AFM Records, Release Sept 11, 2015, playing time 44 min
As an avowed fan of Symphonic Metal I have to wonder why I had not taken a closer look at Leave’s Eyes until now. Liv Kristine, Alex Krull and their band mates are presenting really great stuff on their 6th album. It can easily compete with the biggest names of this genre!
„King of Kings” covers almost every facet of this genre, no matter if they are taking on a slow (‚King of Kings‘), fast (‚Veangeance Venom‘), epic (‚Blazing Waters‘) or a ballad song (‚Haraldskvæði‘). This makes „King of Kings” a really many-faceted album, especially because the instrumentation is changed constantly. The guitars, the rhythm instruments and the vocals are varied from song to song.
But there is also one constant: the always high-class songwriting with well-done choruses. It is difficult to make it any better, and I have not heard anything much better in quite a while! Therefore, because there is no bad song on „King of Kings”, it almost hits the top score.
No Symphonic Metal band has been so true to their style, for more than 10 years now, as Leaves Eyes. The high, fine voice of Liv Kristine, together with Alex Krull’s, her husband’s, growls have been known the world over since their first release “Lovelorn”, from 2004. Thematically, the band’s songs are about Liv’s home country, Norway. Old tales and stories about Viking kings have always been the band’s main inspiration. In the last few years, the albums told more and more complex stories and thus, turned into little musical fairytales of forgotten times. On their new album, “King of Kings”, Leaves Eyes sing about Viking king Harald I. Fairhair, about whom not much is known. But the band managed to make it a haunting saga, which could not be better accompanied by the music they play. It’s a beautiful piece of art, featuring the London Voices Choir and the Russian Symphony Orchestra. The icing on the cake is, however, the guest performance on “Edge of Steel” by Simone Simons (Epica). All in all, it’s a flawless and beautiful album, which immediately stirs up images of strong men, wild battles and beautiful maidens in my head. There is, however, one drawback: I would’ve wished to hear something new from Liv, perhaps some deeper notes or so. Because sometimes her high notes come pretty close to my pain threshold.