We kick off with "Dolce Vita" and a couple of things become apparent; firstly it appears they are returning to a style that they perfected so effortlessly in all their dark gothic splendour, but secondly and more importantly they are thematically indulging in it. Guitarist's Archzie and Timo-Timo are driving this track with some solid riffs, while Jyrki puts the cherry on the cake with his distinctive baritone and this is the 69 Eyes we all know and love.
"Jet Fighter Plane" is a politically charged, plodding goth-rock anthem for the modern day and is in some ways the sequel to "Crashing High" we never asked for, while album highlight "Blackbird Pie" brilliantly borrows from the old nursery rhyme "Sing A Song Of Sixpence". It's possibly one of the best songs of their already impressive repertoire and with an interesting take on some already dark subject material, this is The 69 Eyes at their very best. This new lease of life and rejuvenation runs through the album as a whole with "Lady Darkness" and "Shallow Graves" having a rich feeling of nostalgia. "Miss Pastis" carries with it certain elements of SISTERS OF MERCY, while "Blue" harks back to the likes of "Stolen Season" with it's cold, sombre beauty but the real trip down memory lane is saved for last..."Rock 'N' Roll Junkie" strips back all goth elements entirely in favour of a more, garage rock vibe, paying tribute to their own beginnings and it's something that long term fans will truly appreciate.
It's fitting that the Helsinki Vampires have written "Universal Monsters"...not only is it one of the strongest records of their career, but it's also a nod to days of old, both musically and in imagery. The old black and white monster movies of the 1940's are universally considered classics, setting the benchmark for the horror genre...here this is a metaphor for the albums that put The 69 Eyes on the gothic rock map; "Blessed Be" and "Paris Kills"...the whole album revisits those glory days (or nights) where the band we know and love came to be. It perfectly blends the then and now and is both ideal for new listeners and essential for fans. Oh creatures of the night...what music they make.