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Review: Leaves' Eyes - The Last Viking
Leaves' Eyes
The Last Viking

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2020
Duration: 1:03:48
Tracks: 14
Genre: Symphonic Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: October 26, 2020
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
The Last Viking

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

Leaves' Eyes has been around for a while now and is one of the leading symphonic/gothic bands in the field. The Last Viking is an ambitious album made up of 14 songs composed with a variety of stylistic flourishes within that symphonic/gothic metal framework. The guitar sound is strong but not overpowering and the vocals (the female ones, anyway) very much in the operatic Nightwish mold, more so than some other bands that play a similar style. The music is more cinematic than power metal and there are a lot of melodies and instrumentation employed that create different atmospheres throughout The Last Viking. You have the easily accessible double kicks and "beauty and the beast" vocals on "Chain of the Golden Horn", a song that will sound quite "typical" to fans of the genre. Leaves' Eyes switch things up on "Two Kings One Realm" which has a slow pace and quiet, introspective vocal lines and at the other end of the spectrum, the up-tempo Irish reel/sea shanty inspired "Varangians". The Last Viking is big album and a big step up from Leaves' Eyes' last album, Sign of the Dragonhead, a step they take confidently. The songwriting is better and more memorable and the only drawback for me is the length as I prefer a more compact album. Your mileage will undoubtedly vary. The Last Viking is a solid effort from Leaves' Eyes and fans of other symphonic/gothic metal bands such as Delain and Epica should not miss it.

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