Archive for Leaves’ Eyes

Two New Additions For Northern Symphony 2016

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 20th January 2016 by Nico Davidson

Two more bands have been announced to join the likes of Theatres des Vampires, Old Corpse Road and Alwaid at the second edition of the UK’s leading symphonic metal festival: Northern Symphony.

Scottish suited-and-booted black metal corporation Maelstrom, who have supported the likes of Alestorm and Tyr in the past, have been announced to headline the Infernal Orchestra stage on 16th April this year. The band’s keyboardist Jaime Cross comments:

It’s a massive honour to have been picked to headline the Infernal Orchestra stage. We’re all excited about the festival and we always enjoy our shows in England. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Joining Maelstrom on the Infernal Orchestra stage are Ward XVI, who describe themselves as theatrical avant-garde rock. Mixing haunting melodies and female vocals with heavy guitar passages and the occasional segment of accordions, Ward XVI are an interesting addition to the festival.

Northern Symphony Festival will take place on Saturday 16th April at The Venue in Selby. In total, there will be 14 bands across 2 stages. The Midnight Waltz stage will be headlined by Italy’s legendary vampire-themed metal band THEATRES DES VAMPIRES.

Advance tickets are available for £15 from the festival’s BigCartel store.Further information is available at the festival’s official Facebook page.

Leaves’ Eyes – King of Kings

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 29th September 2015 by Nico Davidson

Leaves’ Eyes
King of Kings
Symphonic Metal/Gothic Metal
Released: September 2015
via AFM Records

If you call yourself a symphonic metal fan and you’ve never come across Leaves’ Eyes, then clearly, you live under a rock. Formed by former Theatre of Tragedy vocalist Liv Kristine, Leaves’ Eyes have become an established act known for their fusing of folky elements, crestfallen symphonies and straight up metal. Following their arrival at AFM Records, King of Kings became one of the most anticipated albums within the symphonic metal genre this year.

Sweven opens up the track with an almost mournful composition that clearly shows traditional elements of Norse music. The soaring vocals of frontwoman Liv add to the mourning emotion of the song. The title track, King of Kings, marches with a regal use of orchestral compositions, that bolster the ranks of the song while the differing use of vocals – choir, Alexander’s and Liv’s – make the song ever more enchanting.

Halvdan the Black lunges forward with a tragic sounding choir and the rune-binding voice of Liv. Alexander’s bestial voice adds a fierce, war-like edge to the song, joining the antagonistic riffs and narrative symphonies. The Waking Eye dances ever so gently with its alluring concoction of different elements, each note more winsome than the last and the vocals sound so sirenic during this track.

Feast of the Year acts as a good-natured interval before the more Celtic-orientated waltz that is Vengeance Venom enters the ballroom. The Celtic-styled melodies bring an upbeat atmosphere to the album while the lyrics, poetically sang, appear to be of a darker nature. Sacred Vow has all the makings of a heroic piece: A powerful story involving the love of a fair maiden, a war between clans and awe-inspiring music. Everything just seems to fall together, as though this song was meant to be.

Leaves’ Eyes have been known to have guest appearances on their albums in the past, so it comes as no surprise that Edge of Steel features none other than Epica vocalist Simone Simons. The track comes across as an anthem of war, one to be sung by Nordic warriors as they charge into fray armed only with an axe and shield. The orchestral aspects of the song sound quite lion-hearted, adding renewed vigor to the vocals and potency to the already snarling guitars. Simone’s saintly voice cuts through the track like a knife through butter – The duet between herself and Liv Kristine is better than imagined.

Haraldskvædi – which appears to be based on the Old Norse poem Hrafnsmal (Raven’s Song) – combines both English and Norwegian lyrics with eerie whispering, low-spirited vocals and traditional folk elements, with flows smoothly from the previous track and into the next song. Blazing Waters also features a special guest, Lindy-Fay Hella, who is best known for her work with Wardruna.  The song begins with the alluring sounds of traditional folk instrumentation and hypnotic vocal lines before the guitars and drums jump forward, roaring like Fenrir at Ragnarok. The contrast of three vocalists with the differing elements of folk and metal really shows the adaptability of Leaves’ Eyes both in talent and sound.

The album finishes with Swords In Rock, another song that makes a powerful use of Celtic-inspired medleys. The pace and feel of the song makes the listener want to jump up and start dancing some sort of Irish jig, while guzzling whiskey or something of the like from a horn. A fine way to finish the album.

With King of Kings, Leaves’ Eyes appear to have gone back to their earlier roots – not just with the Viking inspired lyrics but the folk influences as well though there are a lot of new aspects for the band found in the album as well. King of Kings is a testament to the continuing saga of Leaves’ Eyes as well as their talent and adaptability, clearly they’re a band that won’t stay within the borders of their safe zone when there are new musical lands to be discovered and conquered by these fine warriors.

