The “Helsinki Vampires” celebrate their 30th anniversary with the release of their new (12th) studio album “West End”, and true to form, it is out on Friday 13th!!

Jyrki of The 69 Eyes says “The title »West End« evokes a dark image – when something dies, something new takes its place and we all have to change in order to stay alive. I feel like this planet is at a turning point. The end of the western world is near and the question is: What will happen when the west ends..? The title has multiple meanings for us… but be assured it has definitely nothing to do with The Pet Shop Boys or London”, he laughs.

The eleven tracks contain the tried and tested ingredients of blackness, heaviness and dark humour that we all love, but this could well be their best album to date.

Opener ‘Two Horns Up’ has Jyrki in fine voice over the dark drumming and guitar work of old. We also have guest vocalist Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth) joining the party, and he fits in well.

‘27 & Done’ tells about the infamous 27 Club. It’s a dark song about going to Hollywood to fulfil your dreams and not succeeding, and becoming desperate.

‘Black Orchid’ is another classic 69 Eyes track, which is followed by the slow-builder ‘Change’, which starts off with piano and violin to great effect.

‘Burn Witch Burn’ is a real modern life commentary piece, aiming at the joys of social media.

‘Cheyenna’ was released as a single, and has a great video to go with it, featuring what else, but a girl on a motorbike!

‘The Last House on the Left’ was the name of the first Wes Craven film, and a title that Jyrki loved. On this track we are treated to 2 guest vocalists – Wednesday 13, and Calico Cooper, from Beasto Blanco (and daughter of Alice!) It is a little heavier, and the shared vocals really make it work.

‘Death & Desire’ brings the mood down again, to a slow lost-love song. It fits in with the flow well though.

‘Outsiders’ brings back the upbeat rhythm, and seems to pay homage to the old bike gangs of America, talking of switchblades and Peggy Sue.

‘Be Here Now’ has a slightly eastern feel to the start, but soon turns to show its true colours. A song of life and living for the moment.

‘Hell Has No Mercy’ is the last and longest track. It starts slow, and stays that way, but still has room for some great guitar solos.

Altogether this is a fantastic album. All the tracks are good, and it flows well. Standouts for me are ‘27 & Done’, ‘Burn Witch Burn’ and ‘The Last House on the Left’, but that’s just me. Add it to your collection and find your own favourites.

There is a reason this band have been together for 30 years – and this album shows why.

The 69 Eyes – West End is out now via Nuclear Blast.

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