Archive for Atrocity

Interview with Liv Kristine [Leaves’ Eyes]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 20th February 2014 by Nico Davidson

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Valkyrian Music editor Nico catches up Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine for a fourth interview, where the two talk about the new Leaves’ Eyes album Symphonies of the Night as well as Liv’s recent collaboration with Savn and keeping to the tradition, a discussion about Game of Thrones as well.

Nico: It’s nice to meet you again Liv, how are you doing?

Liv: Nice to meet you. I’m very good, how are you?

Nico: I’m pretty good, thanks.

Liv: That’s good to hear.

Nico: First question is a bit of a generic, obvious one: how has the tour gone so far?

Liv: Absolutely amazing. We played in Nottingham last night. It was our first time in Nottingham and we had a fully packed venue. It was such a warm welcoming. And Cardiff was great as well. Really really nice. So this was such a nice beginning of 2014. 2013 was so busy, really busy. So being back in the UK is just lovely.

Nico: Good to hear. The new album Symphonies of the Night focuses on female figures from both history and literature. How did this concept come about? Because it’s not a concept that is usually found in the metal scene.

Liv: Well that is probably due to the fact that I’m writing all the lyrics. I’ve always been interested in languages, literature and Viking mythology as we talked about last time in the last interview. But this time I thought that Symphonies of the Night has a very strong and delicate side to it. “The Beauty and the Beast” concept is very very strong on this album. Eileen’s Ardency and Saint Cecelia were the first two songs composed for this album and there you go: you have two female characters already. And I thought “all right, this is a very good starting point!” I told my band members and they were like: “yes, lovely! We’ll go for that!

Nico: It’s an interesting concept. It’s somewhat fresh and new for the metal scene as well, which is good because today there are a lot more females who are becoming fans of metal, whereas back in the ’80 it was more male-oriented.

Liv: Yes, definitely!

Nico: Obviously now you’ve got more bands with female vocalists showing up on the scene. Obviously you guys in Leaves’ Eyes, Epica, Nightwish et cetera as well as lesser known bands like Aonia, Hell City from Belgium, Azylya from Belgium, Ex Libris from Holland et cetera. While we are on the topic of the new album, how’s the reception been from both the media and the fans?

Liv: It’s been fantastic. It feels very comfortable to stand where I’m standing with my band right now, and also last year we had our 10 year anniversary. Before starting to compose new songs, in 2012, we all sat down and talked about what to do and what concept, musical direction and all that. And I just said ok, we have a 10 year anniversary so feel free everybody to let in any influence you would like into music. And that’s what happened: we just went with the creative flow. We’ve been very open minded about this production and I think that was a healthy and sound way to do it. So it feels great and the feedback from both press and fans, friends all over the world has just been fantastic. It sums up all the good things about Leaves’ Eyes. Some journalist said, and to me as well, that it’s the perfect beginning of another 10 years of Leaves’ Eyes.

Nico: Personally I enjoyed the new album. It’s something different, compared to previous Leaves’ Eyes albums.

Liv: It is!

Nico: Like Vinland Saga and Njord being more Viking influenced and Symphonies of the Night focuses on something completely different to many people. Folk would be possible, I don’t know if that’s the correct term to use.

Liv: Yes I know what you mean. Me and my band members, we saw how the creative process went on and how the album came together. We saw that there was a new direction to it, with many new elements in our music. A new concept, new lyrics and all that. But still, it’s Leaves’ Eyes! That’s the good thing about it! We don’t have to invent ourselves again because I’ve been around for 20 years and the members even longer. Everything is based on experience and love towards music. That’s it.

Nico: That’s the way to go. Speaking of Leaves’ Eyes, Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity have been touring together recently. How did this idea occur?

Liv: I think it’s a nice idea, it’s a good idea. Although it’s tough to do double time every night. It’s a lot of work, a lot of sweat. Atrocity’s latest album Okkult is a pure death metal album and I think that’s a very nice contrast in the live program. I enjoy that more than Atrocity playing Work 80 because I don’t think that would fit so well with Leaves’ Eyes.

Nico: You’ll be playing the 70,000 tons of Metal festival soon. Are you looking forward to that?

Liv: Very much! I’ll be travelling with my whole family so I’m really looking forward to that.

Nico: The last two interviews have always ended up with something regarding Game of Thrones, so to stick to tradition: what’s your favourite moment in Game of Thrones?

Liv: Oh I can tell you what was not my favourite moment! That was the final scene of the last season: The Red Wedding. I was shocked!

Nico: When I read it in the books I was picturing so many different ways that they could do it in the television series and they just completely shocked me. They did it so brilliantly.

Liv: Yeah, absolutely. It’s brilliantly done but I didn’t want it to be that way! *laughs*

Nico: Rob Stark is young, a bit arrogant and stuff but they could’ve at least spared him for a little bit longer.

Liv: Exactly. My favourite moment… Hmm… There are just too many of them. I really love the series. But still, I was shocked after the final scene of the latest season. I couldn’t sleep! *laughs*

Nico: Just for the fun of it, another Game of Thrones question: if you could write a song about any event in the Game of Thrones universe, which one would it be and why?

Liv: Oh I would love to write a songs about the wolf pack. The boy seeing through the eyes of the wolf.

Nico: I think that would be pretty cool actually. On to the last question. You are appearing on Savn’s debut album, which is making it the first ever collaboration with a band with your sister Carmen. Are you looking forward to it?

