Wednesday 19 July 2017

Album Review: JYRKI 69 - Helsinki Vampire

Jyrki 69 - Helsinki Vampire

01. Ad Infinitum
02. Versailles
03. Spanish Steps
04. Bloodlust
05. Last Halloween
06. Happy Birthday
07. Call Of The Night
08. Perfection
09. Close Your Eyes
10. In Your Dreams
11. Sayonara

Helsinki Vampire is the debut solo album from Jyrki 69, who is also the lead singer of Finnish Goth Rockers The 69 Eyes. It so happens that The 69 Eyes are one of my favourite bands and have been for many years, so I've been really looking forward to hearing this.

With Jyrki 69's distinct baritone vocals, often likened to Pete Steele's (Type O Negative) and Andrew Eldritch's (Sisters of Mercy), Helsinki Vampire was always destined to sound like a 69 Eyes record. The rest of the band also played on a few tracks too, which is particularly cool. It's nice to see that this solo venture has the support of the others.

I wouldn't say Helsinki Vampire is as strong as the last few 69 Eyes albums, but it isn't far off. Sonically, it has a similar feel to their Paris Kills album, but with a little more synth and subtle 80's Pop vibe running throughout. Opener Ad Infinitum has a very long atmospheric intro before eventually kicking into some Electronica tinged Heavy Gothic Rock, before dwindling into some slow piano coupled with some baritone monologue. It's an interesting piece, but far from my favourite track on the album, and a bizarre opener. It's followed with the slow, haunting Versailles which mixes piano with some industrial tones. Spanish Steps has a similar vibe, and like the previous song, is Goth as fuck.

For me, Bloodlust is the best track on the record. Its pulsing bass married with the 'cool as the dead' guitar riffing and Jyrki's vocals, make this a dark romantic classic that's sure to be a dance floor hit in Goth clubs in all of the coldest corners of Europe. Next up is Last Halloween which has a catchy piano part sprinkled with the flavour of John Carpenter's Halloween theme music. It's a glorious homage, and works well. This track is a catchy number that shamelessly adorns itself with every lyrical Gothic stereo type imaginable, which  is part of the charm.

Other personal favourites include Call of the Night, Close Your Eyes and In Your Dreams. Musically, this album is what I expected from Jyrki 69. There aren't any real surprises and it doesn't tread any ground that The 69 Eyes haven't trod on at some point before. What it does boast is a plethora of really good songs, and it certainly serves as a fantastic appetiser for the ravenous 69 Eyes fans who are patiently waiting for their next record.


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