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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2011
I came at this album with a slight air of trepidation after watching the hugely disappointing We Came With Northern Winds and cringing through Liv's appalling vocal performance.
Well, after 6 six listens to this album I have to say I am incredibly pleased. The songs are superb, the atmosphere of the album is haunting, ethereal and beautiful. I have enjoyed every Leaves Eyes album but there has always been a slight but...with each one. This one has no negatives for me what so ever.
There are hints at some of the early Theatre Of Tragedy work, similarities to Tristania and leanings towards Midnattsol (Liv's sisters band) with the folk influences.
Leaves Eyes have shown a real maturity with this album and for a new listener to the band, sounds like nothing they have released so far, this is a real advancement for the band.
I have absolutely no hesitation in giving this album the full 5 stars.
The bonus live DVD is superb and a much better performance than the previously mentioned release.
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on 27 April 2011
Being a big fan of Leaves' Eyes and having all their albums to date, I was eagerly awaiting delivery of my pre-ordered copy of Meredead. It's certainly very different from their previous releases. Nothing like as heavy or dramatic as previous albums such as Vinland Saga and Njord which are my favourites. This is much lighter and rather laid back overall and there is a very strong folksong feeling to many of the tracks. Some wouldn't be out of place in a Gaelic rock album. Although there are contributions from the choir and orchestra they are much less powerful than previously. Only around half of the songs have English lyrics and I struggled a bit difficult to understand the overal concept. More plays required. The line up has changed (again); only vocalists Liv Kristine & Alexander Krull and guitarist Thorsten Bauer remaining from the previous album. This seems to have had a big effect on the overall sound. All-in-all a bit disappointed. It's quite enjoyable, just not the Leaves' Eyes is was expecting.
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on 12 July 2012
How is that for a description of Leaves Eyes latest album; gaelic, gothic, rock, metal? Having read the other reviews I was expecting a somewhat half cast album. But no, this album is full throttle. It is just not the usual Scandinavian Goth Metal which Leaves Eyes fans have grown to expect. There is a very strong Gaelic sound to this album. Its not folk though. Its rock. There is not one slow or folky song on this album. They are all up tempo and full sound.

After Vinland Saga and Njord this album makes an exhilirating addition to Leaves Eyes repertoire. There is not one dud song on the album and the Gaelic influence blends seemlessly with the bands usual style. Very melodic and interesting. Leaves Eyes are one of my latest discoveries and I'm loving them more and more.

A final note about Liv's beautiful voice. I was a bit worried that her voice was growing deeper when I heard Njord. It seemed to lack the sharpness and clarity of her voice on Vinland Saga - but here her voice is back to its top notch beauty and strength.
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on 16 July 2015
As my previous review of Njord & the title of this review how i overlooked this band i do'nt know. Another stunning cd, Liv's voice & Alexander Krull's songwriting & occasional growls are a superb combination.
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on 31 May 2011
Another extraordinary album from this innovative band. Totally different from Njord or their earlier work, this has distinctly Celtic/folk influences all tangled up in heavy metal. I'm advised by those more knowledgeable than myself that some tracks are in Olde English and others in Norwegian. I don't understand either but the album is no less enjoyable. The opener 'Spirits' Masquerade' is sung in English and is a catchy little number, and 'To France' is a nice re-working of the Mike Oldfield original from umpteen years ago. (A classic reworked is one common factor with Njord which provided an astonishing rendition of 'Scarborough Fayre' which still gets the hairs on the back of my neck bristling). The bonus DVD shot at the 2010 Metal Female Voices Festival in Wieze is also worth the price of the album alone. So, if you're looking for something a little bit different in the female-fronted metal genre - give it a go. You might not find it to your taste - or, like me, you might just get well and truly hooked.
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on 3 June 2011
Like other reviewers I was a bit surprised by this album. It's lighter than I was expecting, which would have been a negative for me had I known - on listening though it works really well. Mike Oldfield's "To France" was also a surprise inclusion, but it sits nicely in with the traditional and original stuff here (and I did like the original anyway). If you're expecting "Njord part 2" then this won't satisfy. If you're after a great rock CD with folk/celtic influences, then it will. The lyrics aren't all English, but again I didn't find that a problem.
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on 13 July 2011
I love this album - for the songs that I have heard before, but rendered now in the beautiful tones of Liv Kristine. "To France" (I heard from Blind Guardian) and "Krakevisa" (a traditional Scandinavian folk song about a crow) stand out immediately to me. The others are equally haunting. A beautiful blend of sweet vocals, folk music and the occasional heavier moment.
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on 17 May 2011
"Meredead" it turns out is Old English for "Sea-Dead" , the restless spirits of those drowned at sea. From the opener "Spirits' Masquerade"its clear the album's theme is at least as "Goth" as any of their previous albums (there might well be a "concept album"in there somewhere, but given the 12 tracks split near equally between English, Norwegian and Old English ,only the lucky few fluent in all three will ever know for sure!)

