Jyrki 69 – American Vampire (Album Review)

Jyrki 69 – American Vampire (Album Review)

In a world ravished with darkness and chaos, Goth Metal has no trouble finding a voice. Helsinki’s favorite vampire, Jyrki Linnankivi aka Jyrki 69, best known for his work in The 69 Eyes, has kept himself busy with his solo projects culminating into his most recent album, American Vampire. Release via Cleopatra Records on Friday, December 17, 2021, the album features a total of 10 song that are short but sweet, and also full of interesting guest collaborations. 

The age old question of ‘what makes a great cover?’ does not really matter on American Vampire. In fact, if you go into it expecting a better rendition than the original tune then you will just be shooting themselves in the foot. Keeping this in perspective, this album is full of Jyrki bringing his dark and Industrial flavor into songs he is passionate about. He also offers some new tunes which speak loudly to the audience with their gothic dominance. As a follow up to his 2017 album Helsinki Vampire, which featured songs that would serve well in Horror movies, this latest work also fits nicely in another realm. Knowing what Jyrki’s style is all about is what makes this album fun, and the guests he pulls for each songs are as ideal as it comes.

It all starts with a cover of Shotgun Messiah’s “SexDrugsRockn’Roll” which is done in a Gothic Bowie/Elvis vocal stylings while featuring some killer guitar riffs. This is before his stand out rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” which is really such a wild piece to even attempt in a completely different musical style. It features Billy Idol Guitarist Steve Stevens which truthfully is a great choice.

It should be noted that as a whole American Vampire has a high quality production that gives you an enhanced experience. This continues with GG Alin’s “Bite It You Scum” featuring Leather Strip which contributes to the energetic, well-crafted Punk Rock anthem. However, the album’s truest highlight comes with original tune “American Vampire” featuring Tim Skold, who once was apart of Shotgun Messiah by the way. Anyone unfamiliar with who Skold is and what he has accomplished doesn’t deserve to listen to this album, that’s just the bottom line. He has contributed so much to a list of artists and it is fantastic to see him team up with Jyrki. 

Moving on to another wacky fun cover, is  Jyrki’s take on The Human League classic “Don’t You Want Me.” Always and forever a staple Goth club dance-a-thon pop song, Jyrki called on ’80s Pop Tiffany to re-create a ’80s Pop vibe. Working very well, listen to this one at least twice because it should not just be written off as a silly song. In turn, it creates a pleasant dark nostalgia for an era that never really went away.

Keeping your interest “Decision,” featuring The KVB, is a wonderfully sweet track that is a great lead into “Deviant Carousal,” which features Xiu Xiu. From here the album end sort of at a segue into a more Industrial Synthwave kind of darkness. While this may not necessarily be expected, the way it churns out is certainly not bad because “Last Dance,” featuring Not My God, utilizes excels with these tricks and treats. 

American Vampire would make a great 35 minute DJ set at a favorite hot modern goth club. This is not said to undermine the album in any way, because if Jyrki 69 is making music, it is certain to be for party purposes. He is a delightful sort of Vampire who is very much in tune with the American lifestyle despite his Finnish heritage. For its stress relieving, highly mastered Gothic Rock beauty, Cryptic Rock gives American Vampire 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

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Lisa Burke
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Lisa is a metalhead at heart with a variety of musical genre interests, and the determination to save the world, one Metal show at a time. Her professional passions range from Rock n Roll and Gothic Metal inspired fashion design to Heavy Metal and Rock n Roll journalism for live and album reviews. She currently contributes these reviews to Metal Assault and CrypticRock.

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