5/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Leaves’ Eyes online:

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

Savn – Self-Titled

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 26th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Savn
Self-TItled
Released 28th April 2014
Gothic Folk Metal
Released via CDR Records Norway

Since 2000, Norwegian gothic metal legends Sins Of Thy Beloved have remained suspiciously inactive. Following years of rumours of a possible reunion, Stig Johansen and Anders Thue came back onto the scene with a new band – Savn (Norwegian for “deprivation”) which features Midnattsol vocalist Carmen Elise Espenæs. Savn’s self-titled release is the effort of these three musicians.

The album begins with the folkishly ethereal song Musical Silence, gently laying down a path for Carmen’s hypnotic vocals to follow along. The folkier instrumentation does a grand job at cementing the track together, enforcing the strength of the guitars. Hang On screams out with a heavier and darker sound whilst still incorporating well refined folk elements. Carmen’s vocals also take on a darker aspect throughout this song, building up an atmosphere alongside the instrumentation. Anders’ use of keyboard medleys adds a lot to both the sound and the atmosphere.

The guitars in the song The Demons In Me are painted with several Cimmerian shades, which are added to which deeper touches of despair by guest vocals from Michelle Darkness (End Of Green). The folk elements help paint the musical funeral dirge where as Longing For Love has a sliver of hope running throughout the dusky music. Carmen’s vocals are as angelic as ever but leave trace hints of sorrow in their wake, adding emphasis to the emotion that flows throughout the song. The keyboards dance almost Plutonianly throughout I Am Free which features Leaves’ Eyes frontwoman and Carmen’s sister Liv Kristine as a guest vocalist, showing the power of the two vocalists as well as making this the first time that Liv has appeared on one of Carmen’s songs. The folk elements take a backseat for some of the track, allowing the keyboards and guitars to weave a tapestry of solemn sounds.

Sorrowful bursts into action with a truly tragic sound, leaving no room for any hint of joyful elements. Even Carmen’s usually angelic voice sounds more twilit in their performance, walking hand in hand with the gothic styled stringed instrumentation. All I Want travels down a similar road to Sorrowful, taking on a deeper sound and displaying more of Carmen’s majestic vocal style. Nearing the end of the album is Now Or Neverwhich is slower paced than a lot of the songs on the album and twice as doomtastic, making an awe-inspiring use of Stig’s growls and Anders’s eerie style of keyboards. Lengselens Hånd is the final track of the album and it is perhaps the most soulful and emotive piece of music on the whole album, taking a soothing approach for most of its duration and allowing Carmen’s vocals to provide a gentle touch to the album – A gentle touch that continues even during in the heavier part of the song where the keyboards carefully step out each note in a celestial manner.

Leaving the sounds of their other projects at the door, Carmen, Stig and Anders have created an album that not only displays their talent as a band but their talents as individual musicians and songwriters as well. Savn is exactly the breath of fresh air that the metal scene needs.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Savn online:

http://savn-official.com
http://facebook.com/SavnOfficial

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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.

LeavesEyes-Manchester-2014 048

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]

LeavesEyes-Manchester-2014 224

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 vocalist confirmed to appear on upcoming Savn album

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

In a recent post on their official Facebook page, Savn mentioned that Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine will be appearing on their upcoming debut album. This will be the first time that Liv Kristine appears on an album released by one of her sister’s, Carmen, bands. The full post is as follows:

A dream comes true: My lovely and talented sister Liv Kristine Official has sung together with me on one of the tracks of SAVN`s debut album!!

This is the first time she ever sings on an album of mine, I`m so grateful dear Liv! The song is catchy, and the voices fit so well together, she did an amazing job! Hope you`ll like it too!

Love from Carmen

Savn online:

http://facebook.comSavnOfficial

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

Nico’s Highlights of 2013

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2013 by Nico Davidson

So, it’s that time of year when everyone picks out their highlights of the year. I figured that this year, I’ll jump on the bandwagon. So here are my highlights of 2013… Including a few non-metal releases!

Best Albums Of 2013:

1. Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies Of The Night

2. Azylya – Sweet Cerebral Destruction

3. Wretched Soul – Veronica

4. Seduce The Heaven – Field Of Dreams

5. Hecate Enthroned – Virulent Rapture

Best Live Acts of 2013:

1. Re-Armed

2. Azylya

3. Delain

4. The CockRockets

5. Bharghest

Best Yorkshire Bands of 2013:

1. Severed Heaven

2. Bharghest

3. Narcotic Death

4. XIII

5. Skull Branded Pirates

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Best Non-Metal Albums of 2013:

1. Janet Devlin – Hide & Seek

2. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red

3. Ben Parcell – Expectations

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 new video for Hell to The Heavens, taken from upcoming album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 9th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian-German symphonic metallers Leaves’ Eyes have recently released the video for Hell To The Heavens, which is the opening track for their upcoming album Symphonies of the Night. The video can be viewed down below. The song, Hell To The Heavens, is the first full glimpse into the darker and more atmospheric sound of Leaves’ Eyes.

