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Leaves' Eyes - Meredead

Leaves' Eyes
by Yiannis Mitsakos at 08 May 2011, 11:05 PM

Liv Kristin Espenaes Krull has been in the frontline of women in metal for almost two decades, most of which she spent with the THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. She stayed with them even through their shocking change from gothic metal to electropop and was removed from the band due to “musical differences”, something she found out from the band’s website. My guess was that she was asked to rap X-mas songs in sampled cat sounds music and she replied that she’d rather hang herself, thus leading to that decision.

She got married to Alex Krull later that year and shortly after they formed what seemed as a side-project at the time but grew up to be a normal band, consisting of her and the entire ATROCITY line-up.
When I reviewed their debut album “Lovelorn” I welcomed her back to the world of metal where she belonged. It’s been quite a few years since then along with several line-up changes and this is their fourth release, called “Meredead”.

Even though it is promoted as symphonic metal, I’ll be using the later word -metal- in a very loose meaning. You do get bombastic outbursts now and then and Lingua Mortis orchestra is doing an excellent job (like they did with RAGE).

The main element that binds this album together is folk music and the use of Old English and Norwegian and traditional local instruments like the uileann pipes in "Étaín"and "Sigrlinn", or the Scandinavian nyckelharpa in "Kråkevisa" which really stands out.
“Sigrlinn”is a bit heavier and Krull makes his appearance there, “Mine Teror Er Ei Grimme” is a fairytale-ish ballad and there’s also an excellent cover to Mike Oldfield’s “To France” (also successfully covered a few years ago by BLIND GUARDIAN).

A lot of things have gradually changed since “Lovelorn”. Less metal, more folk, less ATROCITY influences, more Liv Kristin ones and Alex Krull's personal style seems less present. Another thing that impressed me was her voice. I enjoyed the variation in vocals, from melodic and sweet to operatic and then folk, Liv Kristin's singing is top notch, seems like music is built around her voice.

I always respected her and it always was special but it was always too soft and mellow. I don’t know whether she’s been taking vocal lessons but I was blown away by the amounts of range she has gained over the years. There were plenty of parts in “Meredead” that if I listened to 10 years ago and was asked to find out who the singer is, Liv would be my one of my last guesses.

If you are a fan of the band or of symphonic, folk metal with female vocals, this album will definitely won’t disappoint you. It's very pleasant to listen to and it will travel you to faraway mystical places but only if you’re prepared for a metal version of Loreena McKennitt. Then again you wouldn’t be reading this review if you were looking for something to hold you till the next KREATOR release, would you?

3 Star Rating

  1. Spirits' Masquerade
  2. Étaín
  3. Velvet Heart
  4. Kråkevisa
  5. To France (Mike Oldfield Cover)
  6. Meredead
  7. Sigrlinn
  8. Mine Tåror er ei Grimme
  9. Empty Horizon
  10. Veritas
  11. Nystev
  12. Tell-Tale Eyes
  13. Sorhleod (Bonus Track)
Bonus DVD (Live):
  1. Njord
  2. My Destiny
  3. Ragnarok
  4. Elegy
  5. Froya's Theme
Liv Kristin- Vocals
Thorsten Bauer - Guitar, Bass
Sander Van Der Meer - Guitar
Alexander Krull - Vocals
Roland Navratil - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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