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Leaves' Eyes - Symphonies of the night 3.5/5

Reviewed: 12-1-13


1. Hell to the heavens
2. Fading earth
3. Maid of Lorraine
4. Galswintha
5. Symphony of the night
6. Saint Cecelia
7. Hymn to the lone sands
8. Angel and the ghost
9. Eleonore de Provence
10. Nightshade
11. Ophelia

Leaves’ Eyes is a symphonic metal band from Germany and this is their 5th studio CD. Over the years Leaves’ Eyes has oscillated back and forth between heavy, crunchy often dramatic symphonic/choral power metal and mellow somewhat atmospheric gothic metal, always with folksy or viking metal touches throughout. ‘Symphonies of the night’ represents their most convincing symphonic/choral power metal CD to date; the songs are heavy, epic and rocking with strong, dynamic production. The folksy touches seem sparser than on previous CDs, but overall the songs are more rhythmic and aggressive as well.

Their well-known female vocalist, Liv Kristine, has never sounded better. Although her delivery has always been enchantingly beautiful, over the years she has enhanced her singing with more confidence, power and conviction, putting her now on par with the best of soprano singers in the symphonic metal genre. She sings a lot in ‘Symphonies of the night’ and her vocals are high in the mix; indeed, her engagingly lovely melodies are usually far and away the highlight of the songs. We still, however, have to suffer through Alexander Krull’s one-dimensional death vocals on a few songs.

‘Symphonies of the night’ does everything right for a symphonic metal CD but breaks absolutely no new ground at all; every song sounds predictable and familiar, and the listener could easily believe they’re listening to an early Epica or mid-period Nightwish song that they can’t quite place. Perhaps their next CD will be more adventurous; after all, Krull has endlessly experimented in Atrocity, his innovative though admittedly hit-and-miss avant-garde metal band. But until then, Leaves’ Eyes will mainly appeal to fans of solid, safe, traditional gothic power metal.




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