Symphonies of the Night will be released on 13th November in Spain, Sweden and Norway; 15th November in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland and Benelux; 18th November in the rest of Europe; and on 26th November in North America via Napalm Records. The album was produced by Liv Kristine’s husband and fellow Leaves’ Eyes member Alexander Krull at his Mastersound Studio in Germany.

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 online:

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

 

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

 

Metal Female Voices Festival @ Wieze, BE

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd October 2013 by Freya

Tarja, Lacuna Coil, ReVamp, Delain, Leaves’ Eyes
Oktoberhallen, Wieze
18th-20th October

In Belgium, October stands for falling leaves, rain and a ton of female fronted metal. For the eleventh time the Oktoberhallen in Wieze flooded with fans of this genre to attend the Metal Female Voices Fest or MFVF. This festival has a very loyal fanbase, some of them even travelled a good part of the globe to get there! I had the pleasure to meet some dedicated metalheads from Israel and Argentina, and it’s safe to say that they weren’t the only international visitors.

On Friday, the first day of the festival, the doors opened at 19h00 as there were only two acts. I have no idea if that was also the reason behind the smaller crowd, but it was noticable that there were a lot more attendees on Saturday and Sunday. But that didn’t stop Liv Kristine from giving it her all with her solo project! Liv Kristine by herself, accompanied by a band of course, is a little more indie/rock than Leaves’ Eyes, but that doesn’t take away of the fact that she has an amazing voice. Fans of Leaves’ Eyes were lucky this weekend, because the band attended the festival on Saturday. But for now, back to Liv Kristine. As the crowd continued to grow, she enchanted us with her adorable smile and charisma. Paris Paris and Skintight opened the set, followed by a fragile Fake a Smile. Trapped in Your Labyrinth was definitely one of the highlights of the show, together with ‘Libertine’. With these songs Liv Kristine showcased that a delicate voice can rock just as much as a more solid voice. As a nice surprise, a few Theatre of Tragedy songs made it into the set: Venus and Image. Overall, this was a perfect fresh and joyous opener for what turned out to be an outstanding edition of MFVF. [3.5/5]

After Liv Kristine, the stage was invaded by Eve’s Apple. And I mean invaded! Eve’s Apple isn’t a normal band with about 5 or 6 members, it’s a collective of female singers. Some of the ladies who sung some beautiful covers were: Lisa Middelhauve (ex-Xandria), Charlotte Wessels (Delain), Iliana Tsakiraki, Kassandra Gruszkowki, Annamaria Cozza, Zuberoa Aznarez, Aiylin Gimenez (Sirenia), Grace Meridan, Heidi Parviainen, Mary Zimmer, Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Clémentine Delauney (Serenity), Karolina Pacan (Skeptical Minds), Sabrina Valentine, Laura Vargas, Mariangela Themurtas (Tristania), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth), Sanna Salou, Angel Wolfblack, VK Lynne and Maxi Nil (Visions Of Atlantis). Some of the biggest hits in rock were brought out for this special occasion, so we had the opportunity to listen to adaptations of Stargazer (Marcela Bovio and Kassandra Novell) and Poison (Clémentine Delauney and VK Lynne). Every now and then the fire underneath the songs died out a bit and made way for a softly glowing ember like Behind Blue Eyes(Mariangela Themurtas, Maxi Nil and Charlotte Wessels). Personally, Show Must Go On (Karolina Pacan and Angel Wolfblack) would have been in the list of amazing duets as well, but technical issues caused some trouble. The vocals drowned in a wall of sound and that’s too bad, because it had a lot of potential. Towards the end all the ladies got together on stage to thank Maxi Nil, and to sing a few songs of course! The two final songs of the evening were quite appropriate: All we Are and Stars. [3/5]

As the final notes of the evening died out the crowd turned to their tent, car or bus, only to return in a few very short hours!

On Saturday the doors opened at 10h00. And even though it was still early, there was a relatively long queue in front of said doors. And what a nice wake-up call we got once we got inside! Our neighbours from the North sent Magion to MFVF, and they were an astonishing discovery! Myrthe van Beest has an enchanting voice, which is a perfect match for compelling songs like Neverending Winter and Shallow Grounds. During Greed the horns went up, and the crowd slowly started shaking off the mists of morning. [4/5]

Azylya should definitely get the award for creepiest intro at MFVF. The Belgian band played a home game and brought two masked dancers and a creepy little girl with them. She fit right in with the eerie music and lighting. The venue was starting to shed a bit of the initial chill, but things definitely got hotter when Jamie-Lee Smit brought out some fire during Darkness Ascending. Electroconvulsive was a vocal mix between a kick in the teeth and a gentle embrace. Overall, Azylya told an enchanting story with a lot of power. The mix of classical elements with metal, and the two contrasting voices were a true delight! [4/5]

