Sirenia have consistently taken their listeners to a bleak journey of exploring internal struggles with anxiety and dark adventures. However, within the last five years, they’ve added electronic elements resulting in an upbeat illusion than their prior efforts. If you are looking for another At Sixes and Sevens or even The Seventh Life Path, think again. Whether these added elements result from recruiting French vocalist Emmanuelle Zoldan just in time for 2016’s Dim Days of Dolor, or a mixture of both, the Norwegian-French symphonic gothic metal outfit’s style has evolved. The band’s overall tenth full-length effort, Riddles, Ruins & Revelations, is another extension of their electronic direction, which moves as a perfect follow-up to 2018’s Arcane Astral Aeons.
Sirenia fans will either embrace or refrain from their changed direction. I highly suggest listening to Sirenia’s newer material more than once before formulating an opinion. Unlike bands such as Metallica, Sirenia is an act that’s more forgivable recruiting new vocalists. I’ve adjusted to these switch-ups, seeing it as a new chapter for the group, and have enjoyed Zoldan’s vocals.
The beauty and genius behind the band’s later albums sneak up on you. At first, you question the melodies, and then it grows on you where you find yourself listening to the record on repeat. Album number ten is haunting, beautiful, as there are glimpses of harsher older Sirenia elements, which gets noticed in songs such as “We Come To Ruins,” “Into Infinity,” and “Beneath The Midnight Sun.”
Don’t fall too off guard with the opener track, “Addiction No 1,” as the album progresses, and you will hear a mix between Zoldan’s clean and mastermind Morten Veland’s harsh vocals. Patience is a virtue with this record as “December Snow” is arguably the highlight of this album.
Riddles, Ruins & Revelations is simply another enjoyable Sirenia album. This group has never disappointed me over the years as I’ve enjoyed following their style variations while cherishing the old.