Sirenia's debut "At Sixes and Sevens" was a great album, but for all its high points, it failed to explore anything near its full potential. First of all, almost every song was built off of the same riff, the same synth sequence, and the same vocal structure, so it tended to feel like one very long song. But seeing as he was kicked out of his old band Tristania only a year and a half before the album's release, I can imagine that he was more eager to just get something out and prove he was still around. But with "An Elixir for Existence," he's back to kick the dust off of his shoes and show his former bandmates that they can stab him in the back all they want, but it'll be little more than a slap in the face for him.
One downside is the new female vocalist, Henriette Bordvik. She's certainly not bad, but her vocals seem to be a little empty, unlike the previous singer Fabienne, who had a more ethereal and emotional, seductive "Sirenian" voice. Also, J.K. Barkved is absent and the clean male vocals are left entirely to Kristian Gundersen, who has more of an 80's rocker voice than a metal one. He only appears in three songs, and sounds like he has a cold. Veland doesn't dominate many songs vocally; it's usually an even split between him, Henriette, and the choir, which now boasts a third female voice. The only other musician on this album is Anne Verdot, the violinist, as Morten plays or programs everything else. And he's good. The instrumental closer proves that he's not only a killer vocalist and guitarist, but he can handle the keyboards with just as much (and I almost dare say more) skill as his former colleague Einar Moen. Standout songs? In my opinion, all but "The Fall Within," which sounds like a leftover from ASAS, deserve 5+/5 stars. So, if you like old Tristania and you liked Sirenia's previous effort, you will love this Elixir for the mindless mediocrity that plagues the music industry as of late.