Archive for Galswintha

Leaves Eyes w/Support – Manchester, UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 29th January 2014 by Nico Solheim-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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Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies of the Night

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 31st October 2013 by Nico Solheim-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