Liv: I’m really looking forward to it. Carmen had the idea to do a project next to Midnattsol and she gathered some very good musicians: some of them are from Sins of Thy Beloved. They came to Germany to Mastersound studio to record the first album and Carmen joined me for Eileen’s Ardency. I said in return I will join you on a song of your choice. That was a very nice thing. I’m looking forward to the album. It will remind you of the early Theatre of Tragedy days.

Nico: Sounds good.

Liv: Yes, very good.

Nico: I think I speak for a lot of fans of Liv Kristine when I say that we are looking forward to it.

Liv: Thank you very much.

Nico: You’re welcome. Thank you for your time and I hope you have a good show tonight.

Liv: I hope you will enjoy it too! Although it’s pretty cold out tonight, I think we will be sweating since we have a full house. I’m really looking forward to it. Thank you so much for being here.

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.de
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

 

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Tyr unveil video for The Lay Of Our Love featuring Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Faroese Jarls of Viking metal Týr have unveiled the video for The Lay Of Our Love, which features Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes. The song is taken from Týr’s latest musical edda Valkyrja, which was released via Metal Blade Records and is the band’s follow-up to their 2011 release The Lay Of Thrym. The clip was produced by Stanimir Lukic, directed by Ivan Colic, and can be seen below.

Tyr online:

http://tyr.fo
http://facebook.com/tyrband

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Leaves Eyes w/Support – Manchester, UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 29th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Leaves’ Eyes, Pyhtia and Atrocity
Sound Control, Manchester
Friday 17th January 2014

It’s been almost two since Leaves’ Eyes graced the shores of Britain and even longer since Atrocity brought death metal-styled annihilation to the UK. For the UK leg of the tour, London metal band Pythia were added to the line-up as main support, which was an interesting decision but certainly didn’t affect the turn out in Manchester.

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Atrocity opened up the show with their heavy-than-a-ton-of-bricks song Pandaemonium before the set transited into the snarling riffs of Haunted By Demons. Frontman Alexander Krull worked the crowd as if he was some gigantic puppeteer, influencing the movements and reactions of the crowd with each fierce vocal line and every bang of his head and whip of his hair. The howling guitars and thunderous rhythm sections answered the calls of each other throughout Atrocity’s set, leaving no questions unanswered. For the performance of Satan’s Braut, Alex invited two members of the crowd up onto the stage to dance throughout the song, much to the approval of both the crowd and the band. Death By Metal was the pinnacle of Atrocity’s set however, melding in with the blazing lightshow perfectly.

[4.5/5]

LeavesEyes-Manchester-2014 077Pythia were the next band on the bill, taking their place as main support. As they appeared on stage, each one looked like a warrior or a hero or something from a fantasy RPG or film. Vocalist Emily, despite technical issues during in the first song, showed her vocal dominance with a barrage of high notes and soprano vocals. The use of programmed keyboards didn’t add to the mystical atmosphere of Pyhtia’s songs but the sweeping riffs, domineering percussion and impressive stage show more than made up for that. The band’s performance of Betray My Heart appeared to go down a treat with those in attendance, both new and old Pythia fans alike. And speaking of fans, the band certainly made some new ones in Manchester.

[4/5]

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With an enchanting stage presence, Liv Kristine rose onto the stage like a valkyrie, after her band mates had first appeared. Starting up with the catchy tune of Galswintha the band pursued Take The Devil In Me. One thing that was noticeable throughout the performance was the lack of a bassist, though the use of guitars and programming filled that void, working well with Liv’s angelic vocals and Alex’s harsher, bestial styling. The guitars cut through the atmosphere of the show, being heard perfectly from every part of the venue, summoning up their heavy, driving and somewhat hypnotic riffs. Farewell Proud Men made an appearance throughout Leaves’ Eyes’ set, as did Velvet Heart and Frøya’s Theme. Their Hell To The Heavens sounded darker and heavier live than what it does on the album, showing that Leaves’ Eyes new sound is adaptable for situations including for the live show.

[5/5]

Manchester has seen a lot of shows but nothing quite like Leaves’ Eyes, Pythia and Atrocity all under one roof. Epic? No, that’s not quite the word but it will have to do for now.

Nico Davidson

 

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Interview with Alexander Krull [Atrocity]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 29th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

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Nico got settled down in Manchester earlier this month for a chat with Alexander Krull, the voice of Germany’s death metal powerhouse Atrocity.

Nico: Nice to meet you Alex, how are you doing?

Alex: Nice to meet you. I’m fine. Fantastic tour in the UK. We’re happy to be back.

Nico: It’s been a while since Atrocity last played the UK. Has the Atrocity fanbase changed since you last were here or is it pretty much still the same?

Alex: The people we met before appeared at the show, so they are pretty much the same. I think they all liked the new album, the Okkult album. We got some really good feedbacks so we are happy that we were able to do this tour. On the other side we have been touring through many countries with both bands, Atrocity and Leaves’ Eyes, like 40 countries or more. It’s a little bit of a pity if you have a circle consisting of studio, album, touring. But maybe one tour is not happening and you go on tour with the next album, so there can be a long time in between.

Nico: If you were booked to play a festival and you get to play only one Atrocity album, which one would it be and why?

Alex: At the moment, the Okkult album. Obviously because it’s the brand new album and the songs are doing very well, so that would be the choice of the moment.

Nico: Speaking of festivals, does Atrocity have any festival plans for this year?

