Leaves’ Eyes - King of Kings

Leaves’ Eyes King of Kings cover
Leaves’ Eyes
King of Kings
AFM Records
Leaves’ Eyes have by this point released some six album, this one inclusive and their singer Liv Kristine has some solo releases under her belt is involved in Melodic Female Trio, The Sirens, along with Anneke and Kari and one cannot be dismissive of her past involvement with Theater Of Tragedy on some of their finest albums. In Leaves’ Eyes she’s supported by her husband’s band, Atrocity, whick here work as a backing band to weave some symphonic metal canvases sometimes with goth influences and sometimes not so. The folk traditions of Norweigian music also at times become prominent but the “metal” element is also strongly manifested through some pretty “heavy” metal riffs and Alex Krull’s occasional grunting… This is obviously not in the vein of TOT, but has more of a Nightwish slant of the bombastic style, perfected around “Once” or mid-era Epica, but done a lot heavier and in a much darker way without however dismissing all the accessible traits that stem from the symphonic approach. Choirs are often used and instrumentation is quite lush throughout.
Compared to the previous album(s) here because the theme is “Viking” inspired with even a matching Amon Amarth-ish sort of cover with warriors and the like, the folk influences are probably a bit more prominent but still the softer and more melodic approach is prevalent. It’s a weird mix and some might be dismissive but others may like it… I must give it to both Liv and Alex that they have both become quite better singers throughout the bands lifetime, which here affects their performances in the most positive way. A number of songs stand out straight away, like the title track, “Halvdan the Black”, “Sacred Vow”, the heavier “Edge of Steel”, which successfully features Epica’s Simone Simons & the much darker and folk tinged “Blazing Waters” featuring Wardruna’s Lindy-Fay Hella, which midway turns into a heavy symphonic storm… of a song.
Obviously the concept nature of the album maximizes its appeal when consumed as a whole but it can also be dissected and listened on a more song-specific basis as the songs have a tendency to be self contained. “King of Kings” as an album will probably not disappoint established fans but it’s unlikely to draw in many new ones, unless it acts as an introduction to the band.