Victorians – Aristocrats’ Symphony brought a touch of the past to MFVF, with stunning costumes (I still want to steal the jacket that Utis wore). Songs like Descent of Your Destiny and Prince of Night paint a picture of times long gone, but with a modern twist. After the show they told us they were a bit worried about the quality of the sound, but I don’t think they had anything to worry about. [3.5/5]

Serenity came to MFVF to promote their new album War of Ages. Singers Clémentine Delauney and Georg Neuhauser sound very well-balanced and they compliment each other. Georg ran and jumped around every inch of the stage, never standing in one place more than a few seconds, and you could see he was having a good time. But there was also room for a more intimate song: Fairytales was touching and intense. A nice surprise was the guest appearance from Charlotte Wessels during Serenade of Flames. Serenity knows how to entertain and satisfy an audience. [3.5/5]

Canadian band Kobra and the Lotus brought heavy metal to Wieze, and how! Nayana struck like a poisonous snake and this feisty animal did not lose it’s grip. Kobra Paige has a hypnotic and overwhelming voice and she took the stage with confidence and spirit. And it gets better! She is backed up by an impressive wall of sound consisting of fierce guitars and raging drums. Songs like 50 Shades of Evil or Forever One have potential to become true metal anthems. Dark Passenger was preceded by a drum solo that showcased the sills of the drummer and My Life stood out to me due to its unique guitar riff. Afterwards Kobra Paige shared some words of wisdom with me: love and metal, that’s what it’s all about. I couldn’t agree more. [5/5]

I admit it, at first, I was a bit sceptical about Kontrust. I saw a few of their videos on YouTube and felt like I had no idea what to expect. The intro made me feel like I was at Octoberfest rather than Metal Female Voices Fest so I had the urge to roll my eyes, but I stand corrected! Kontrust knows how to get a party started. They were a lot of fun and the crowd clearly enjoyed their lighthearted songs like Hey DJ, U Say What and Bomba. Sock and Doll was another example of what makes Kontrust unique: I’ve never seen a band use sock puppets before… But it worked! The horns went up and I saw a lot of smiles around me. [4/5]

After Kontrust it was time for the headlining acts of the day: Leaves’ Eyes, Delain and Lacuna Coil.

Liv Kristine took the stage once more this weekend, this time as part of Leaves’ Eyes. Since Leaves’ Eyes is practically a synonym for symphonic metal, that’s exactly what we got: riveting melodies and an angelic voice with a heavier counterpartner. Their new album Symphonies of the Night will be released in November so at MFVF we had the privilege to hear a few new songs such as Galswintha, Fading Earth, Symphonies of the Night, Maid of Lorraine and Hell to the Heavens. And I can tell you, these songs are something to look forward to! The crowd clearly enjoyed the new material, but most hands, horns and fists were raised during songs as My Destiny, Elegy and Take the Devil in Me. (And Alexander Krull still has the most awesome hair!) [4/5]

Delain opened their set with Mother Machine, a song taken from their album We are the Others. Charlotte Wessels appeared on stage dressed in white and she swept the crowd right off their feet. The entire show she continued to encourage the audience to sing, scream or clap along. Go Away and Virtue and Vice from the album April Rain were played next, accompanied by sparks and an audience on fire. Charlotte reached the higher notes with ease and before we knew it they were halfway through the set. We were in for another great surprise though, because during No Compliance, Charlotte was joined by none other than Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) for a special duet. Sharon didn’t leave after one song though, much to the delight of the audience. She sang Restless, a song by her own band Within Temptation, accompanied by Martijn Westerholt (former keyboardist of Within Temptation) on the piano. Sharon wasn’t the only guest appearance of the set though. Georg Neuhauser of Serenity joined Charlotte on stage for Control the Storm. They clearly enjoyed this duet, which was another cherry on this scrumptious Delain-cake. During the encore Charlotte had the crowd jumping once again with The Gathering. Delain said their goodbyes with We are the Others, together with the crowd who was singing along with an amazing amount of spirit after an already long day. [4.5/5]

Day two wasn’t over yet though! Lacuna Coil was the final act of the day, and they had something special planned for MFVF. They played the entire Karmacode album. It truly was a trip to the past since Karmacode came out in 2006. The band took place on stage wearing the masks they used during the Karmacode tour, but unfortunately we could only see Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. The lighting was horrible! It was really difficult to see any of the musicians during the entire set, which was disappointing. But back to the music! Karmacode is an album filled with hits like Fragile, Enjoy the Silence and Our Truth. Lacuna Coil definitely took a risk here, because not every song on the album is a hit. Because of that, at times it felt like an unusual show. The entire show was very interesting and I hope that this concept will inspire other bands to do the same. After a short intermezzo Cristina and Andrea returned in a their latest uniforms to end things with a bang! They gave the crowd a small but oh so sweet taste of absolute hits such as Heaven’s A Lie and Spellbound. To top it of they sang two songs of their latest album Dark Adrenaline: the haunting Trip the Darkness and a very energetic Kill the Light. [4/5]

So far, MFVF XI was a great success, but the third day was filled with bands who were ready to blast day 1 and 2 out of the water.

