The 69 Eyes – Death of Darkness (Album Review)

Vampires have been around for centuries and been portrayed in many different forms of art. However, in the world of Rock-n-Roll, perhaps the most compelling vampires would have to be the Helsinki Vampires, also known as The 69 Eyes. Founded in 1989, The 69 Eyes first jumped onto the scene as a Glam Gothic Rock act. Progressing through the years, since the early days, they have grown into a beautiful mix of Dark Rock, Glam, and Gothic Metal. Continuing along this trajectory, 2023 brings their latest studio album, Death of Darkness.

Released on April 21st via Atomic Fire Records, with physical format releases to follow on May 5th, the new album features ten tracks (three of which were included on the 2022 EP Drive). Lucky number 13 in terms of full-length studio release for this undead crew, once again Vocalist Jyrki 69 and his usual ghouls – Bazie and Timo Timo on guitars, Archzie on bass, plus Jussi 69 on drums – bring together a well-mixed collection of music.

Achieving yet another cohesive album that fans are sure to enjoy, for being called Death of Darkness, it certainly features somewhat light-hearted gothic subject matter… and this even includes the title-track. Adding some more spice to the pot, there are even some special featured vocalists on this album that make it unique in its own right. For example, there is the duet with Kat Von D on “This Murder Takes Two”; offering a strange but sweet tune with killing as the main course. 

Following this is the rocking cut “California” which serves up a surreal look at Los Angeles. Backtracking to one of the more intriguing tunes of the album, “Drive” sounds more like classic Gothic Rock, and it would probably go over extremely well in a live setting. The same goes for “Dying in The Night,” which has a more somber tone to it, or “Something Real,” which features catchy melodies for added flavor.

Rounding out the highlights of this collection, there is a cover of Boycott’s “Gotta Rock,” plus the five and half minute long closer “Outlaws.” The latter has all the qualities this band is known for; from the deep gothic soothing vocals of Jyrki, to the fun and rocking riffs of the tuned strings, and more. Overall, it is another example of a well-produced final product which features cleanliness and clarity which appropriately enhance the tune’s message.

In enough words, even if Death of Darkness is not on the top of the list for all 69 Eyes fans, it still proves to be a contender. Not to be overlooked, it attempts at a more modern sound, standing stronger next to The 69 eyes classic collection… only with a slight twist. A worthy addition to your collection, Cryptic Rock gives Death of Darkness 4 out of 5 stars. 

The 69 Eyes – Death Of Darkness / Atomic Fire Records (2023)

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