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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
13th Floor
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£14.04+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 20 January 2011
OK, how can I describe how good this is this.. I hadn't bought a metal album in about 20 years until recently, and stumbled across a link to Path to Decay on a website. I'd never even heard of symphonic / goth metal before. In my day the good stuff was Slayer , Metallica et al - 'gothic' music of the late eighties never seemed to be heavy enough. Some 'crossover' had started with bands like 'Candlemass' (doom metal) that, crucially, used harmonic minor / arabic-scale style 3-semitone-gap scales in their melodies, part of which gave them their great sound, a fact lost on many reviewer of a symphonic metal song. 'Nightfall' was a superb 'gothic' sounding doom metal album, but there I thought the genre petered out. I have friends with older kids who listen to stuff like Slipknot and Sum 41 - we put the CDs on once for a laugh at a party and I was shocked at how awfully bland, and frankly, tame, it all was. So I presumed that's the way heavy music was going. So you can hardly imagine my delight when I stumbled on all this symphonic metal recently. I have now been busy listening to and evaluating upwards of a hundred symphonic / goth metal bands out there, and there are some great bands - Nightwish, Amberian Dawn, Within Temptation, Theatre of Tragedy etc. But no matter how good these bands are - and I have to say many of them are superb - no album of the genre I've yet sampled is quite as good as this offering from Sirenia. Often when I buy an album , I like the majority of the songs, but find there's usually one or two turkeys spoiling things that I have to skip through on the CD. However this is one of those albums where every single song is superb - all written with lots of variety, to a very high standard, all very catchy, with a good mix of predominantly female clean vocals and a smaller amount of male growling. Nice to hear Path to Decay has a tad of growling on as well. The last song, Sirens of the Seven seas, is simply outstanding. I think the thing that distinguishes Sirenia over the other symphonic metal bands I've listened to is the quality and power of the choral parts. I have listened to this album over and over and over again, it's that addictive. Some reviewers have said the singer has a weak voice, and this is simply not true; while I admit some other female singers in the genre are stronger singers than Ailyn, she is well up there and more than capable of pulling off a classy performance on this album. You could argue the guitar solo work isn't as inventive as other albums, but none of this matters - it's the addictive tune and structure of every single song on the album which count at the end of the day, and the choral parts are to die for. Now one of my all-time favourite albums.
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on 25 February 2009
Before we start, you must understand that prior to hearing this album, I knew nothing about Sirenia. It was a bit of an impulse buy after hearing the latest single on Kerrang TV, however, unlike most impulse buys, I actually enjoyed it. Also, because of this, I will not be able to compare it to any of Sirenia's previous albums, I am judging it on it's own! Anyway, time for a track by track run through:

The Path to Decay - This is the track that I heard that pursuaded me to buy the album. It's a solid track with some great guitar riffing and powerful double-bass drumming. It also introduces Sirenia fans to new signer Ailyn who I gather, was not on any of their previous albums. It has a powerful chorus and a nice solo. 8/10

Lost in Life - After a beautiful piano intro reminisent of Nightwish, a rather melodic song ensues with some beautiful, angelic vocals from Ailyn. This is also single-worthy material and has a sing-along-anthemic chorus and another reasonable solo. 8/10

The Mind Maelstrom - This song begins with a choir and then trails into some keyboards with Ailyn singing beautifully accross it. An extremley peaceful song even with the reasonable anthemic chorus backed up by the choir. However, that soon changes when the double-pedals kick in and some growled/screamed vocals by main instrumentalist Morten Veland start. I like these vocals as it's a real contrast to Ailyn's voice. 7/10

The Seventh Summer - This song opens with a rather orchestral intro that perfectly suges into some really heavy guitars and drums. It contains a rather melodic chorus filled with double-pedals and sing-a-long lines. However, I do not think it is as strong as some of the previous tracks 7/10

Beyond Life's Scenery - This one opens with a rather doomy guitar riff and then becomes extremely dominated by the bass guitar in the verses. This makes the song seem very dark especially when combined with Ailyn's etherel vocals. 7/10

The Lucid Door - A quite gothic number, a bit like something Lacuna Coil would be proud to write. It's very melodic with Ailyn's voice cutting through the mix and some powerful slide guitar to back it up. Morten's vocals are also very powerful along with the choir towards the end. 8/10

Led Astray - Another piano/keyboard driven verse that has one really at peace with one's self. The guitar riff in the intro in between the verses and the choruses is also rather nice. I think that this is the song that best shows off Ailyn's vocal talents. 7/10

Winterborn 77 - A very keyboard orientated riff with some aiding rhythm guitars starts off this song and goes straight into some more beautiful vocals from Ailyn. Another song with an anthemic chorus filled with powerful and melodic drumming. 7/10