On Sunday the doors opened an hour later, which was a blessing after two long days. At noon, Hell City was present to defend the Belgian honour. And they did a great job! Hell City was fierce and on fire. Michelle Nivelle gave the crowd no excuse to be sleepy-eyed for another minute. With songs like This Mortal Loss and Demons to Rest we were showered with Grade A metal. The final song of their set was the new single Ice Cold Rage, which can be downloaded on their website. [3.5/5]

After this little Belgian treat it was time for a more exotic band: Hungarian folk metal band Dalriada made it very difficult to stand still, with energetic and up-tempo songs such as Napom, Fényes Napom and A Dudás. Unfortunately, where I stood, the crowd only clapped along (major props to a friend of mine though, who taught us all a lesson in headbanging). Maybe it was still a bit early, or the audience was saving their energy for the headliners of the day. Too bad, because it could’ve been an awesome party. [3.5/5]

After Dalriada I skipped a few bands myself, but I was back just in time to see Crimfall. The members of the band looked like they fought their way over to Wieze (blood, blood everywhere!), but they still had a ton of energy left! Helena Haaparanta and Mikko Häkkinen were accompanied by a group of merry huntsmen, who seemed to be having a lot of fun on stage. Songs like Wildfire Season paint an epic picture in the mind of the listener. Another example of their story-like songs is Silver and Bones about a son repeating his father’s mistakes. Even though Crimfall had a few technical difficulties, it was a truly wonderful journey. [4/5]

A little sidenote: it turned out that MFVF was one of the last shows with Helena: Crimfall is looking for a new singer. I wish them all the best!

Onward to the two big names of MFVF XI! The past year the buzz around Floor Jansen has been immense, so it feels like she doesn’t need an introduction anymore. The new leading lady of Nightwish proved to us all that we shouldn’t fear for the future of ReVamp. On the contrary, their new album Wild Card explores new musical territories, and sounds quite heavy. I must add that I found the new album a bit chaotic at times, but live it clicked together like clockwork. Precise, strong and compelling. The audience started clapping the second the lights went out, and was treated with a part one of The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown trilogy from Wild Card: On the Sideline. Part two (The Limbic System) and three (Neurasthenia) were played later on in the set. From the get-go, Floor amazed us all with her impressive voice. She has a range from operatic and angelic all the way to grunts, and she makes it sound so easy. To name just one example seems foolish, but Precibus perfectly highlighted her vocal range. And if that’s not enough, she’s an awe-inspiring presence on stage. Dressed in red, she truly was on fire. She kept on interacting with the crowd, and they responded within a heartbeat. From the first album, Head Up High was the first song to be played, followed later on by both In Sickness ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain and Disgraced. In the end ReVamp said their goodbyes with Wolf and Dog, but according to all the horns, applause and requests for an encore, the crowd would have loved a few extra songs. [4/5]

So far the entire weekend was a weekend for the history books, but MFVF XI presented us with one more name, which made it impossible to forget: Tarja. After a theatrical intro she appeared on stage and launched into In for a Kill. It always stikes me how blissful Tarja looks on stage. She was born to sing, to give her heart and soul to the audience. This positive energy radiated throughout the venue and the crowd was happy to reciprocate with applause, singing, and raised hands. 500 Letters was greeted with cheers as though it was a classic hit, but it is in fact a song from her new album Colours In The Dark. Sing for Me and ‘I Walk Alone’ were the first ballads in the set, and they gave me goose bumps! Tarja proves time and time again that she has an incredible voice. Time to linger on this fact wasn’t part of the deal though. Falling Awake and Anteroom of Death shook us all awake.

People who have seen Tarja live before, know she usually doesn’t stick to one outfit, so Never Enough ended with an formidable band solo by cellist Max Lilja, Christian Kretschmar playing the keyboard, guitarist Alex Scholpp, bassist Anna Portalupi and Mike Terrana behind his impresssive drum kit. And indeed, at the beginning of Mystique Voyage, Tarja appeared in her second outfit of the evening (with matching microphone!) and she picked up the pace! Die Alive and Until my Last Breath had the crowd jumping in no time, as they should! Neverlight and Medusa were the final song before a short intermezzo and the intro for Victim of Ritual by Mike Terrana. He is a true magician with drumsticks! And things got memorable after this song. Tarja sang Wish I Had An Angel with passion and flair, and slowly reminded everyone of the fact that she promised us something a few weeks before MFVF. She didn’t have to ask us twice if we were ready, we were! For the final song of the festival, she invited Floor Jansen on stage for a duet. Together they sang Over the Hills and Far Away. Not only did their voices sound like all kinds of heaven, they were genuinely having a blast. They hugged, were dancing, and shared some words of wisdom with us: we have to keep the love going! [5/5]

After this epic duet, the time had come to say goodbye to MFVF XI. And on the way home I’m sure everybody was looking back on a wonderful edition to bring some warmth into the very cold night. Time to start looking forward to MFVF XII perhaps?