Alex: Yeah, it’s still in the making, but bring us back to the UK if possible!

Nico: I’m sure something can be arranged, maybe Bloodstock?

Alex: Yeah that would be awesome! We’ve played there with Leaves’ Eyes, it was amazing, it was really good. Yes maybe somebody wants to bring us back with Leaves’ Eyes or Atrocity, I don’t care!

Nico: Let’s hope so.

Alex: I mean, there are festivals coming up but I can’t tell which ones. Two new ones are coming up soon on Facebook or the page, you will see.

Nico: Okkult was released last year like you said, and it’s the first part of a trilogy. Have you started on the second part of the trilogy?

Alex: Yes, actually we recorded one song before we left for the UK. But it will take a while. I mean, we will play after this tour in North America and Puerto Rico for four weeks. That’s the situation we are in now : we are touring and playing festivals. After North America we are going back to Europe so there will be time to write and record songs. But it’s also cool to grab the energy from the shows, the experiences that we have, to write new songs.

Nico: I imagine it’s still a bit early to be talking about the second part of the trilogy, but what can fans expect from the second part?

Alex: I think you ask this question is because we have had a lot of changes within the bands history and diversity in music. But the Okkult concept is based on this epic backstory let’s say, like we have on the first album. I think we are going to keep that style which is already quite diverse. I’ve heard from some press people that they were a little bit afraid that people would not understand everything on the album. They were a little bit like ‘what?’. It’s up to the fans and I think it’s good to have a diverse album. So we are going to follow in the footsteps of the first one and develop the style. There will probably be some changes, we don’t want to be a boring band. We’re always looking for new challenges.

Nico: Are there any releases by other bands that you are looking forward to this year?

Alex: Let me think..there are a few but the thing is, I’m not sure if they are going to release next year or this year. Who’s releasing something?

Nico: There are a few bands, it’s hard to keep track of it all to be honest.

Alex: You know, who announced they were going on tour with a new record.. Was it Live or whoever? Not a metal band but I would love to see a new album of them too.

Nico: From previous interviews with Liv, I understand that you are a Game of Thrones fan. If you could be any character from the Game of Thrones universe, who would it be and why?

Alex: Wow. Okay, I think the character is dead already! Ned Stark.

Nico: Good choice! Apart from the fact he’s dead…

Alex: I didn’t read the books but yeah, that was not like in other movies… [makes chopping movement with hand] over-out!

Nico: That was one of the most impressive moments for me in the Game of Thrones universe, apart from the Red Wedding.

Alex: Yeah, the Red Wedding, I saw some reactions to that on the internet.., It was quite heavy.

Nico: It was brilliant how they did it on TV especially if you read the books as well. Because I knew it was coming so I was like “no no, not this season, not this episode! Do it another time! Please for the love of God!”

Alex: [laughs] Yeah it was quite interesting to see some reactions when they cursed the directors: “ how can they do that, the characters die!”. It’s written in the books, so..

Nico: Some fans take it a bit overboard so..,

Alex: Yeah I’m looking forward to watch the new season. I think it starts in april? Yesi *two thumbs up*

Nico: Thanks for you time Alex, I hope you have a good show tonight.

Alex: Thank you!

Nico: You’re welcome.

Alex: See you guys!

Atrocity online:

http://facebook.com/AtrocityOfficial
http://twitter.com/atrocitypage

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Leaves’ Eyes Cardiff show venue change

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 4th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian-Germanic symphonic folk metallers Leaves’ Eyes, who are fronted by Liv Kristine, are hitting the UK later this month for a tour with Atrocity and Pythia, in support of their latest – and darkest – masterpiece Symphonies of the Night.

Following the recent closure of Bogiez in Cardiff, Leaves’ Eyes will now be playing The Globe, Cardiff on 15th January. Further information can be found here. Full UK tour dates are as follow:

15th January   CARDIFF – The Globe
16th January   NOTTINGHAM – Basement
17th January   MANCHESTER – Sound Control
18th January   BIRMINGHAM – Temple
19th January   LONDON – Garage

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.de
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

Leaves’ Eyes confirm North America tour with Atrocity

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 13th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

Once their Asian and European dates are finished, Norwegian-German symphonic metal power house Leaves’ Eyes will embark on tour around North America with Atrocity, both of which will be touring as support to Moonspell. Leaves’ Eyes have confirmed that the North American shows will be in support of their recent dark masterpiece Symphonies of the Night, so American and Canadian fans can expect to hear new material live for the first time and Atrocity will be unleashing songs from their latest piece of brutal musicianship Okkult.

Tour dates are as follow:

31.01.14 USA Fort Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
01.02.14 USA Orlando, FL The Haven
03.02.14 USA Ft. Worth, TX Rail Club
04.02.14 USA Albuquerque, NM Blackwater Music
05.02.14 USA Phoenix, AZ Joe’s Grotto
06.02.14 USA Ramona, CA Ramona Mainstage
07.02.14 USA Oakland, CA Metro Opera House
08.02.14 USA Portland, OR Alhambra Theater
09.02.14 USA Seattle, WA Studio Seven
10.02.14 CAN Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre
11.02.14 CAN Edmonton, AB Pawn Shop
13.02.14 USA Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
14.02.14 USA Kansas City, MO Riot Room
15.02.14 USA Chicago, IL Reggies
16.02.14 USA Reading, PA Reverb
17.02.14 USA New York, NY Gramercy
18.02.14 CAN Montreal, QC Foufounes Electriques
19.02.14 CAN Ottawa, ON Ritual
20.02.14 CAN Toronto, ON Mod Club

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.de
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

Leaves’ Eyes release official trailer for Symphonies of the Night

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 4th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

German-Norwegian symphonic metallers Leaves’ Eyes have released the official trailer for their upcoming album, Symphonies of the Night, which will be released in the UK on 18th November via Napalm Records. The trailer is available for viewing below. The album was produced by Atrocity frontman and husband of Liv Kristine (Leaves’ Eyes vocalist), Alexander Krull at his Mastersound Studio in Germany. Liv‘s sister, Carmen Elise Espenæs (MidnatsolSavn) once again features on the album.

