The 69 Eyes


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With Angels, the Helsinki vampires known as the 69 Eyes offer a flip-side sequel to their 2005 effort, Devils. "The slutty rocker to the seductive sister" is the way the goth-metal band perfectly puts it, and if Devils earned the band a loyal following among the black-nail-polish underground, Angels is designed to blow the 69 Eyes up to Type O Negative status (none of this applies to their native Finland, where they are already absolutely huge). Deep-voiced and dead as far as you can tell, Jyrki 69's lead vocals still bear a strong resemblance to Peter Steele -- or shamelessly rip him off if you believe the detractors -- but there's a new, strikingly loose way he uses his pipes that brings to mind Suicide's Alan Vega at his most Elvis. The Jim Steinman jones the band had on Devils is blown up to even bigger proportions with layered productions from the returning team of Hiili Hiilesmaa and Johnny Lee Michaels, along with lyrics that are filled with epic rock fantasies and bats out of hell. The single "Perfect Skin" juggles pop, lust, and dark humor with an unforgettable hook, and the title track is a behemoth on which both Sisters of Mercy and Nightwish fans can agree. "Frankenhooker" deserves special mention for the great couplet "Dirty ass Frankenhooker/Got no class graveyard strutter" and "Rocker" is so proudly dumb that it works its way around to smart, or at least sly. While there might be a handful of longtime fans who will balk at the album's ambition, Angels is the 69 Eyes at their sharpest, and it's arguably their best full-length to date.

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