Leaves Eyes return to top form with their heaviest album to date.
If it’s one thing Leaves Eyes do not do, it’s sit around doing nothing, a matter of two years since the excellent “Meredead”, the band return with all guns blazing for what is their fifth studio album.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexander at the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium a few weeks ago, where I asked him what the new album had in store. “A combination of all the previous albums rolled into one” was the answer I got, so I was really looking forward to seeing whether I could share that opinion myself.
For a start, “Symphonies…” has a much harder edge to it than its predecessor, not on all tracks obviously, as the band always like to try and vary things as much as possible but in general, it’s an album that kicks you know what a lot harder than previous efforts. “Maid Of Lorraine” for example is a wonderful mix of hard edge, fast paced riffs, combined with Liv’s soaring, operatic, ethereal, gothic vocal, balanced against Alex’s growls and grunts, that works a treat. “Galswintha”, whilst just as heavy, has a glorious Folk tinged feel to it, again combining the male and female vocal to great effect, which, is a feature throughout the album. The title track actually reminded me very much of the debut album “Lovelorn” in places, having a catchy, melodic vibe that is hard to ignore.
I was extremely impressed with Livs vocal performance throughout the album, I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, I think she is sounding stronger and better vocally now than she ever has done, seeming confident and at ease with all she puts across. Thorsten Bauer, again proves to me what a vital cog in the Leaves Eyes wheel he is, keeping everything bound together and delivering some memorable guitar work.
There are softer moments on display as well, “Saint Cecelia” having a very atmospheric and emotional feel to it but normal service is soon restored with “Hymn To The Lone Sands” which starts with a definite Folk element, before launching headlong in to a frenzied Metalfest, making it one of my personal album highlights, delivering everything that I want to hear in a Leaves Eyes song.
Returning to Alex’s comment about the album being a combination of previous releases, I can only agree with what he says, although I need to absorb the album over a longer period of time before calling it their greatest work to date. It is however, an album that immediately gave me that ’wow factor’ feel, and is definitely up there with “Vinland Saga” (my personal favourite). I found it to be an album that makes a very big statement in terms of both what the band are capable of achieving, and also, what they have already achieved. It has taken just short of ten years to get to this stage, and this album does the band full justice, a must have for all fans of Symphonic and Gothic Metal.
1. Hell To The Heavens
2. Fading Earth
3. Maid Of Lorraine
5. Symphony Of The Night
6. Saint Cecelia
7. Hymn To The Lone Sands
8. Angel And The Ghost
9. Elenore de Provence
12. Eileen’s Ardency (bonus track)
13. One Caress (bonus track)
Liv Kristine – Vocals
Alexander Krull – Vocals
Thorsten Bauer – Guitars
Sander van der Meer – Guitars
Felix Born – Drums
The album sees its European release on the 18th of November.
audio interview with Alex