Review Summary: the album is a pretentious bucket of goo, and before you ask how a bucket of goo can be pretentious, listen to the album if you feel so idiotically inclined.
In Sirenia’s previous album, 13th Floor
, Sirenia opted for mainstream appeal by adopting elements of pop, and even introducing a new, pop-oriented vocalist into their gothic/symphonic metal formula. Basically, they did exactly what Nightwish did before recording Dark Passion Play
. Sirenia was dubbed a gothic metal band, but with almost nothing of substance to back those words, they were mostly unconvincing. With two years to record The Enigma of Life
, you would think the band would have spent some time on improving their formula, or at least revamping things a smidgen, but absolutely nothing has changed. The Enigma of Life
, unfortunately, is a blatant continuation of their previous album’s concepts and is basically part two of 13th Floor
. It’s also much worse, but this is expected.
When comparing the new Sirenia to the Sirenia of their debut album there is no comparison, the band is now made of crap. Although one could make the argument of consistency and claim that Sirenia has found their true sound, it just so happens that their new sound is abysmal. It wouldn’t seem possible, but the band has somehow delved further into the mainstream machine to the point where the album is barely even worthy of being titled a metal album. The guitars are mostly pathetically weak, and the growls, that used to be a key part of their sound, are barely ever employed. The guitars sometimes even cut out of the picture, as the unexciting vocalist is meant to fill the space with passionate vocals but always fails. Failure is always imminent with the female vocalist who can never muster enough power to sound interested in anything she sings. One could claim that she suits the gothic style well, but then again such people have probably never tainted their precious ears with real, dark, depressive gothic metal - this album is for children.
Sirenia’s downfalls in the album are nothing short of predictable, and predictably, to top it all off, the songwriting is atrocious. The symphonic elements appear as always but they can’t hold a sensible tune for the life of them, and further irritating is that they mostly all originate from the keyboard – it’s no wonder that they sound so fake. Furthering the cheeseball message is the choir, and surprise of surprises, they sing on every single track in the album. Of course, neither the keyboard sounds nor the choir are applied effectively, but rather are used just because they keep the band in the symphonic metal category. The entire album is a forgettable, weak, uninspired, average cheese-fest, and not even the (this blank would be filled if there was anything notable about the album) can save The Enigma of Life
from being utter bunk.