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The 69 Eyes: To Hel' And Back Again

The 69 Eyes had been a huge band in their native Finland for well over a decade when they landed in the UK in 2007. Metal Hammer were eye (!) witnesses to the invasion plan

There is a saying in Finland, ‘elama ilmaa viinää on teeskeentelyä’, which roughly translates as, ‘life without alcohol is pretending’. It rings true here, because pretension, or the lack of it, goes straight to the heart of The 69 Eyes. It’s hard not to admire this band who formed in Finland in the early 90s, intoxicated by the glam rock scene in Hollywood and the goth rock scene in the UK, and who have stayed together ever since adding elements of Alice Cooper’s theatricality, Iggy Pop’s rock’n’roll mania and the stentorian tones of the Sisters Of Mercy.

It’s hard not to admire them because, time after time, bands from Helsinki – patently influenced by their dedication to the art of rocking out and their dark but melodic metal – have overtaken them in the fame stakes. Everyone coming out of the insular scene from HIM to Nightwish have outstripped them in terms of success and sales. But sheer bloody mindedness and faithfulness to each other has seen this quintet of self proclaimed rock vampires weather the storms of nu-metal and grunge with little disruption in the Germanic speaking countries of central Europe and Scandinavia or their motherland. 

But after all this time (17 years to be precise) it is quite strange to see that a band who so patently worship at the temple of Billy Idol, The Cult and, yes, Elvis Presley are possibly standing on the verge of imprinting themselves onto the consciousness of the younger British rock contingent.

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