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Leaves' Eyes - My Destiny
CD Reviews
Written by Max Levites   
Tuesday, 04 August 2009
Leaves' Eyes - EP Review
My Destiny
Leaves' Eyes - My Destiny

CD Info

2009

 Napalm Records

6 Tracks

English Lyrics

 

 

 

Leaves’ Eyes has kept us waiting long enough. It’s been four years since Vinland Saga came out, and still no Njord. The band seems to have recognized the agonizing test of patience that they are putting their fans through, so they released not only the super-DVD package that was We Came With the Northern Winds/En Saga I Belgia, but also a little appetizer to Njord, an EP entitled My Destiny.

Not only did this not satisfy my hunger for new Leaves’ Eyes material, but it just left me hungering for Njord even more. Not to say that this is a bad release. It’s merely one of those appetizers at an uber-fancy restaurant. Delicious in every way, but the portion is tiny.

Enough of my ranting. Now to the review.

Leaves’ Eyes is back and has brought with it a newer sound. The new material not only shows that Leaves’ Eyes has matured and finally found that sound they seem to have been looking for, but it is overall better in composition and is musically superior than anything they’ve released yet. The sound is more bombastic than ever and more epic, yet still highly accessible. Liv Kristine, the band’s frontwoman, had decided to use her voice in a more operatic way this time, instead of the usual angelic lullaby voice, bringing a new edge to the music of Leaves’ Eyes. To put this in better perspective, think of the song "Solemn Sea" off Vinland Saga, multiply it by five, and add some more guitar and a few extra tricks in there.

There are a mere six songs on this release. Not enough, in my opinion. It starts off with what is to be the first single from the new album and the title track of this EP, My Destiny. I let my friend listen to it, a friend who has never heard of Leaves’ Eyes (although he is familiar with Liv Kristine from her work with Cradle of Filth). He said it sounded like a more hardcore Evanescence. I was at first taken aback by this statement, thinking "how could anyone ever compare Leaves’ Eyes and Evanescence?!" To any big fan, this seems a bit absurd. But then I took another listen to both bands, and realized he had a point. It sounds a bit more like the commercially friendly gothic metal that Evanescence does, but heavier and musically superior. Sometimes, the opinion of someone neutral and unbiased has much more truth in it. Don’t let this comparison turn you off, however. This is undoubtedly a Leaves’ Eyes song, complete with the Nordic theme, operatic female vocals, and harsh male vocals from Alex Krull.

The CD continues with the epic Battle of Maldon, which adds even more bombast to the sound, and then with an acoustic version of the English folk song, Scarborough Fair. It’s a bit different from the Simon and Garfunkel version we’ve all come to know and love, but it has its own charm in Liv’s vocals and in the uilleann pipes and harp-like guitars that accompany her. Then comes the strangely pop-ish but nonetheless epic Northbound, and the ballad Nine Wave Maidens. Each of these tracks oozes the amazing quality that we’ve come to expect from Leaves’ Eyes, but with, as said earlier, more bombast and epicness than ever before. The CD ends with an interesting remix of the title track.

Leaves’ Eyes seems to be continuing with the whole Nordic and Viking theme that has defined them since Vinland Saga, as well as the theme of separation and love that appeared on Vinland Saga. Battle of Maldon refers to a Viking battle (obviously), while Northbound is about a warrior’s journey north and the separation between him and his wife. The songs on the upcoming Njord will follow these themes as well. Only two of the tracks here are going to appear on the full album: My Destiny and Northbound. The non-acoustic version of Scarborough Fair will also appear on Njord. Even so, this EP is worth getting just for the non-album tracks.

All in all, this tasty appetizer just makes me hunger for the main course even more. Probably what the band wanted, of course. The more hype, the more sales. But if this EP is a mere taste of what’s to come, I’m ready to be blown away by the upcoming album.

9 / 10

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