Musically the album has evolved a fair way since their third album "Njord". Call it "Celtic Folk Metal " for short. Elfenthal and others guest to add an "early music" element to many tracks. With Liv's lyrics and vocals as epic as ever, it all adds up a consistently great album .Alex Krull's (Mastersound) production is as inspired as ever throughout. It should certainly delight most Leaves Eyes fans, though maybe a few will find the album a little too "folky ", with not quite enough "metal" in the mix.

Vocally too there's been a big change - the "extreme vocals" from Alex in the "Beauty and the Beast" duets with Liv are near all gone , only featuring on one track this time(and that in Norwegian, which somewhat softens the effect). He also adds vocals to one further track, but in a very different "straight" delivery , much more akin to his Atrocity persona . John Kelly (Elfenthal) adds more folk-style male vocals elsewhere.

DVD

I bought the "Basic" edition, so was a bit miffed to then learn from another review there is also a special edition with a bonus live concert DVD out there. Go for that version every time,if you can still get it(I struck lucky when MIdnattssol did exactly the same with their own new album last month, so I really should have been on the look out for the same choicehere !)
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on 2 May 2011
I have enjoyed previous Leaves' Eyes Cds and Liv Kristine is always a superb singer. This album adds another dimension to their previous ones and has a subtlety and tenderness at times that is quite beguiling, but still has plenty of loud up- tempo songs that retain a real metal feel. There are some folk like numbers and the use of different languages to give a great variety and appeal. This is something special and I would urge you to buy it now.
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on 5 August 2011
This limited edition of Meredead by Leaves Eyes is much better than i thought it would be. I really loved the previous album, Njord, and feared this one wouldn't be as good but if anything some tracks are better! The songs sung in English are memorable (Especially "Etain", "Velvet heart" and my personal fave "Empty Horizon") and once again Liv Kristine has written some beautiful lyrics, sung equally as beautiful by her too.

I should also note that on previous albums Alexander Krull would growl on some songs, adding a "beauty and the beast" effect which i felt took away some of the effect on Njord, simply because it was used too much sometimes. However on Meredead, thankfully on most tracks there is no growling! Giving Livs voice the power to take you into her world of legends and love everlasting. Alexander does do some singing on "Empty Horizon", which adds a real feeling of love on both sides of a great divide, and perhaps Liv Kristine could explore this on future albums. There are songs sung in Norwegian, which sound beautiful in Livs mother tongue but my only quibble (which i guess is just nit picking really) is that it would have been brilliant if alongside the lyrics to the Norwegian tracks (or if it's a folk song, the lyrics provided), if a translation had been provided so people could get a deeper meaning of the music would have made this CD even more wonderful but i feel it's still a strong release from a band that could really go places.

As this is the Limited edition, This also comes with a bonus DVD! The DVD has footage from Leaves Eyes performance at the Metal Female Voices Festival 2010 in Belgium. There are 5 performances on the disc 1) Njord, 2) My Destiny, 3) Ragnarok, 4) Elegy and 5) Froya's Theme, all give a good performance of the music and its nice to see Alexander interacting with the crowd to get them jumping along! My only problems with the DVD were that the editing of the performaces gets a bit frantic at times e.g. focusing in Liv then frantically to the guitarists then the crowd in such a way that you cant really focus on anything! And also that the DVD is in NTSC format, meaning it will play correctly on some DVD players and on others it will be grainy and black and white. I tried mine on my Playstation 3 and it wouldnt play correctly but fortunately it plays correctly on my PC (which is about 6 years old) and i've been told that most, if not all, modern PCs will play NTSC format DVDs, as long as their either Region 2(the format used in England and europe i think) or Region 0 (all regions).

So overall, this is a strong release and very enjoyable, and at its current price of 6.99 it's a bargain!
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