Symphonies Of The Night track listing:

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
12. Eileen’s Ardency (bonus track)*
13. One Caress (bonus track)**

* feat. Carmen Elise Espenæs (Midnatsol, Savn)
** Depeche Mode cover

Leaves’ Eyes will also be touring the UK (excluding Northern Ireland and Scotland) in January with Atrocity and Pythia. Tour dates are as follows:

15.01.14 UK – Cardiff, Bogiez
16.01.14 UK – Nottingham, Basement
17.01.14 UK – Manchester, Sound Control
18.01.14 UK – Birmingham, Temple
19.01.14 UK – London, Garage

Leaves’ online:

http://leaveseyes.de
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

 

Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies of the Night

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 31st October 2013 by Nico Davidson

Leaves’ Eyes
Symphonies of the Night
Released 18th November
Symphonic Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Leaves’ Eyes are virtually a household name on the symphonic metal scene. Made up of former Theatre of Tragedy vocalist Liv Kristine and the gentlemen of Atrocity (excluding Joris), Leaves’ Eyes have made themselves a lasting career built upon their combination of symphonic elements, use of multiple languages, folk influences and finely tuned musicianship. The latest milestone in Leaves’ Eyes‘s longstanding legacy is Symphonies of the Night, the follow up to their 2012 release Meredead.

Hell to The Heavens starts the album with a powerful use of Liv‘s vocals and gentle symphonic passages underlying her distinctive voice before the fierce roar of guitars make themselves heard, alongside Alex‘s snarling voices. The track is heavily tragic, like one of Shakespeare‘s plays put to music. There are softer sections though they are few and between but focus on the strong use of keyboards.

Fading Earth is a complete change of direction, paying more attention to the finer details of the melody, allowing Liv‘s voice to still soar higher than an eagle while Sander‘s and Thorsten‘s paint an image of feeling. Maid Of Lorraine rings with a typical Celtic atmosphere, the kind that any Leaves’ Eyes fan will be familiar with. Again, there is attention paid to the details of the guitars and Alex‘s vocals come booming out like a volley of cannonballs thundering over the battlefield, dripping with vehemence, contrasting with Liv‘s celestial voice that floats ever so majestically above the enchanting symphonic passages.

The hypnotic and poignant medievalesque instrumentation opens up the folktastic track Galswintha, a track based on the daughter of the Visigothic king of Hispania, Athanagild.  Liv‘s vocals adjust perfectly to the change of style in the music, her voice almost jigging alongside the music, while the Celtic and medieval medleys fly overheard like a murder of ravens in the night sky. The title track, Symphony of the Night, has a touch of Edgar Allen Poe-tinted darkness flowing through its proverbial veins, spilling forth waves of tainted keyboards and virulent guitars with a strong flow of somber vocals. Felix‘s use of drumming helps support the growing Plutonian sound of the song, as well as the ghastly atmosphere.

With a name like Saint Cecelia you’d expect the song to be lighter in its sound but you couldn’t be more wrong. Stygian shades of dusk whisper from the symphonic passages and echo form Liv‘s voice throughout the duration of the song, The use of choir vocals adds their own touch of shade to the dusk that surrounds the song. Hymn To the Lone Sands radiantly whispers out a gentle, soothing medley that is very soul filling until the storm of guitars and drums comes blowing a gale, accompanied by the hurricane of Alex‘s and Liv‘s vocals. Angel And The Ghost is the most tender track of the album, even with the heavy strike of guitars – Though it’s not the music that makes it tender, but the lyrical content. The guitars and the drums keep the backbone of the song going strong, with the lyrics and vocals making up the compassionate flesh – Save for the speech that Liv speaks of death and ghosts and leaving a head at someone’s feet.

Éléonore De Provence tells the story of the Queen consort of England, Eleanor, in the uniquely poetic fashion that Leaves’ Eyes have become masters of. The chorus is memorable, epical and lyrical, while the verses ring out with a touch of romanticism. Nightshade is a velvety piece of workings, allows the vocals to gently glide across the calm ocean of symphonies before the waxing and waning storm of Ophelia makes its presence known in a charming and alluring manner of symphonic lines and mountainous riffs, with a bulwark use of drums and silky vocals.

Leaves’ Eyes have again painted a masterpiece of music and lyrics, combining all their strongest elements and sailing their ship into unknown waters to create Symphonies of the Night. Taking female figures from both history and literature, they have portrayed them in a romantic way that will immortalise them and allow their stories to be heard through a diverse pallet of musical colours, whilst allowing the evolution of Leaves’ Eyes‘s sound at the same time. 