Sirens of the Seven Seas - A real epic featuring clean male vocals from Jan Kenneth Barkved. This song combines the three vocal styles plus the choir extremley effectivley to produce a great song to end the album on. It's such a powerful song with many different yet great parts. 9/10

Overall, this is a very strong album. Be it gothic metal or symphonic metal which ever you prefer, you will love this album. It's no where near the best album ever but it's very enjoyable and features some excellent musicianship and vocals.
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on 26 March 2009
I really like this album it is so easy to listen to, they have used a new singer again she gives the album a different feel her voice is more melodic then the singer on the last album. Sirenia continue on the pop metal road if you are a fan of their earlier stuff then you might not like this you just have to take it for what it is not what the band used to be like. You still have Morten's grunts though a lot more toned down. The Sirenian choir are featured alot more and really add a beautiful gothic feel to the songs. If you are into female fronted metal then this is definately one for the collection. It has a lighter feel and is one of my most played CD's at the moment.
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on 7 July 2009
When I first saw on youtube that the new singer Ailyn had done some Evanescence covers,I was really worried that this album would sway away from Sirenia's gothic and melodic influences. However, I couldn't have been more wrong!

The 13th floor is amazing! Seventh Summmer and Sirens of the Seven Seas in particular, but there isn't a track I get bored of! Ailyn's voice sounds amazing, and I hope she lasts more than just the one album,unlike the previous female vocalists.

The male vocals by Morten Veland are also great, both clean and the grunting/growling parts!

An amazing album that I would recommend to any fan of the band and similar bands!
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on 12 December 2009
Previous reviewer said "mix between Abba and the Sisters of Mercy"... hmmm.. maybe Sarah Brightman singing with Metallica (during their orchestral phase) is closer. Lol, semantics.

I hate metal. Hate grungy chuggy doom-metal and such even more, with a passion usually reserved for country and western. BUT I love this album! Can't stop playing it, seriously. It's very... Wagnerian. And Gothic, poppy, beautiful. Dark, but not oppressively so.

Actually, reminds me a bit of Sarah Brightman's Fleur de Mal, similar feel. (Although Sirena were doing it first, obviously!).

Recommended. Even if you hate metal.
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on 1 April 2009
The 13th Floor is the fourth album from the Norwegian band Sirenia, led mainly by the multi-instrumental Morten Veland who also lends his growling vocals to the mix. The main vocalist however is Ailyn, a Spanish singer who auditioned on the Spanish version of X-Factor. Don't be put off though since she is a rather talented singer and brings a certain grace and beauty to a rough and raw genre of music.

The most prominent songs of the recording are 'The Seventh Summer' and 'Sirens Of The Seven Seas', both with a more classically-tinged edge than the rest of the album though the effects are on the whole produced by keyboard instead of a real orchestra; the choir is very real though and is put to commendable use by Veland, bringing a very Gothic sound to the album. The performance of the choir on the final track ('Sirens Of The Seven Seas') is phenomenal and really gives a sense of grandeur to the music, only emphasised by the wonderful guest performance of Jan Kenneth Barkved. The final track truly sounds like the culmination of the entire album combining every element previously heard into one dramatic finale. The rest of the songs are, at worst, enjoyable but some are certainly better than others ('Winterborn 77' and 'The Mind Maelstrom'). The lovely vocals of Ailyn serve to make this album more accessible to those less accepting of Death Metal vocals and harsh, pounding rhythms, and are successful in doing so; her voice has a soothing charm that floats atop of the mix rather than buried within and her accent is delightfully Spanish-sounding, only making the vocals more enchanting.

So far, it probably seems that Sirenia is for people who want to listen not to real metal but to metal watered down with lighter elements but this is certainly not the case. 'Beyond Life's Scenery' is perfectly heavy and there are many songs on which there are growling vocals. My reservation however is that they are always found at the end of the song, as if Veland wrote the song and then felt like adding some of his own vocals; they are never really integrated with those of Ailyn, which is an opportunity missed. Otherwise, every other aspect of this album is very strong, the production powerful, the mix perfect and the songs both melodic and heavy.
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on 29 April 2014
I bought this album cos of the great metal pounding track single "Path to decay" which introduced me to Sirenia and got me into them. I was not disappointed. A great symphonic rock album, full of catchy songs with their own style and flavour.and every track on this album is good. im not so keen on their newer releases in the last few years which are "the Enigma of Life" and "Perils of the Deep" mainly cos all the tracks lack the soul that this album has and is my fav album by them.
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on 20 February 2012
This album is fantastic. It is one of the best album of the style.the fact is the other bands should learn from SYRENIA how to record on album.They do not hide the vocals in the mix and do not apply too much echo so the vocals are awful. This album sounds great .A 5 star masterpiece.
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on 17 March 2010
I listened to this album with an open mind. I Liked it, It was very good but It wasn't Morten Veland's best work.
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