Leaves' Eyes - Symphonies Of The Night review
|Album:||Symphonies Of The Night|
|Release date:||November 2013|
01. Hell To The Heavens
02. Fading Earth
03. Maid Of Lorraine
05. Symphony Of The Night
06. Saint Cecelia
07. Hymn To The Lone Sands
08. Angel And The Ghost
09. Éléonore de Provence
12. Eileen's Ardency [feat. Carmen Elise Espenæs] [bonus]
13. One Caress [Depeche Mode cover] [bonus]
Leaves' Eyes had the clearest of visions on their 2011 studio release, Meredead. Their sights were set on locating their symphonic sound in a wonderfully authentic and atmospheric folk climate, venturing convincingly into a Celtic instrumental focus whilst retaining their Scandinavian fascinations. That bright day has passed as Symphonies Of The Night takes hold.
More often than not, the album falls into "classical" symphonic metal arrangements. Well written and performed, no doubt, but remarkably featureless and really quite generic and unexplorative, given a retrospective glance at their back-catalogue. The folk focus which has always been a distinct characteristic of theirs has here been largely abandoned, the end result being an album which leaves Liv Kristine very much in the limelight. Alongside the harder hitting rhythm section, her performance here is outstanding and leaves little to be desired. Yet her voice is set into an album which typically relies on the edgier side of the music for the listener's recollection, often relying on Liv's pristinely clear voice solely or falling into a standard "beauty and the beast" contrast with little sense of adventure or variation. This aspect of the song writing has received such a focus so as to leave out any intricacies the likes of which made Meredead such an enticing experience. Granted, said intricacies did depend upon a myriad of guest performers and contributors, which just makes this effort seem so lacklustre in comparison.
As a result the album is far less atmospheric; any atmospheric passages pass by without leaving a connected and overall impression. Liv Kristine does become a clear focal point, which will be sure to impress from a perspective focused in on her voice as she excels herself here in a mature and more operatic style. Yet her forward position alongside husband Alexander Krull and the impressive guitar delivery aren't placed within the same absorbing atmosphere the band are known for. Her voice is not a well placed element of the music as it was on Meredead, instead she becomes this record's dependency. On this album, the approach can no longer be described as particularly atmospheric and comes across as merely another well performed and generic piece of symphonic metal.
The use of spoken word is used effectively to entice the listener to absorb the lyrical content, which enhances the atmosphere to an extent, with most of the tracks dealing with particularly prominent women in history. However, its general haphazard selection of subjects and slight folk influences bear little to no interrelation and achieve little in the generation of an overarching theme. One gets the sense that the record is of a "darker" nature, and as much is stated in the album's title, but it isn't clearly conveyed to allow for a cogent atmosphere.
Efficient but unremarkable is the best way to describe Symphonies Of The Night, the performance has reached a high point for the band, yet the album lacks a unique character and distinctive atmosphere to set it apart from contemporaries within the symphonic metal genre.
||Written on 23.01.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.|
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