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Thorsten Bauer - guitar (founding member)
Alexander Krull - keyboards, vocals (founding member)
Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull - lead vocals (founding member)
Sander van der Meer - guitar (Joined in 2010)
Roland Navratil - drums (Joined in 2010)
Leaves' Eyes (pronounced Liv's Eyes) is a German/Norwegian metal band founded by Gothic Metal icon, Liv Kristine and her partner Alexander Krull. Merging Krull's band Atrocity and making Liv the lead singer and forming Leaves' Eyes. The group mostly work in Gothic/Symphonic music with folk influences. A lot of their music is inspired by the viking age, Irish tales and mythology.
Meredead is the fourth studio album by the group. It was released on the 20th April 2011 under the label Napalm Records and produced by Krull. The mood of this album is pretty mixed, it is a bit dramatic, but there is some upbeat moments along with some tension. The folk and symphonic elements have heavily increased on this album and the atmosphere is a lot more present.
There are great improvements all round. The music is much more engaging, and the rhythm and lyrics are a lot more interesting. Even the most commercial tracks of the album, To France and Velvet Heart are wonderfully crafted and contagious. Even the production and engineering sounds crisp, but the biggest improvements of all are present in Liv's voice. I think she has one of the most versatile voices in music nowadays. I've always liked that fragile tone in her voice and also her soprano style. I like how she can sing in more than one style, and do them all pretty well. I also like how the album is multilingual. Music is a universal language itself, but Leaves' Eyes singing in their native language also gives it a very authentic vibe.
The album receives a stunning introduction with the gob-smacking Spirits's Masquerade. Starting the album off with marching drums and grand chants that makes the song title perfect. Dark and uplifting it creates the perfect start to the album. The grand return of Liv's soprano vocals add a great punch. To be honest, I didn't expect it from the group at all. It's defiantly my favourite track from the entire album.
"Velvet heart! Poison reaches my veins when you caress me.
I'm not alone: a deadly kiss in the dark " - From Velvet Heart
Another track I adore from the album is... well, I like them all. Étaín is quite similar to Nightwish's cover of Gary Moore's Over The Hills And Far Away because of fast paced rhythm and vocals. Velvet Heart is a track that stands out because it's heavy in terms of music, but lighthearted in terms of the playful lyrics. To France is a Mike Oldfield Cover, and is a pleasant track to listen to, I find the musical arrangements as pretty as the lady who sings them. The track doesn't really go anywhere, but is still nice to listen to. My second favourite track from the album is Meredead, it has the right blends of folk and symphonies and Liv's voice soars in maturity and I like the use of choirs and guitar solos.
The second half of the album is just as good and continues the uplifting symphonic folk metal. I'd say the second half is a lot more folk on the first half and work. Sigrilinn offers a traditional gothic metal tune with some good growls on Krull's part giving a demonic edge. Empty Horizons is one of the most darker tracks of the album, it's quite slow compared to the rest of the tracks but serves as an admirable ballad.
The album closes with a sharp folky ballad called Tell-Tale Eyes. Very celtic and acoustic duet between Liv Kristine and John Kelly from Elfenthal. I think it makes a decent change from the boombastic themes from before. I think the vocals blend fine together. I think the deep lyrics stand out on this track. There is one bonus track that has some grungy guitars, but sounds very fresh. Quite a worthy bonus track. It's not my favourite, but I'm starting to like that track the more I listen to it.
"For centuries and centuries we stepped on our enemies
To make them speak to make them bleed." - From Tell-Tale Eyes
I love this album because it bursts with so much life and energy. I plan to listen to it again. I'd say that this is their best album so far, but I haven't listened to Vinland Saga in full yet. A lot of people have commented that the album was much better than they expected and one that defiantly surprised them. I'd recommend it.
1. Spirits' Masquerade - "Welcome to the lonely holy spirit's masquerade." 5/5
2. Étaín - "Fly my butterfly precious bird you fill his soul with magic." 5/5
3. Velvet Heart - "This curse will never disappear." 5/5
4. Kråkevisa 5/5
5. To France - "Taking on water, sailing a restless sea from a memory, a fantasy." 5/5
6. Meredead 5/5
7. Sigrlinn 5/5
8. Mine Tåror er ei Grimme 5/5
9. Empty Horizon - "I miss you like I'm losing my own life." 5/5
10. Veritas - "Nananananana!" 4/5
11. Nystev 5/5
12. Tell-Tale Eyes - "Build me a coffin, Lock it with a million nails" 4/5
13. Sorhleod (Bonus Track) 3.5/5