LEAVES’ EYES – Sign Of The Dragonhead [LTD 2CD Digibook] (2018)
LEAVES’ EYES will release their new album, “Sign Of The Dragonhead“, tomorrow January 12th on various formats including this “Limited 2CD Digibook” with a bonus disc featuring instrumental version of the album. Produced by Alexander Krull at Mastersound Studio, the new album features cover artwork by Stefan Heilemann (Lindemann, Epica, Kamelot).
You know what to expect from LEAVES’ EYES: synpho epic metal hymns, groovy rock hearmonies, great choirs, and a top notch production.
This is the sixth-full length CD by the international group, and it’s the very first without the iconic and beautiful Liv Kristine, who parted ways with her lover last year (and naturally also with the band).
But fear not, because the “Beauty and the Beast” formula remains intact with the addition of another frontwoman, Elina Siirala, a well-trained soprano and leader of the similarly symphonic band Angel Nation. Oh, and she looks gorgeous as well.
Siirala has a different tone than Kristine’s, but her soothing chants and mesmerizing vocal lines match perfectly with Krull’s musical modus operandi.
“Fairer Than the Sun”, for instance, is a great example of why Krull and Thorsten Bauer (guitar, ex-Enslaved) chose Siirala; beautiful and haunting, it successfully manages to grasp the band’s classical atmosphere.
Other tunes like “Fires in the North”, “Jomsborg” and the epic “Waves of Euphoria” all have a acoustic arrangements providing variation, all while maintaining the aura of its main sympho genre. The last one even has some passages that reminded me of Xandria’s latest works.
None of it is groundbreaking in any sense at all, but Siirala has enough charm and talent to assist in carrying the band in certain places where other elements fail.
The occasional harsh vocals of Alex Krull are muddy and pretty much useless, but the full choir backing and shouted gang vocals are maybe some of the most professional I’ve recently heard on a metal album. It’s a pity they’re not employed in a more interesting fashion.
With a new vocalist which provides freshness, “Sign Of The Dragonhead” is fine new LEAVES’ EYES album. However, musicially continues with their blend of sympho / pop melodies, light melodic metal riffs and the sonic accessibility.
It’s an entertaining album, and the bonus CD – all songs instrumental – works great as background music.
01 – Sign of the Dragonhead
02 – Across the Sea
03 – Like a Mountain
04 – Jomsborg
05 – Völva
06 – Riders on the Wind
07 – Fairer Than the Sun
08 – Shadows in the Night
09 – Rulers of Wind and Waves
10 – Fires in the North
11 – Waves of Euphoria
01 – Sign of the Dragonhead (Instrumental)
02 – Across the Sea (Instrumental)
03 – Like a Mountain (Instrumental)
04 – Jomsborg (Instrumental)
05 – Völva (Instrumental)
06 – Riders on the Wind (Instrumental)
07 – Fairer Than the Sun (Instrumental)
08 – Shadows in the Night (Instrumental)
09 – Rulers of Wind and Waves (Instrumental)
10 – Fires in the North (Instrumental)
11 – Waves of Euphoria (Instrumental)
Thorsten Bauer – Guitars, Bass, Mandolin
Alexander Krull – Vocals, Keyboards, Samples, Programming
Joris Nijenhuis – Drums
Pete Streit – Guitars
Elina Siirala – Vocals