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Leaves' Eyes - Sign Of The Dragonhead

Published January 14 2018

=Staff's pick

Sign Of The Dragonhead
Across The Sea*
Like A Mountain
Riders On The Wind
Fairer Than The Sun
Shadows In The Night*
Rulers Of Wind And Waves
Fires In The North
Waves Of Euphoria*

Genre Symphonic Metal
Elina Siirala
Tracks 11
Alexander Krull
Running time 47 Min.
Pete Streit
Label AFM Records
Thorsten Bauer
Release January 12, 2018
Thorsten Bauer
Country Germany
Joris Nijenhuis
Producer Alex Krull, Thorsten Bauer
Similar bands Nightwish, Xandria

Is there really a need for another album by a symphonic band with operatic vocals, executing the whole "Beauty and the Beast"-thing? If it is as good as this one, and when the beauty is given this much space, I definitely feel it is justified. I was a fan of the band back in the days, when fronted by former vocalist Liv Kristine Espenæs (ex-Theatre Of Tragedy), but I lost them completely along the way as I found them slowly but surely going stale so I am quite surprised to hear how good and fresh I find them today.

What makes Leaves' Eyes of today stand out from many other similar bands in the contemporary scene is the ability to write good and engaging songs and melodies and arrange it all into a dramatic and interesting experience, and all that with somewhat modest and scaled off means.

It is grand and spacious and it feels like we are constantly on the move, following a journey somewhere ahead. A sea ride into battle, if you will, where you almost feel the wind blowing in your hair. They also incorporate quite a bit of celtic and folk melodies on this album which I feel blend in very well and is a vital addition to the whole.

The new vocalist Elina Siirala has a fantastic voice. As far as I understand she is a soprano and has a belcanto style of singing which differs from many similar in the genre by not being overly operatic and dramatic but instead more clean, natural and down to earth.

The downsides to this album are the production, which I find too weak, especially in the guitar area, and the growling vocals by Alexander Krull, which have no real value and lack in power and nuances. The album also loses a tad momentum during the second half but overall it is a good, well crafted and engaging album.

See also review of: Lovelorn








6,5 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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