Leaves' Eyes - Symphonies Of The Night

Leaves' Eyes - Symphonies Of The Night

(CD, Napalm Records, 2013)

It would be easy to present the new LEAVES' EYES album as another beauty-and-the-beast Gothic Metal release and conclude that this is “nothing you haven’t heard before” or by saying “this is only for the fans of this genre”. Although this approach saves time for the writer, it merely scratches the surface of what seems to me as the best LEAVES' EYES album thus far. Indeed, “Symphonies Of The Night” has a distinct character and many layers to peel off with every listening session, so brace yourself.

If you have a sweet tooth for female-fronted Metal bands then the name of Liv Kristine should ring many bells starting – of course – from THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. I think Liv has walked many miles from the day she parted ways with THEATRE OF TRAGEDY having established their personal music-ID working with the ATROCITY guys and forging the LEAVES’ EYES discography up until “Symphonies Of The Night”. This is a concept, or if you prefer a themed album, dealing with female historic or fictional characters and as Liv revealed to METAL KAOZ (listen the interview HERE) walks in parallel with THEATRE OF TRAGEDY’s “Aégis”. But do not expect cheesy and emotional music solely based on Liv’s mesmerizing vocals; the guitars have huge impact on the aggression of the album and you can taste this after the soft entrance of “Hell To The Heavens”. Sure, the keyboard-driven groove meets all the Gothic Metal requirements but Alexander Krull’s growling, the distinct riffs and the hard-hitting drums add heaviness to this equation. The minimum but most effective orchestrations work perfectly in songs like “Maid Of Lorraine” or in the Folk-esque “Galswintha” enhancing the beauty-and-the-beast antithesis and add points to the theatrical perspective of the lyrics. The title-track of the album shines via Liv’s wide range and powerful singing, while my personal favorite “Hymn To The Lone Sands” will trick you with the smooth clean-guitar based intro camouflaging itself as another atmospheric Gothic tune. No, the awesome guitar riff and the faster tempo will probably brand this as the heaviest song recorded by LEAVES’ EYES. Yeah, the growling vocals show up right on time for some headbanging action and later on will partner with Liv’s soprano singing to reach the powerful climax with some bagpipes melodies being the icing on the cake.

The most melodic “Ophelia” (the vocal lines are amazing and extremely catchy) is the best way to close this selection of stories, having another female character on the spotlight. The concept works perfect as the lyrics are nursing the sensitive side of each hero before exposing the toughness and the power via the guitar action and Alexander Krull’s Metal-way of singing. Like I said, “Symphonies Of The Night” is the best LEAVES’ EYES album (so far) and it would be such a shame to miss this, simply because you are not a fan of whatever has the ‘Gothic’ label on the side. Check the “Hell To The Heavens” video below to really get my saying...





01. Hell To The Heavens
02. Fading Earth
03. Maid Of Lorraine
04. Galswintha
05. Symphony Of The Night
06. Saint Cecelia
07. Hymn To The Lone Sands
08. Angel And The Ghost
09. Éléonore De Provence
10. Nightshade
11. Ophelia


Liv Kristine - Vocals
Alexander Krull - Vocals, Keyboards, Samples
Felix Born - Drums
Sander van der Meer - Guitar
Thorsten Bauer - Guitar