Freya Cherlet

Photography by Freya Cherlet.

 

Interview with Liv Kristine [Leaves’ Eyes]

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

Liv Kristine is best known for her work as the vocalist for Leaves’ Eyes and former singer for Theatre of Tragedy. As well as fronting one of the most iconic symphonic metal bands on the scene, Liv is also a solo artist and has collaborated with a number of different bands including Cradle Of FilthAtrocityDelain and most recently she appeared on the track The Lay Of Our Love, which is featured on Tyr‘s new album Valkyrja.

With the release of Symphonies Of The Night just around the corner and a UK tour confirmed for January 2014, Nico catches up Liv Kristine to discuss all things Leaves’ Eyes as well as popular TV series Game Of Thrones, her solo project and rumours about Leaves’ Eyes appearing at the next Dames of Darkness Festival…

Nico: Hi Liv, how are you doing?

Liv: I’m good thank you. It’s been a busy day, but in a positive way, you know. Lots of interviews and we’re rehearsing because we’ll be playing the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium in a couple of days. I’ll be there with my solo band on Friday and with Leaves’ Eyes on Saturday so yes, we’re busy!

Nico: Sounds like you’ll be having fun though. Is there a meaning behind the title of the new album Symphonies of the Night?

Liv: Um, a meaning or the concept in general?

Nico: A bit of both really.

Liv: Okay, well we came up with the title pretty late in the recording process. I actually had a song called Carmilla from Sheridan Le Fanu’s horror novel from 1871. So the song, which came to be titled Symphony of the Night, was originally titled Carmilla. But we were discussing the title within the band and we weren’t really sure. What happened was pure luck: I was typing an interview and the journalist was asking me about my influences and I mentioned Tchaikovsky, who wrote the Symphony of the Swan Lake and I thought that’s it! This is an album of eleven symphonies of the night, so there we go! So Carmilla is still the main character in the title song, but the title got changed. Things happen, we are a very creative band.

Nico: I was listening to the previews of Symphonies of the Night that Napalm uploaded to YouTube earlier. There is a definite evolution in the band’s sound, changing direction compared to previous Leaves’ Eyes albums. Is this what you were aiming for with this album, and will this be a future direction you will be taking for future releases?

Liv: Well, I’d rather put it this way: Leaves’ Eyes isn’t a planned thing when we start composing. We throw everything into pre-production and what was already there, were two songs: Eileens Ardency and Saint Cecilia. They just didn’t fit on the Meredead [released in 2011] album when it comes to atmosphere. So they weren’t leftovers but they were on no album after the release of Mededead,  so we decided to start working on them. And then we realised that this was a good point to start from. You know, this year we have the anniversary of 10 years of Leaves’ Eyes so we have experienced a lot of being on the road, and all these albums we released and we’ve gathered a lot of experiences. For most of the band members Leaves’ Eyes is twenty, twenty five years of experience. Everything is there on this album, you won’t miss anything. It’s a very powerful album, I agree on that.

Nico: On previous Leaves’ Eyes albums the use of different languages made an appearance on the tracks. Will this be the same with Symphonies of the Night?

Liv: On Symphonies of the Night we’ll have modern English of course, Shakespearean English, some Norwegian, a little bit of French and a little bit of Irish. That’s five languages, I think on the Njord album we had eight languages and on Meredead six languages. I just love languages and I studied linguistics for years so it’s something I really like doing.

Nico: What would you say is the track that stands out on the new album?

Liv: Well that’s the most tricky question you could’ve asked me. Right, um.. This morning in my car I was listening to Ophelia, which is the final track of the album. Of course it’s Shakespeare’s Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius, in Hamlet. That’s my main character, and Ophelia is a quite straightforward and rocky song. It might sound like it doesn’t have a complicated structure like for example Saint Cecilia or Nightshade but Ophelia was the second to last song we recorded. We needed quite a lot of time for Ophelia to finish it in the way we wanted it. All of us: Alex, my husband, our producer, Thorsten my red-haired guitar player and myself are perfectionists. It’s great to have our own studio because then we can keep working until the three of us are satisfied. Ophelia was a tough one but I think it turned out great and at the moment it’s my favourite, if I’m allowed to have one.

Nico: You recently featured on The Lay of Our Love which is on Týr’s latest album Valkyrja. What was it like, recording that track with Týr?

