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Very good
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on 21 May 2017
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on 1 June 2017
Liv Kristine is one of my favourite singers, but other people often criticise her for giving “weak” vocal performances. On this release, I feel Liv has responded to her detractors by singing more consistently at her higher soprano range. There’s many moments where she still goes for the softer, angelic tones, but she frequently shows off her vocal range and produces the best work of her career. I also love the band’s choice of sound too; combining symphonic metal with strong folk metal elements. I often feel the guitars sound a bit generic or boring, but that’s not the focus; it’s in all the supporting instrumentation, and there’s plenty of it. The darker sound to the music suits Alexander Krull’s death growls, so I actually enjoy his contribution rather than being annoyed. I really like the concept of folk metal, but it’s rare for bands to succeed at it. However, ‘Symphonies of The Night’ realises it perfectly.
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on 3 January 2014
I don't know why some other reviewers haven't liked this album - I loved it!
As the title suggests, it has a darker feel to it than previous albums, with songs like 'Symphony of the Night', 'Ophelia', 'Nightshade' and 'One Caress' giving it a dark fairytale-forest kind of feel. It's got a great range of moods and scenes: the title song has a beautiful, operatic, somewhat lamenting sound, 'Hell to the Heavens' is a powerful and (from what I can see) very popular track, 'Fading Earth' is a simple but very strong, catchy and melody-based song with an epic film-soundtrack sound to it, 'Galswintha' is a folk dance-type number with a danse macabre feel, telling a sort of dark legend, similar to 'Angel and the Ghost' (another melody and story based song), and 'Ophelia' is an epic highlight that encapsulates all elements from the album, with a powerfully catchy melody in the chorus, soaring vocals from Liv, some Krull vocals in the bridge, a strong structure and the story of Ophelia behind it. There are also quiet, hauntingly beautiful ballads in the form of 'Nightshade', 'One Caress' and 'Eileen's Ardency', the last of which is a folky, Shakespearian-sounding song with a steady, hypnotic beat.
My one criticism - and I know that not everyone agrees on this! - is that there's a lot of Krull's vocals, and some songs, like 'Hymn to the Lone Sands' and 'Maid of Lorraine', I feel are just back-and-forth alternating patterns of Liv and Krull, therefore lacking some structure. Personally, I prefer the tracks with as little growling as possible.
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on 8 January 2014
This is no bad album but..., as one of the previous reviews states, there is something lacking. The last album, Meredead, exceeded all my expections and maybe I expected too much this time. The album could probably do with shedding two tracks and making it a bit more focused. For all that though this is a good listen but I feel that Liv's vocals are not what they were in her Theatre Of Tragedy days. I wonder where there is to go for Leaves Eyes without them becoming predictable.
Not the follow up I was hoping for.
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on 4 January 2014
A great album which is deceptively simple and easy on the ear. It just steamrolls along without any intricate, complicated or difficult passages to sway the momentum. I would say that Leaves Eyes are no longer Symphonic *Metal* but rather Symphonic Heavy Rock. The anarchistic edge of that Metal sound has gone and has been replaced by melodious and powerful rock tunes.

Liv's voice has never sounded so good. She is by far the most dominant voice on the album. There are male extreme vocals as well but not enough to interfere. Every song sounds confident and sure of itself. There is not one dud or filler on the whole album. Great tunes, great vocals and a great achievement in my opinion. This must be Leaves Eyes most self assured and accomplished album. It is however a simpler album too. With less experimentation and more focus on power and drive.

The album has a warmth and a richness to its character too. Every song sounds like a "power ballad". I really enjoyed it. It is another step forward for a great band.
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on 11 January 2014
Pre-ordered on strength of "Meredead" plus all earlier albums. Played once - underwhelmed. Left a few weeks then played again - still underwhelmed , hit the skip on several tracks down to "growling overload ". Several other songs set out promisingly enough but somehow lose their way down to either recycling too many bars from previous albums or even some straining in Liv's vocals not sounding quite right.

So what's up here? Well ,first, where "Meredead" was light on grunts/ growls from Alex compared to all Leaves Eyes previous albums, for me at least this album simply overdoses on them . Next, in some songs here Liv seems to be trying to develop a heavier "opera metal" vocal style only to sound as if she is trying to force her vocal chords beyond their natural range. As a folk-metal "whispering goddess" Liv has few equals, and has been equally entrancing in much of her "solo" work likeDeus Ex Machina

Sometimes a band needs an outside producer to bring out its best. Especially one ,as here, with several albums already under its belt. Alex has worn both his Mastersound Studio Producer and his band-member "hats" together on all these, until now nearly always to great effect. And any other band `s album I have that he has produced has always turned out very well.

For some reason though it just hasn't worked out near as well this time.
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on 18 November 2013
A great band and anticipated this album with excitement. Sadly, very disappointed. One of the most beautiful female vocalists ruined by the overuse of an average male 'singer'. First three tracks are especially weak but nothing compares to the last track - added as a bonus but they should not have bothered. Even when things do pick up and you begin to enjoy the album, another weak track ruins the mood. Tastes are subjective and many will disagree with my views, but Leaves Eyes are a brilliant band at their best and I suppose every band is allowed a weak album every now and then.
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on 11 January 2014
I agree with the other reviewers who have said that there is something lacking on this album. What is lacking is the complexity and interest of Meredead.
I like music which challenges me intellectually and musically. This does not. I am not saying it is bad; this is Leaves' Eyes - is anything they do ever going to be bad? I doubt it. The trouble with this album is that I liked it straight away and I know that this means that I will not like it for long. I will grow bored of it. By contrast, after many listens I am still getting to grips with Meredead; still hearing new things; still interested.

Having said that - this is a good album, just not great. It is definitely Leaves' Eyes. Liv's voice is very good, there are just the correct amount of growled vocals from Krull, it is powerful, heavy and a great listen. I just hope that LE aren't going to go the same way as Within Temptation and Sirenia and become too commercial. That would be a great shame.

If you are a fan of LE then I would definitely get it.
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on 14 January 2014
I have never liked Leaves eyes. I saw them at Bloodstock but I was not keen on their Nordic folk Viking metal. I think this album is heavier than previous outings. The vocals are more ethereal but they have the added bonus of a gruff metal singer to bulk up the sound. When they first came out their were many bands trying their hand at the Nightwish sound. Most of these bands have fallen by the wayside.
The production is great. Yeah the folk is still there but now there is opera in parts. Metal in others.
I love it.
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