5/5

Nico Davidson

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://www.leaveseyes.de/
http://www.facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

 

Leaves’ Eyes announce Symphonies Of The Night World Tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 5th October 2013 by Nico Davidson

German-Norwegian symphonic metallers Leaves’ Eyes have announced the first run of tour dates for the Symphonies of the Night world tour. Joining them on the tour will be Atrocity, who are fronted by Leaves’ Eyes co-vocalist Alexander Krull. The tour will begin at the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium later this month. The first two dates of the tour will not feature Atrocity.

Tour dates are as follow:

19.10.2013 BE – Wieze, MFVF XI
Tickets available here.

26.10.2013 RO – Bucharest, Maximum Rock Festival
Tickets available here.

27.10.2013 BG – Sofia, Club Mixtape 5 *
Tickets available here.

12.11.2013 IT – Brescia, Circolo Colony **
Tickets available here.

13.11.2013 DE – Nürnberg, Rockfabrik **
Tickets available here.

14.11.2013 AT – Vienna, Szene **
Tickets available here.

15.11.2013 DE – Essen, Turock (CD Release Show) **
Tickets available here.

16.11.2013 NL – Sneek, Bolwerk **
Tickets available here.

17.11.2013 NL – Rotterdam, Baroeg **
Tickets available here.

20.11.2013 CN – Beijing, Yu Gong Live House *
21.11.2013 CN – Shanghai, Mao Live House *
23.11.2013 TW – Taipei, The Wall Live House *
27.11.2013 TH – Bangkok, The Rock Pub *

14.12.2013 RU – St. Petersburg, Arctica Club
Tickets available here.

15.12.2013 RU – Moscow, Moscow Hall
Tickets available here.

* with Atrocity
** with Atrocity & Special Guests

Further tour dates are to be announced.

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.com
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity confirmed for unique double bill at Masters of Rock 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 4th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Both Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity have been confirmed for this year’s Masters of Rock in Vizovice in the Czech Republic. The two acts, the former of which is composed of members of the latter, will take to the stage for 70 minutes in one concert. The announcement was made on the official Leaves’ Eyes Facebook page.

Masters of Rock 2013 will take place over the weekend of 11th – 14th July in Vizovice, which is located in the Czech Republic.

In related news, Leaves’ Eyes are also working on their next album, Symphonies of the Night, which is expected for a late 2013 release through Napalm Records.

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://www.leaveseyes.com
https://www.facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

 

Interview with Atrocity

Posted in Featured, Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 17th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Atrocity have been smashing their sound in the ears of listeners – both willing and unwilling – since 1985 when the band first formed. With the release of their eighth studio album, Okkult, just around the corner, Nico grabs hold of the band and gets the info on the latest album, amongst other things.

Nico: Okkult will be dealing, lyrically, with occult magics, conspiracy theories and other concepts. What inspired the band to write about these subjects?

Alex: Well, Okkult features some very obscure stories actually. I was always very much into history, legends, myths and the dark backgrounds and secrets of mankind and researching them from different sources. The idea to start the Okkult trilogy came up after the release of the Atlantis record [2004]. The research of the Atlantis secrets have been very inspiring, so the next step was to make an epic trilogy about the mysteries of the world. An even bigger challenge and concept, this is why we decided to make an album trilogy. Yes, the lyrics relate to occult magic, mysterious places, conspiracy theories and mysteries that are still unsolved. Actually it’s great to take the listener and ourselves on a heavy trip through the dark and mysterious tales, happenings and places of all times. We digged out some very obscure stories like the super sinister lady La Voisine (we use this pronunciation of the name). This song tells a dark chapter in the history of mankind. It’s set in Paris of the 17th Century and is about Catherine Monvoisin, which was known as La Voisin, as a witch and poisoner. She told the fortune for money, selling poisons and love potions, magic plant and broke off unwanted pregnancies. She and the former priest Abbé de Guibourg celebrated black masses, where also infants were sacrificed which she had previously bought from the poor people. The blood of the children they used as ingredients in potions, too. She was booked by many members of the nobility, among others, the mistress of King Louis XIV, Madame de Montespan, who wanted to get through the black masses more power and influence in society. Madame de Montespan used the potions in order to get the love of King Ludwig upright, and she mixed the potions in his food and drink. There were rumours that members of the nobility were killed by poison, and so research was driven. One day a young woman from the aristocratic circle close to King Ludwig died. Then investigations were intensified to find the poisoners’ source and to smash the conspiracy. La Voisine and other witches of the Paris witch circle were arrested. Due to the good contacts with the mistress remained La Voisine long spared from torture. Nevertheless, she was sentenced to death at the end in the: Affaire des Poisins. La Voisine was executed. Later, they found the remains of 2,500 infants in her backyard of her house, and so after La Voisine‘s death, the entire extent of her cruel deeds were obvious. The paradox of the story: It turned out that the young woman died of natural causes and she was not poisoned, like many other nobles.

Nico: Speaking of occult magics and all topics related to them. What are your personal thoughts and views on the occult?