Liv: Actually, I recorded my vocals here in our studio in Germany. But every time I think about doing a duet it’s always the music itself which decides. If I like the song I’ll do it. Heri from Týr helped me out in Wacken last year when Leaves’ Eyes headlined Wacken Open Air. He helped me out on Solemn Sea, one of our tracks. So when Heri asked me ‘Liv would you mind? I have a duet and you would fit very well on it’. I just loved the song and I have good news because we’ll be shooting a video clip for that track in a month! I’m really looking forward to that, it will be in Belgrade.

Nico: Ooh, excellent! I’m looking forward to that. With the recent collarboration with Týr, do you think it will help expose Leaves’ Eyes to Týr fans and Týr fans to Leaves’ Eyes?

Liv: I hope so, I really hope so! If Heri wouldn’t mind, we should tour together some day cause I think we have a potential common fanbase. The thing is, Leaves’ Eyes hasn’t toured a lot in Scandinavia. We should to that very soon, especially in my homeland. Týr is very well known in Scandinavia so that would be an absolutely amazing package.

Nico: I completely agree. A Leaves’ Eyes/Tyr tour would be amazing.

Liv: Thank you. We now have told the universe.

Nico: Speaking of touring, Leaves’ Eyes is scheduled to return to the UK next year in January with Atrocity and Pythia. Are you looking forward to the tour? Which cities are you excited about?

Liv: Absolutely! We toured the UK and Northern Ireland last year with Firewind and that was absolutely amazing. We played at places where Leaves’ Eyes had never played before and for Firewind as well it was absolutely amazing. I remember Cardiff very well because I spent a couple of months there when I was an exchange student. So Cardiff is pretty well-known to me. But of course Manchester is always packed, London is always packed. We will play in some of the venues we played with Firewind as well. We’re building up a fanbase in those places so I’m really looking forward to be back over there in the UK. We have an amazing fanbase in the UK and Northern Ireland. I was really surprised to see that there are so many fans who know about our music in the UK, and many journalists as well. I’ve had quite a few UK interviews this week so that’s good.

Nico: Last time I interviewed you, which was in Manchester last year, when Leaves’ Eyes was there with Firewind, you mentioned that you were a fan of Game of Thrones. So, if you could be any character from the Game of Thrones universe, who would you be and why?

Liv: That’s an even trickier question than the one you asked me before! Oh dear, oh dear… I’m not really sure. It must be Daenerys. Well okay, she’s blonde so it should be her.

Nico: She’s a good, strong character.

Liv: She’s great, she’s amazing yes.

Nico: Going back to touring, are there any future plans for you to tour your solo project around the UK?

Liv: I hope and pray that there will be next year because it’s certainly time to play some solo shows in the UK as well. The only shows I have this year for Liv Kristine, for my solo project, is Nagold in Germany and Pratteln in Switzerland. So those are the two gigs, but they are exclusive gigs. Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity will be touring most of the rest of the year so we will be very busy. China, Taiwan, Thailand, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Belgium. Lot of things happening! The end of December is the right time for exclusive solo shows but the UK, 2014..let’s cross our fingers.

Nico: That’s what I’m hoping for.

Liv: Me too.

Nico: Speaking of shows. I’ve heard a few whipserings around the internet from associates of mine that Leaves’ Eyes might be playing the Dames of Darkness festival in the UK next year. I was wondering if there is any truth to this?

Liv: Wauw, I mean that would be absolutely killer! It would be fantastic. Well you know, bookers know things before the rest of the band does so..let’s make it happen.

Nico: I hope it does happen because Dames of Darkness this year was phenomenal and it would be so much better if Leaves’ Eyes was playing it.

Liv: Thank you, thank you very much! I’d love to be there.

Nico: Last question. This is a fan question, asked by April Mccaffrey: if you could have a superpower, which one would it be and why?

Liv: A superpower… Okay, you took me by surprise there! When I was a kid I always thought it would be fantastic to be able to look into the future, to know what is going to happen. But I’m not sure if I need that anymore. It’s a very good question actually. Sometimes I wish I could change things for the better of it. Sometimes, especially when it comes to children and children suffering on this planet, it feels like we are just sitting here being comfortable and warm while on the other side of the planet children are dying because of hunger. That’s when I think I would just like to be able to beam myself to that place and do something. Maybe that’s a project for the future. If I ever get tired of playing gigs and singing that would be something I would like to do, to be part of helping projects concerning children who are suffering on the other side of the world.

Nico: I wasn’t expecting that answer. You’re certainly a kind and caring individual. Thank you for your time Liv, I hope you have a good night.

Liv: Thank you very much, it was a pleasure talking to you again. Take good care and hope to see you in Manchester in January.

Nico: You too, Liv! Have a good night!

