Overblown, pompous and grandiose with multi-layered vocals, clever arrangements and strong musicianship.
Sirenia have, in many ways, always given the big names in the Symphonic Metal genre (Epica, Nightwish, Delain etc.) a run for their money. Why they aren't as well-known as their counterparts is probably down to the constantly revolving door of vocalists they've had over the years, a new singer seemingly appearing on nearly every new album released by the band. And 'Dim Days Of Dolor' is no exception to this rule with Sirenia introducing new chanteuse Emmanuelle Zoldan on lead vocals. Zoldan is a trained Opera singer who has been with Sirenia as part of their backing choir for over a decade and I hope that her new status as main vocalist will be a permanent one.
When it comes to the musical side of things, once again it's a mix of Epica/Delain-like Symphonic Rock with bucket loads of melody thrown into the fray. It is, as you would expect, overblown, pompous and grandiose with multi-layered vocals, clever arrangements and strong musicianship.
Sirenia, with an eye for a great hook, have really pushed the boat out for this new release. We get the triumvirate of 'Goddess Of The Sea', 'Dim Days Of Dolor' and 'The 12th Hour' opening the album, all great songs with a decidedly Epica feel to them. Zoldan soon shows us why she was chosen and the band play with a real zeal. This trio is followed by one of the best songs I've heard from the Symphonic genre in many a moon, the wonderfully melodic and catchy 'Treasure And Treason'. A track that contains all of those elusive elements that are sure to make it a fan favourite. Others offerings worth highlighting are the stunning 'Ashes To Ashes', with its wonderful piano work, the striking 'Playing With Fire', a song full of caustic riffs tempered by a smooth and melodic vocal from Zoldan, and the closing ballad 'Aeon's Embrace', where again we have Zoldan proving just why she deserves to be where she is.
Hopefully Sirenia will stick with this line-up for a long time because if they do, they have on their hands, with the inclusion of Zoldan, the winning ingredient that they've been looking for. 'Dim Days Of Dolor' is, simply put, a belter.