Alex: Like I mentioned, I’ve always been into dark topics and the obscure side of mankind’s history in connection with strange, supernatural or unsolved backgrounds and events! The occult is really fascinating to myself and probably many other people. I find it a superb way of “switching off” daily life stress digging my nose into heaps of books and sources of this kind of literature. And this topic is not only about black magic like many people think in nowaday’s society. There was a period of time when science had to do research and works in the shadows because religion condemned it as the “devil’s work”. An overall important aspect in Okkult is the intersection of power, politics and religion in our world. Because religion and superstition occur exactly where the man pushes his knowledge to its limits, primal fears  can take control over the mind. This concludes in a policy based on the principle of fear. Religion and politics play on the fears of the people, thus they control. For mankind the greatest fear is darkness. The best example is processed in the song Masaya (Boca del Infierno). The cave system of the volcano in Nicaragua Masaya was regarded as an input for the indigenous population in the dark underworld. To ward off evil spirits, there were rituals of human sacrifice. When the Spanish conquerors emerged in Masaya, there was a cross erected to exorcise the devil. The Spanish conquerors thought that this was one of the entrances to hell. Two completely different cultures with different languages and peoples, and yet a common fear…

Nico: How do you feel that Okkult will differ from previous Atrocity releases?

Sander: From my perspective, no Atrocity album has ever been similar to another and the band have always just did artistically what is in the heart with really no boundaries or rules.  I think this album is in a way coming full circle and reconnecting with the metal roots of the band. In my opinion this album feels maybe like a logical step forward from the Atlantis album and I think it’s a mix between the classic death metal albums, the Atlantis record and new added influences that go from black metal to modern sounding metal. It’s also the best and heaviest sounding production on an Atrocity record ever.

Tosso: On Okkult there are some elements in which can also be found on the first two Atrocity albums, like 5/4 bar blast beats, et cetera. But all in all the intention was to make lyrics, artwork and music fit together very well… to obtain this kind of “okkult sound”. Moreover, it is a question about a basic band concept. There are bands being very happy doing the same music for decades. I don’t think that’s the concept of Atrocity. Nevertheless, the Okkult trilogy will have a clear line in all three parts. So Okkult II and Okkult III will certainly follow the paths of the first Okkult album.

Nico: Which tracks do you feel stand out the most on Okkult?

Alex: Tricky question. If I were to choose a track that represents the complete core and idea behind Okkult, the song Pandaemonium stands out for me due to its epic but at the same time brutal character. It is viciously aesthetic in every aspect. Well, it’s hard to say anyway.

Sander: I rather think of the album as a whole piece, every song has it’s own feel and atmosphere and it’s own identity and has it’s own role to play on the album musically and lyrically. I think that makes the album special although the songs differ they still are part of one homogenous soundscape.

Nico: Kate Halliday provided the finishing touches for Okkult, what was it like working with her? And do you feel that her experience has added new dynamics and feeling to Atrocity’s sound?

Alex: The cooperation with the Canadian sound designer Katie Halliday (SAW movies) was supercool, she made some really dark atmopsheric sound effects! We met Katie on tour in Canada. As we told her about the Okkult concept, she was excited to take part in such a huge metal production. As she is a big metal fan, too.

Tosso: We wanted to have a very dark atmosphere on the album, just like in the great old horror movies. You find these elements in the orchestra on Okkult and of course also on Katie’s great sound effects, that she contributed to the album. If you just listen to the opening track of the album “Pandæmonium” you’ll get an idea of what I’m trying to describe. It leaves a hell of impression on the listeners!

Nico: What song do you feel defines Atrocity as a whole?

Tosso: I guess you need several songs from the different periods of Atrocity if you want to describe or sum up all facettes of the band. My personal top 11 would be then: Blue Blood, Deep In Your Subconscious, Necropolis, BLUT, Calling The Rain, Love Is Dead, The Great Commandment, Reich of Phenomena, Relax, Call of Yesteryear, Pandaemonium.

Alex: Yes, I agree. These songs represent the varied side of Atrocity very well! Reich of Phenomena and Pandaemonium are both of my fave songs of the band, they perfectly reflect the combination of epic brutality! To put our compositions and albums in an over-all view, past to present, I think Okkult contains many elements from our musical past, especially the very heavy stuff from our 1990’s album releases but also Atlantis. Death by Metal is the best example for that: Our tribute to Death Metal actually contains the main riffs of the song, which I wrote originally in 1991 and also brand new riffs! So Okkult combines our roots with new musical ideas, and this is simply a new era for Atrocity after such a long history of challenging metal music! Anyway, I would like to mention Blut because it has put a mark on me, personally and artistically. Blut reminds me of our video shoot on the Corvin Castle in Transylvania. We did some research for the location for the video shoot and arrived there one night after driving the whole way by car during extreme Romanian winter landscapes on terrible road conditions. Instantly there was an eerie atmosphere in the castle and we had the feeling of not being alone. I needn’t say more, it still gives me the creeps. Moreover, the video shoot months later was very strange, too, to say it straight. It is said every room has its own history with its own soul. Some things can not always be explained scientifically. I am a so called atheist and still believe that there is definitely more things to this world, we can’t easily detect with our senses completely. Atrocity is a band who stand for revelation of mysteries, surprises, extremes and contrasts. You might actually get blown away, hehe.

Nico: Do Atrocity have any plans for a UK tour in support of the new album?

Tosso: We had many great shows in the past with Atrocity. I remember great shows in the UK already on my very first tour in 1994 when Atrocity toured with Obituary through Europe and the UK. So hopefully we get a chance to be back in the UK.

Alex: The UK death-metal scene of the 90s is one of a kind. By the way I organised the first Euro Death Metal Festivals and the our first Euro tour together with UK legends Carcass in 1990. Great times! And yes, bring us back, we would love to tour the UK again!