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.com
http://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 reveal artwork for Symphonies Of The Night

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 27th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian-German symphonic folk metallers Leaves’ Eyes – whom are fronted by former Theatre of Tragedy vocalist Liv Kristine – have revealed the artwork for their upcoming album Symphonies Of The Night which is scheduled for a late 2013 release via Napalm Records. The album was produced by Liv Kristine‘s husband and fellow Leaves’ Eyes member Alexander Krull at his Mastersound Studio in Germany. The band commented:

Expect this album to be the heaviest and most epic Leaves’ Eyes experience to date: it will haunt you, even in your dreams.

We’re also proud to unveil the cover of Symphonies Of The Night, designed by our longtime friend Heile [Stefan Heilemann].

Be aware of more information concerning the album, release date and upcoming tours soon!

Liv Kristine had previously stated about the upcoming Leaves’ Eyes album:

We have taken a great inspirational step since the production of Meredead, both sound-wise and vocal-wise.

It has been such a pleasure evolving in my singing techniques and knowledge and I thank my band members for giving me an inspirational kick when I needed to gain momentum behind the microphone.

Symphonies Of The Night is hauntingly dream-like and heavy to the core!

In related news, Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine will be appearing on Tyr‘s new album Valkyrja which is set for release next month via Metal Blade Records.

Leaves’ Eyes online:

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

Interview with Gunnar H Thomsen [Týr]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 22nd August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Týr hail from the ancient Faroe Islands, which are steeped in Viking mythology and history – The kind of stuff that makes up the lyrical basis for Týr‘s music. With the release of the band’s seventh studio album, Valkyrja just around the corner, Nico has a chat with Týr bassist Gunnar Thomsen.

Nico: Valkyrja is Týr‘s seventh studio album. How will it differ from previous releases?

Gunnar: It’s not that different from the others. Just much better, and more up beat tempo and dedicated to women.

Nico: The concept of Valkyrja is loosely based around an unnamed warrior attempting to impress a Valkyrie so he gain entry to either Folkvang (Freya‘s hall) or Valhalla (Odin‘s hall). What inspired you to write the story around this?

Gunnar: Usually whatever is on Heri‘s mind at the time, so in this case, life and women. He has had this concept for sometime now.

Nico: Obviously the Valkyries will be playing a role in the story concept that will be running through Valkyrja, will any other figures from Norse mythology be making an appearance in the lyrics/story line?

GunnarHeri always likes to put the Norse mythology into the lyrics, so there is other figures to in the story line. He also likes to use mythology with current themes today, as in the case of the previous album, The Lay of Thrym. This time it is about woman.

Nico: Aside from the aforementioned story concept, are there any other lyrical themes that will be appearing throughout the new album?

Gunnar: No themes as such but every song on the album has its own tale to present.

Nico: You collaborated with Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine on the track The Lay Of Our Love. How did this collaboration come about and do you feel it will open up Týr‘s music to fans of Leaves’ Eyes who may have not listened to Týr yet?

GunnarHeri suggested the idea to present her on one of the songs, course she has a wonderful voice and originally we intended to have more guest appearance on the album, but we decided that one was enough. Of course we hope to get more listeners, for Týr, but this is not why we asked Liv Kristine. Mainly just admiration for music.

Nico: Describe the new album in five words or less.

Gunnar: Fucking awesome!

Nico: Kári left Týr before the recording process for Valkyrja began. How has this affected Týr‘s overall sound and the sound of the new album?

Gunnar: Of course this affected the drum sound a lot but it also created a new and interesting atmosphere in the music. We will always miss Kári, and best wishes for his health.

Nico: Speaking of the recording process for Valkyrja, you enlisted George Kollias as drummer for the recording process. What was it like to work with one of metal’s most accomplished drummers?

Gunnar: He was absolutely astonishing to work with and he has a exceptional ear for music, and a lot of great ideas for how to put it together. He has a great personality.

Nico: Týr are set to return to the UK in October as support to Finntroll. Will this run of UK dates be in support of the new album or will you be returning to the UK later to support the new album?

Gunnar: This will be to support the new album but we hope to get more tours in England and plans are already being discussed for 2014.

Nico: While we’re on the topic of touring, following Týr‘s sold-out headline show in York last year at the Jorvik Viking Festival, are looking forward to playing the UK again?

Gunnar: YES! We are always looking forward to play in UK. We don’t do it as often as we would like and we love you Brits.

Nico: If could you meet any figure from the Viking Age, who would it be and why?

Gunnar: Of course Týr, the god of war. “Who else”?

Nico: If you were trapped on an island and could only listen to only one album until you were rescued, which one would it be and why?

GunnarPeace of Mind by Iron Maiden. And why? its the best album in this world.

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

Gunnar: Looking forward to see you all on the UK dates. We are looking forward to present the new album. Thank you for your support. we hail you Brits. Hail to the hammer!

Týr online:

http://facebook.com/tyrband

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