With Ye Olde’ Nightwish pretty much out of the picture it seems that they left a bigger hole in the market than CFCs left in the ozone when Tarja departed so it’s a no brainer that some musical Poly-sil was required to fill that gap and save us from the draft.
Now it’s clear Sirenia are not Nightwish (or Tristania given the now ancient affiliations) and yet the similarities are closing in. With their tumultuous record of keeping a female vocalist the newest addition to the roster of women in metal, originally a member of the Sirenian Choir working with the band for around thirteen years, is more operatic in style than the bands’ previous leads.
The new album The Dim Days of Dolor is true to the style of Sirenia, with grand and heavy epic ballads that bite, and the new colours from vocalist Emmanuelle Zoldan freshen up to give a more mature feeling throughout the album. Effectively losing the pop cantrip that made the previous albums both alluring and questionably hip [fun fact: I used to think of them as the Cascada of Metal during the Monika Pedersen years].
Going deeper and beyond the vocals the album’s eleven songs are a solid set and range from natural to synthetic and supply an empathic rapport with the muse. Beautiful yet harrowing while dark and moist the tracks hold a cinematic quality throughout the run-time.
With more harmonic riffs and heavy hooks the eighth album from Sirenia is showing signs of becoming more Nightwish than Tristania, in part by losing the distinction they once offered by going with a formal approach to the vocal tracks, incorporated into the stylistic form. Although these are things Sirenia has always offered they’ve been easily distinguishable from those acts.
There are some great hooks, the song writing is provocative when it has to be and reflective where it counts, creating arias from profound emotional states. The Dim Days of Dolor is captivating, sympathetic and beautifully executed when looking past the superficial aspects of genre tropes.