
  11. Susperia Snow White
  12. Eternal

Band Lineup:
Jyrki 69 – Vocals
Jussi 69 – Drums
Bazie – Guitar
Timo-Timo – Guitar
Archzie – Bass

Producer: Matt Hyde

Country: Finland

Total Time = 48:38

The 69 Eyes
The 69 Eyes MySpace page
The End Records

BACK IN BLOOD marks the tenth album from Finnish goth metallers The 69 Eyes…..with all the latest vampire trends in music movies and television lately it’s actaully refreshing to know that the band isn’t jumping on the latest trends. The 69 Eyes have been around since 1989, and released their first album in 1992, playing their brand of Gothic Metal mixed with Hard Rock bombast. I’ve read about the band and seen the new albums fly off my favorite record store’s shelves over the years but I never really bothered to check out the music…..the whole vampire/goth thing just hadn’t been my thing. Obviously image doesn’t make the music so I figure that even the band probably doesn’t take the whole Goth thing too seriously. I’ve read a few reviews saying how good the album is, almost like party Hard Rock, so I figured I’d finally give The 69 Eyes a chance.

After listening to BACK IN BLOOD a few times I drew the comparisons immeadiately to The Cult, Type O Negative, H.I.M. and latter day Tiamat. The music is your basic Hard Rock like Motley Crue mixed with an industrial/dance element and that spooky goth thing…..maybe like Rob Zombie solo? I know it sounds like a weird combination but it actually blends together well to form a catchy, driving rhythm. It’s haunting party Rock. Lead singer Jyrki 69 has a deep voice that reminds me of Brad Roberts from the Canadian Rock band Crash Test Dummies mixed with Peter Steele of Type O Negative. The vocals bring everything together because Jyrki 69’s deep voice lends that haunting “undead” sound to the music. The opening title track is upbeat and hard charging like an early Crue song from the SHOUT-era and it immeadiately caught my attention. The vocals aren’t completely deep and dark but more like Ian Astbury from The Cult and there is some excellent guitar work here both with the riffs and the solos. ‘We Own The Night’ is very influenced by The Cult, especially with the guitars, and the “dance” element starts to creep in. I can honestly see where this kind of music is popular among the teenagers that frequent Hot Topic stores in malls across the U.S. It’s not that the song is bad, or that the danceable rhythms are so overt, it’s just a little too much for your seasoned Metalhead like myself. ‘Dead ‘N Gone’ moves into the same category as the song before but it has an even more Pop/AOR/Melodic Rock sense. The singing and rhythm is tailor made for mainstream audiences in the U.S., how The 69 Eyes haven’t crossed over into the mainstream is beyond me! ‘Dead And Gone’ is very catchy, very rhythmic, but I like the lyrics are what sets it apart. ‘The Good, The Bad, The Undead’ has a touch of AC/DC to it, or maybe Airbourne for the younger metallers out there, and is definitely one of those anthemic, sing-a-long tracks that go over well live.

The opening of ‘Kiss The Undead’ sounds very heavy and very ’80s Hard Rock but it moves into a melodic danceable groove come the chorus and all I can think about is all those New Wave/Goth/Alternative bands like The Cure and this is where I know the album is losing me. Third song in a row with “dead” in the title, second song with “undead” in the title… kind of get the picture of where the record’s direction is going. ‘Lips Of Blood’ has a late ’90s Tiamat sound, when Tiamat went into Doom/Goth Metal and left Death Metal way behind. ‘Dead Girls Are Easy’ brings back the fire of the opening track with a more straightforward Hard Rock approach but ‘Night Watch’ and ‘Some Kind Of Magick’ move back into the dancing Goth style, although I like the faster pace of the latter. ‘Hunger’ is the closest thing to a ballad on BACK IN BLOOD and I like the piano that starts the song off and weaves it’s way in and out of the song. The chorus is melodic and it sounds pretty much like the rest of the songs. ‘Susperia Snow White’ is more of a driving Hard Rock song but it sounds similar to the others and ‘Eternal’ is acoustic guitar based with atmospheric keyboards but it just doesn’t stick with me. This is the second ballad of the album and it has a grand feel to it but I feel like it’s all been done before.

Bottom Line:
For never hearing the The 69 Eyes, I’d say that BACK IN BLOOD is a pretty good album with a different sound than what I’m used to. The problem I had with the songs was that once you’ve heard the first four or five then you’ve heard them all. I really didn’t hear anything specific to distinguish some of the tracks on the second half of the album to the tracks on the first half. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the songs are bad, just repetitive. Once you’ve heard the first four songs, you know where the album is going. There was enough here to make me check out some other 69 Eyes’ albums but in due time. If you like Gothic Metal mixed with Doom and Melodic Rock then you might get into this. If you are part of the teenage Goth culture then this is definitely for you.

Standout Songs:
‘Back In Blood’, ‘The Good, The Bad, The Undead’, ‘Dead Girls Are Easy’, ‘Lips Of Blood’