Review Summary: 69 Eyes’ latest effort ain’t nothing more than a good guilty pleasure
Taking a step into the more commercial side of rock with Angels in 2007, 69 Eyes demonstrated that they aren’t a one-trick pony. They downtuned their gothic influence a bit, added some radio-friendly singles ("Never Say Die”), and worked the mainstream rock sound. And even though Angels wasn’t as popular with the true-hearted fans as 69 Eyes’ other efforts had been, it was still a decent album, gaining a respectable amount of attention and even expanding the band’s fan-base. Back In Blood, 69 Eyes’ latest effort continues in that mainstream rock path, but sadly this time around, the band just aren’t able to pull it off.
On Back In Blood, 69 Eyes have almost entirely dropped the gothic vibe that had been with them for most of their career and made 69 Eyes stand out in the crowd. Without it, their music just seems too bland, watered down, and unoriginal. What’s even worse, on Back In Blood, 69 Eyes are reaching for their roots which unfortunately lie in glam rock and hair metal. How much will this deplorable action cost for 69 Eyes and will this really be the beginning of the end for them is to be seen, but one thing’s for sure, it was a wrong move by the band.
What plagues Back In Blood the most though, besides 69 Eyes reaching for their roots, is the complete lack of any good hooks. There are some good riffs here and there, and sometimes even an infections chorus saves the songs a bit but in general Back In Blood is just a bland, hook-less album. And yeah the riffs… Well they aren’t bad, but in truth, during the full run-time of this album, they become too stagnant. The opener "Back In Blood” features a gripping main riff, and so do some other songs like “The Good, The Bad, & The Undead”, “Dead Girls Are Easy” and “We Own The Night” but more times then not, the main-riff is repeated throughout the song too many times, resulting in Back In Blood's little replay value.
This isn’t an all around bad album though, not at all, while generic there still are some gems in here. Absolutely unsurprisingly the best 3 songs on this album are the ones with that little gothic vibe left in them. “Lips Of Blood” exhibits the vocalist Jyrki 69 at his best, as he sings/storytells in his whispering low goth voice, like in the old days. With a strong chorus and simple-but-effective guitarlines, this is one of the standouts. Second standout “Night Watch” is a gloomy rock song that feels like taken from one of 69 Eyes’ older albums since that track has that genuine goth rock sound. Gloomy, somewhat sad, and with a light, pretty chorus it might as well be this album's best song. Final track worth bringing out is “Hunger”. It has an awesome high-pitched guitar riff (youthfully speaking) and a haunting, sad atmosphere. The poetic lyrics suit Jyrki perfectly and the woeful chorus works as a great climax. A solo in the middle, albeit being a little short, is skillfully played and suits the song perfectly making “Hunger” great, as 69 Eyes was back in the day.
Back In Blood in general ain’t much more than a guilty pleasure for someone looking for a good time. It is a step back from this band, and as 69 Eyes have been around since the late 80’s already, who knows, this album might be the beginning of the end for them. Back In Blood has some good songs, a bunch of average ones and some really bad songs as well. All I can say is that for someone really into this type of mainstream-ish rock, this album could and most likely will appeal, but as for everyone else – well it’s just better to check out the recommended songs and 69 Eyes’ back-catalogue.
Back In Blood
Lips Of Blood