Nico: If you could replace the soundtrack to any film with your own music, which one would it be and why?

Tosso: The Okkult album would be a cool soundtrack for one the old Vincent Price horror movies… That would be an awesome combination.

Alex: Vincent Price, yes, killer idea! The first Nosferatu movie by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and the remake with Klaus Kinski is in my view one of the highlights in dark horror movie productions. Love the vibe of these classics!Why not putt Haunted by Demons in one of these movies? Haha, I guess Todesstimmen would be a perfect match for a Horror movie trailer!

Nico: What are your thoughts on the current metal scene? And do you feel its changed since the formation of Atrocity?

Tosso: I think it changed a lot. Metal has developed many different sub genres, which is cool on the one hand, because you have a colourful scene. We gave our input to open the scene up a little more. On the other hand sometimes I miss new bands that every metal head can identify with. The technical progress and internet have also changed things pretty much. Its very easy nowadays to record music on your own and put it on the internet, especially for young bands. But the negative aspect in my opinion is that too many new albums sound like the same and musicians lose the relation to their instruments. Atrocity started as an underground band with no commercial intention, just excited to play their own music, I think that helped to form the character of the band.

Nico: If you could go back to when you first became a musician and give yourself any advice, what would it be and why?

Alex: Time runs fast… We’ve gathered a lot of experience through a great number of cooperations, connections and friendships. Generally said, a good and solid basis both within the band, and between band and so-called “partners” is, in my opinion, based on values like honesty, trust and fairness, which my band mates and myself always have struggled to keep upright. These values are incredibly important to me, personally and professionally. It is something I have always fought for, and that’s my main advice to myself, my friends and band mates and everybody else. I just can’t accept unfairness, a thing that also has infected the music business more and more over the years. Besides that, do the music you love – and that’s what we always did!

Nico: This one is a fan question. Have you ever considered doing more extreme metal and has it ever appeal to you?

Tosso: If you listen to the Okkult album, you will realize that this is definitely one driving force in this musical trilogy: We enjoy writing and playing extreme and brutal metal music. So, to answer your question, yes, we consider and will play more extreme metal on the Okkult trilogy.

Nico: Another fan question and probably the strangest I’ve ever had to ask. This one is for you, Alex. How did you get your hair so long?

Alex: Well, I guess it’s due to the good genes, haha. My father is turning 85 and still has thick hair. My wife keeps complaining about the high amount of hair products that is needed every week, haha… Not really, just kidding. People actually ask me always for advices, and it’s a simple answer: Don’t cut your hair, switch hair products. My son is about to break the record, though: he is nine and his lion’s mane has already reached his waist, for the second time in his life!

Nico: Do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Tosso: Thanks for the interview and keep it Metal!

Alex: Thanks to you and to all our fans – hope to see you on tour soon!

 

Interview: Liv Kristine

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , on 10th September 2012 by Nico Davidson

Liv Kristine is one of the most prominent songwriters and performing artists in both the Norwegian music scene, as well as the international music scene. Beginning her musical career with Theatre of Tragedy, where she pioneered the use of beauty and beast vocals, Liv soon moved onto bigger things when she formed Leaves’ Eyes with the five musicians from Atrocity, including her husband Alexander Krull. Aside from her work with Leaves’ Eyes, Liv is well known for her solo project, with her fourth solo album being released today. Luckily, Nico was able to have a chat with Liv regarding her solo career, her inspirations, influences and the progress of her musical career.

Nico: Do you feel that your new album; Libertine; differs from your previous releases?

Liv: Dues ex Machina was very atmospheric, reminding you a bit about Irish Enya, a real pop-album. Enter My Religion was more guitar-based and earthly with many interesting exotic folk influences. Skintight had some influence from Johnny Cash, which sometimes gives the listeners a warm and here-and-now camp-fire feeling experience. Libertine is a back-to-the-roots album, containing the most emotional ballads I’ve ever composed for a solo album, it even has a dark but sweet feeling to it, through both the piano, the dark bass lines and guitars. I see every album becoming more and more individual. Talking about genre, I would say all of my albums are somehow indie, pop, rock or metal.

N: Regarding the lyrics on the new release, are there are any stories behind the lyrics?

L: Libertine is full of wonderful moments that remind you of being in love, with someone, freedom, a scent, chocolate, or with life itself. As you might have guessed, I am myself a collector of those special moments in life when you feel love and happiness. This is what I want to give my listeners through my art. Skintight was very much connected to my childhood, therefore it was dedicated to the children of this world. However Libertine, as mentioned above, shares moments from my whole life so far, not only my childhood. Most songs are actually related to my life being a young woman, a mother, wife and lover of my husband. Libertine is dedicated to my sweet, wonderful younger sister, Carmen.

N: You’ve done a lot of vocal work in different bands and on different releases, which one would you say was the most enjoyable for you to partake in?

L: Except from my own bands, Leaves’ Eyes and Liv Kristine, it was the guestvocal appearances for Atrocity [Work 80] and Cradle of Filth [Nymphetamine]. Atrocity went straight into the charts, and the Cradle-duet was even nominated for the US Grammy. Motörhead won the Grammy… They deserved it, but I’m hoping for a second chance some day.

N: What song do you feel defines your career as a vocalist?

L: Silence, i.e. one of the tracks on Libertine. Just how much I love music and composing, I love the silence of nature even more. I grew up by the sea in complete peace and calamity. I need it, silence, to gain new inspiration, come up with interesting ideas, and, most of all, to recover.

