Leaves’ Eyes – ‘Sign Of The Dragonhead’ (AFM Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Nick Russell   
Monday, 15 January 2018 04:20

Leaves Eyes artworkThere is no getting away from it, the epic Euro dominated genre of symphonic metal can generally be classed as marmite metal. You either love it with a passion bordering on partisan obsession or you hate it with every fibre of your being! There aren’t many people who think it’s just alright. German/Norwegian originated Leaves’ Eyes live well and truly within the genre, having released six albums worth of Nordic/mythical inspired metal. No pressure then with the release of this, their seventh album, and first without their respected original vocalist, so enter Elina Siirala to the fray.


The title track opens things with a bit of a groove to it and Elina introducing herself in operatic fashion. This album is yet more tales of the Vikings, with the folky overtones of ‘Across The Sea’ sounding like the perfect soundtrack to the History Channel’s TV series. Things go in all together heavier direction with the riff of ‘Like A Mountain’, although I’m not quite sure the really light parts fit with the really dark parts. ‘Jomsborg’, complete with its chugging almost thrash like riff is next before one of the more commercial tracks on the whole album, ‘Volva’. ‘Riders On The Wind’ could almost be a Nordic Dropkick Murphys and things are taken down a notch with the all-out ballad ‘Fairer Than The Sun’.


There’s a nice riff on ‘Shadows In The Night’ followed by a short intermission which is the instrumental ‘Rulers Of Wind And Waves’. Despite it’s title, ‘Fires In The North’ isn’t the barnstormer you might expect, a bit limp to be honest. But the final track does redeem things a little. ‘Waves Of Euphoria’ is my favourite track here, a much heavier and faster song, very much more in the vein of the Viking masters, Amon Amarth.


The album sounds good, with the addition of a choir and orchestra adding to the epic nature of the songs, the production is nice and clear and the band are playing well. There is also no question that Elina can sign, her operatic tones fitting right in with the music and the story.



My problem is that her high pitched warbling’s are just a bit too much for my tastes, if there was a tint of gruffness every now and then, I may have enjoyed it more. But as it is, an ok album but it just begins to grate on me after a while. That said, if you are into your operatic metal, I’m sure there is plenty to keep you entertained, and even more certain that plenty of our Euro cousins (although that doesn’t apply in these Brexit days) will enjoy this. Me, I’d just like a little more vocal grit.


‘Sign Of The Dragonhead’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.




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