|Review: Leaves' Eyes - Sign of the Dragonhead|
|Sign of the Dragonhead|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2018
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: January 20, 2018
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
for:Sign of the Dragonhead
I've never been a huge fan of symphonic metal, so it goes without saying that Leaves' Eyes never really caught mine. I'm no stranger to the band, of course, as it features a well-known figure in the Metal community in Alexander Krull (Atrocity) and they've had a good run in the scene since 2003, but I've never been one to dive into the band's catalogue.
Picking through their catalogue, I can confidently say that the entourage's new adventure through cold seas, tall mountains and northern realms doesn't stray too far from the other works. Elina Siirala has a different tone than Liv Kristine's, but her soothing chants and mesmerizing vocal lines match perfectly with Krull's musical modus operandi.
"Fairer Than the Sun", for instance, is a great example of why Krull chose Siirala; beautiful and haunting, it successfully manages to grasp the band's classical atmosphere. Other tunes like "Fires in the North", "Jomsborg" and the epic "Waves of Euphoria" all have a folk vibe that resembles Turisas and Eluveitie, all while maintaining the romantic aura of its main genre. The last one even has some passages that reminded me of Xandria's latest works.
Being more serious and dense is what seems to work for Leave's Eyes on Sign of the Dragonhead. There is obviously a need for more laid-back and accessible tracks because of the band's nature, but Krull only truly shines when he's creating darker content. This album, I fear, will raise some eyebrows in the more hardcore Leaves' Eyes fans, especially those who are quite fond of Liv Kristine. Like I said in the first paragraph, though, this wasn't a problem for me because I have never been a fan of the band, so I was able to listen to the album relaxed. All in all, this is a decent album with some considerable setbacks, but I think it will age gracefully and end up receiving a warm welcome from the fans.
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