Sirenia - An Elixir For Existence
Napalm Records
Gothic Black Metal
9 songs (53'45)
Release year: 2004
Sirenia, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Jack
Album of the month

Sirenia is currently my favourite band. In fact, Tristania was my favourite band, but when it happened that Morten left (or was simply kicked out of) the band and the release of World of Glass versus At Sixes And Sevens, there was no doubt in my mind that Morten had been the genuine leader of Tristania. More or less disappointed by World Of Glass, I had even greater expectations for At Sixes And Sevens, and thanks to Morten I wasn't disappointed at all.

Now the band returns with a brand new album and a new female singer. French singer Fabienne Gondamin had never been a permanent member of the band, she indeed just lended Morten & Co her vocal talents for the first album. I had the chance to see the band during their European tour last spring with the new female vocalist, but it's always hard to judge someone on a live appearance. For a band such as Sirenia, the female vocalist is an important aspect to the audience and it's probably with shivers the audience heard of a new female vocalist on this second album. No worries though, the band's new female vocalist Henriette Bordvik does an oustanding job on this record. For those who would have loved to see a clone of Vibeke Stene on this recording, I would say Henriette's vocals are closer to those of her predecessor. It's better that way, because the two bands can strengthen their own separate identities.

An Elixir Of Existence is the perfect follow up to At Sixes And Sevens. Unlike its predecessor, I needed a couple of listens to really sink into the album as the music broadens to a wider range of influences that includes elements from disparate styles and genres, as well as a wider range of instrumentation and sounds in addition to the basic metal line-up. Female vocals, death grunts and clean male vocals are still an important part of the business, but this time more emphasis had been given on the choirs just like on Beyond The Veil. The album includes everything from bombastic upbeat metal songs to the more calm atmospheric numbers. Every song possesses its own individual soundscape, structure, and arrangement which gives an overrall impressive array of symphonically arranged epic songs. The mystic melancholic atmosphere herein is immediately recognizable and charms its way throughout. The extraordinary mix came together to create the dynamic and atmospheric soundscapes for which Morten is known.

I might not be the fairest reviewer when it comes to this kind of music, but this is another masterpiece of gothic black metal. However, I gave this album a lower quote than I did for At Sixes And Sevens because I am not fully convinced by the opener Lithium And A Lover and the instrumental Seven Sirens And A Silver Tear, neither am I with the atmospheric Save Me From Myself which isn't as sharp as A Tormented Soul of The Sins Of Thy Beloved second (and last ?) album Perpetual Desolation or Deadlocked on World Of Glass, the post Morten era Tristania's third album.

The only complaint I might have towards this album or towards Morten is that on none of his albums has he ever recorded a cover. I enjoy covers a lot and I would like to see Morten doing a cover. First of all, the choice of the artist, then the choice of the song, and finally to hear how this would turn out. And by the way, what terrible artwork compared to At Sixes And Sevens.

Killing Songs :
Voices Within, A Mental Symphony, Euphoria, In My Darkest Hour, The Fall Within, Star Crossed
Jack quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Sirenia that we have reviewed:
Sirenia - Perils of the Deep Blue reviewed by Jared and quoted 94 / 100
Sirenia - The Enigma of Life reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
Sirenia - The 13th Floor reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Sirenia - Nine Destinies And A Downfall reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Sirenia - Sirenian Shores reviewed by Jack and quoted no quote
To see all 7 reviews click here
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