Symphonies Of The Night
Though I’ve known about Leaves’ Eyes for quite a while now, I haven’t had much desire to check out their music until I was recently invited to by their longtime label, (and home of sister band Atrocity) Napalm Records. But I can honestly say that I’m truly glad for this opportunity, because this record was well worth listening to. Most of the work Leaves’ Eyes has done in the past was based more in history and folklore, but this material seems to have taken a bit of a darker tone as it seems to shadow Atrocity’s latest album and return to death metal form in Okkult. As such, there are explosive moments of death metal on this disc, beginning with “Hell To The Heavens” which offers a shoutable and fist raising chorus amidst operatic elements. Liv Kristine’s voice has always been sinfully sweet, but this album showcases her as an operatic powerhouse; especially on the album’s title track and “Saint Cecilia,” which is an unforgettable exercise in classical opera. Wagner would be pleased, I should think.
There’s not one doubt in my mind of the power behind “Fading Earth” as it seems to be the classic Leave’s Eyes ballad (I have watched a few of their music videos) and will definitely stand as the album’s most accessible cut. But for those of you who want to hear more about the heavy side of this disc, you’ll definitely find thick elements of death metal in “Maid Of Lorraine,” which takes on a bipolar nature as it switches between growls backed with death metal and classical goth metal with Liv’s angelic approach. As far as structure is concerned, this song is a compilation of wonder and the most finely crafted work on the disc as far as musicality. There is also “Hymn To The Lone Sands,” which begins as a ballad, but then gets absurdly heavy as it also features a good smattering of bagpipes and a memorable guitar solo. Yes, it’s certainly a different direction for the band that might not speak to everyone; but it might just be the disc that’ll open up your significant other to death metal… maybe.
Surprisingly heavy, yet still very beautiful. I think that it’s the best Leaves’ Eyes album that I’ve ever heard and would even recommend it to fans of death metal. I haven’t heard this style done so well since the days of classic Battlelore and that’s saying something, because I used to listen to their first two records on constant repeat. This is right up there with that material, so you do the math. (Eric May)
Purchase Symphonies Of The Night here: http://shop.napalmrecords.com/symphonies-night