Leaves’ Eyes – Sign Of The Dragonhead Album Review – MHF
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Leaves’ Eyes – Sign Of The Dragonhead Album Review

Leaves’ Eyes – Sign Of The Dragonhead

Album Review  by Rainer Kerber

It was like a thunderclap in 2016 – the band Leaves’ Eyes and long-time singer Liv Kristine parted ways. About the band and especially about the new member on the microphone Elina Siirala broke a true Internet shitstorm. But it is not my job to evaluate this event. I know both singers personally and appreciate their nice demeanour, their friendliness and their vocal performances in equal measure. The Viking ship successfully sailed all the cliffs under full sail. The producer team Alex Krull / Thorsten Bauer has continued the story of the Vikings. The result is now, “Sign Of The Dragonhead”, the new album of Leaves’ Eyes.

The title track “Sign Of The Dragonhead” can be heard right at the beginning, banging guitar riffs steamroll everything. For this, the beguiling soprano of front-Lady Elina Siirala fits perfectly and mastermind Alex Krull contributes his growls. Leaves’ Eyes continue exactly where they left off at King Of Kings. Afterwards, “Across The Sea” features Celtic sounds backed by banging guitars. Automatically you would like to sway to and fro here. The bombastic choirs were sung by the legendary choir “London Voices”, known among others. from the soundtracks to Starwars or Lord of the Rings, the epic orchestral passages were played by the “Almanac Symphony Orchestra” (Victor Smolski – Almanac, ex-Rage). “Like A Mountain” starts as a piano ballad, but later becomes an epic anthem. Here an Icelandic love saga was set to music. The powerful bass lines are supposed to underscore the tragedy of the story.

Also “Jomsborg” has a strong Celtic edge, of course in the metal look. The legendary Viking fortress is said to have stood at the mouth of the Oder and should ensure the dominance of the Vikings in the Baltic Sea area. The subsequent “Völva” has definitely hit potential. Among others, the instrumentation with Fiddles or Uilleann Pipes and Whistles contributes, which can also be heard in many other places. “Fair Than The Sun” is a beautiful ballad. The blonde Finn can prove her outstanding vocal potential here.  With “Shadows In The Night” you can hear another hit song, a catchy, straightforward, rocking melody, paired with pounding riffs and epic choirs. With “Rulers Of Wind And Waves” followed by a quiet acoustic folk song before the title song of the 2016 EP “Fires In The North” sounds. Another great Viking Metal anthem. Finally, “Waves Of Euphoria” pops out of the speakers once again, the guitar duo Thorsten Bauer / Pete Streit again provides for proper heavyness. Once again, the London Voices and the Almanac Symphony Orchestra are responsible for the epic moments.

After several runs you can tell one thing very clearly – the producer / composer team Alex Krull / Thorsten Bauer has convincingly managed to keep the high level of the previous album, and even put it on top. For singer Elina that must have been stressful weeks and months. After all, she has also released the second album of her band Angel Nation (“Aeon”). But it was worth it. With “Sign Of The Dragon Head” Leaves’ Eyes open a new chapter in their set to music Viking chronicles. I’m looking forward to seeing them again at the release show in Lübeck.

Leaves’ Eyes – Sign Of The Dragonhead (2017) // official clip: https://youtu.be/9ETpRTh5Nxg
Leaves’ Eyes – Fires in the North (2016) (official lyric video): https://youtu.be/jNdJiStgbZI

Lineup:

Elina Siirala – Vocals
Alexander Krull – Vocals
Thorsten Bauer – Guitar, Bass
Pete Streit – Guitar
Joris Nijenhuis – Drums

Label: AFM Records

Out: January 12th, 2018

Duration: 47:14

Track list:

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

Rating : 9/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber

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