THE 69 EYES – Back In Blood

For over twenty years now, Finland’s THE 69 EYES have kicked out the Goth ‘n Roll jams with pomp an’ panache, to a (mostly) rapturous audience. Sure, there’s a certain derision by some of the heavy metal faithful at the unabashed neo-glam rock of bands like THE 69 EYES, H.I.M. and THE RASMUS, but Back In Blood proves that–ten studio albums after their inception–this Lapland quintet have their Rock ‘n Roll balls in check.

The proof and pudding behind the band’s longevity has a lot to do with their rock-solid list of influences. A direct line in the sand could be drawn from THE 69 EYES sound to that of their big haired 80s counterparts in THE CULT. Both bands ride that thin line between romantic mysticism and sidewalk sleeze, and capture a certain sturm und drang with their unabashed and shameless sense of drama.

THE 69 EYES temper that gothic soul with more than a fair share of punk rock snarl, however, with Back In Blood owing just as much to a band like THE RAMONES as it does the SISTERS OF MERCY. If anything negative could be said about THE 69 EYES, it’s that the formula has become a tad too predictable at this point, with the band’s most recent triumvirate of albums–2004’s Devils, 2007’s Angels, and this one right here–relying a wee too much on the caricature of THE 69 EYES, rather than the actual blueprint which blew them up in the first place.

So if THE 69 EYES are the AC/DC of the goth ‘n roll world, does Back In Blood rival Back In Black with regards to its awesomeness? Not quite–that award should most likely go to 1999’s Wasting The Dawn–but this album still has the big riffs and big hooks to deliver just the fanged bite you need. (The End Records)

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