The 69 Eyes – X

By Ola Mazzuca

A few years ago, Terrorizer Magazine published an editorial with what looked like a hair metal band resurrected as gothic vampires. Pawing at the bloody neck of a damsel in distress in the fashion of a Slayer photo, circa Show No Mercy era, evoked great curiosity.

Contrary to that “up and coming” feature, the 69 Eyes have been established for over two decades and at the time, were just emerging on the scene. Hailing from Helsinki, Finland with catchy tunes both dark and daring, their raunchy mixture of love themes and nocturnal tales paint a picture of romanticized affairs between
those beyond the living. X is their eleventh studio release and debut with Nuclear Blast, marking the spot of a well-written record that’s sinful and sexy.

Jyrki 69 leads the way with Finn accented vocals in the style of late icons Elvis and Peter Steele on “Love Runs Away,” a nonchalant goodbye letter that’s a sympathetic intro to the record. “If You Love Me The Morning After” is a gorgeous, key-laden track, romantic and deep. It picks up elements from Type O Negative’s October Rust. Mimicry of Steele’s vocal style is at its finest on “I Know What You Did Last Summer” a heavier track just in time for Halloween.

Things pick up with talk of “cemetery eyes” on “I Love The Darkness In You,” with dirty riffs from guitarist Bazie. “Borderline” is a Johnny Cash-esque tune that’s emotionally soft before bar track “I’m Ready” is full of kick and hearty vocals by Swedish singer Gladys del Pilar.

At the somber closure of X, “When Love Comes To An End” sandwiches the record between an almost theatrical compositions of detachment and longing. Its haunting sound is reminiscent of a 90s band (without mentioning a name that includes a fall vegetable), The 69 Eyes borrow elements from a music library incredibly vast. To say that they supply signature twists and turns would be a bit of a stretch but there’s no denial in their ability to provide us with Goth ‘N’ Roll so melodic and relevant to sometimes crude and wild for the amorous bunch.

(Nuclear Blast)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.