N: When it comes to writing, where do you draw your inspiration from?

L: From my inner self, especially from my past experiences or, as already mentioned before, those special, little moments in live which you will remember for a lifetime.

N: You’ve been an active musician on the metal for almost 20 years now, do you feel that the scene has changed over the years? If so, how?

L: Generally, it’s funny considering the fact that back in in the mid nineties there were no such huge casting shows on TV. When we formed Theatre of Tragedy back then, we recorded a demo tape of four tracks, the whole thing lasting one day by the price of $50. Within the same month we had three offers for a record deal from different record labels. All we had to do was to choose. Remember we were a gothic doom metal band from a small place far out in Norway. That’s a dream coming true so quickly that some of the band’s original members left before the first album production. Too much excitement and pressure all of a sudden. Can you believe that? Signing a record deal, being a metal band is so much more complicated, expensive and difficult today, outstanding artists, headbangers or not, attend casting shows to get “somewhere”; to get a reaction from “someone”. Theatre of Tragedy just had this great “beauty [angelic voice] and the beast [growls]” idea, before anyone else, and we were awarded for it. No casting shows or music business machinery behind it, just a superb idea.

N: Given the years you’ve spent as a vocalist, do you feel as if there’s more you can learn about yourself? Or do you feel that you’ve learnt everything there is to learn about yourself?

L: I am learning all the time! Standing still, stagnation, is too me the worst thing that could happen being an artist. Libertine is a huge step forward for me in my career. I only follow my musical instinct and heart. I believe I was born with a creative heart and mind and I do need to develop, to spread my wings within music and art generally, which also means to be involved with different musical styles. There are no limits for me except for my own “stomach feeling”, that is that inner voice that helps me make my decisions and find my own ways. My wide experience has made me become the artist I am, and I feel completely free to spread my wings. Thanks to my friends and fans supporting me throughout all these years, and having faith in my natural-given talent. Some day, I will take my first singing lesson.

N: Do any of your personal beliefs or philosophies influence your writing?

L: Only one: do what you feel is the right thing to do, follow your musical instinct, and heart. But listen to advice, if it comes from a well-meaning, open-minded person.

N: A large portion of our readers are musicians and are in bands, from your own experience, do you have any advice you’d like to share with them?

L: Choose band mates who have both their legs safely situated on the ground. Theatre of Tragedy went down the drains because certain band members couldn’t handle the great and sudden success of the band. All of a sudden it was all about “being important” and NOT becoming a better-trained and intelligent artist, moreover, keeping loyalty and friendship safe within the band.

N: How did your journey into the world of music begin?

L: I started to sing even before I could walk or talk, however, I never had any musical education, and I never studied music – I studied linguistics, German, English and historic languages. It was my inner voice that told me that singing is a part of me, it just comes from the heart. Actually, when I was little, I thought that every human being could sing! Well, I guess I’m lucky, having a kind of perfect hearing. Coming to influences, I grew up with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Edvard Grieg and Tschaikowsky, and female singers like Enya, Madonna, Kate Bush, Abba, Tori Amos and Monserrat Caballe. From the very beginning, I’ve followed my musical instinct: I wanted to combine a romantic, female, angelic voice with powerful, impressive music. Then suddenly, when I was 18 years old, I found myself in the middle of writing music history with Theatre of Tragedy.

N: Before we finish up, is there any you’d like to say to the readers?

L: I thank you for being there for me all these years, with Theatre of Tragedy, Leaves’ Eyes and my solo work. I hope you enjoy Libertine as much as I did composing and recording it. I can’t wait to play it live for you!

Don’t forget that Liv Kristine will be doing signing sessions for her new album Libertine on tour with Leaves’ Eyes this month and expect another interview from Liv as we’ll be interviewing her in Manchester on Friday.

Liv Kristine – Libertine

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 9th August 2012 by izaforestspirit

Liv Kristine
Libertine
Released: September 2012
Gothic Rock/Goth Pop
Released via Napalm Records

‘Libertine’ is the fourth album from the gothic singer Liv Kristine who is better known for her involvement with the gothic metal bands Theatre of Tragedy, Atrocity and Leaves’ Eyes. Unlike her other projects, her solo work tends to lean in the direction of goth rock rather than metal.

Now, just one more thing before I start. When listening to this, forget everything you know about Leaves’ Eyes or any of Liv Kristine’s other bands and don’t be fooled into thinking that this will sound like anything even remotely resembling metal.

Most of the songs tend to emphasize Liv’s voice whilst the accompanying music is of the radio-friendly rock variety. Kate Bush is probably the closest thing I would compare this to. There’s tranquil, lullaby-esque piano tracks like the aptly named ‘Silence’. In contrast to these, there are some slightly more upbeat guitar-driven songs such as ‘Vanilla Skin Delight’ which features guest vocals by Tobias Regner. The latter is one of the highlights of the album. Then there’s the somewhat cheesy-sounding, pop-rock track ‘Paris Paris’.

Other noteworthy tracks include: the sombre-sounding ‘Love Crime’ and the title track ‘Libertine’ where the guitar riffs work well to complement Liv Kristine’s vocals. Overall this is one those albums which you can safely play to anyone who doesn’t like metal. Hell, I bet even your mum and younger siblings would like this.

3/5 – Not to my personal taste but check it out for yourself and see if it takes you to places where it couldn’t take me.

Iza Raittila