|Review: Leaves' Eyes - Meredead|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2011
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: May 14, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3/5 (60%) (5 Votes)
I am at a loss when it comes to Leaves' Eyes latest album, Meredead. On the one hand, female-fronted Symphonic Metal, like Nightwish, Edenbridge or Ancient Bards, is one of my absolute favorite metal genres. Leaves' Eyes is certainly that. I also really enjoy when bands add folk elements to their music and Meredead is rife with strings, uileann pipes, bells and Gregorian-style chants. Some clean and harsh male vocals to complement Liv Christine's singing? Check. Flawless playing and production? Roger. So why am I not blown away by Meredead?
Well, if I made it sound like there is a lot going on, then I've done my job properly. Power, Symphonic, Folk and Gothic all fight for space within the songs on Meredead. The result is that none takes the lead and while that might produce an interesting, diverse sound in some cases, in this one you have an album without a clear identity. The "heavy" parts aren't as heavy as they could be, the "power" parts not as powerful and the folky parts alternate between just barely there to a bit over the top (i.e. the Norwegian language "Kråkevisa.") Lastly, and most notable, there isn't a lot of catchiness to Meredead. I've listened to the album half a dozen times in the last week and the songs refuse to stick in my brain.
I don't want to leave anyone with the impression that Meredead is a bad album. It is not. It is beautiful, lush and very well performed. However, the songwriting is missing the cohesiveness that would have made this album a killer.
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