Rating:
6.8
Leaves' Eyes - Symphonies Of The Night
15 November 2013


01. Hell To The Heavens
02. Fading Earth
03. Maid Of Lorraine
04. Galswintha
05. Symphony Of The Night
06. Saint Cecelia
07. Hymn To The Lone Sands
08. Angel And The Ghost
09. Éléonore de Provence
10. Nightshade
11. Ophelia
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.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 9


Band profile: Leaves' Eyes
Album: Symphonies Of The Night


 



Written on 23.01.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
More reviews by R'Vannith ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 6  
Users visited: 151  
Search this topic:  


Dark†SymphonY - 23.01.2014 at 18:32  
It's a shame the band ditched the Celtic/folk elements on the last album, now the band is another symphonic band with opera lead vocals. Liv's vocals have deteriorated IMO too.
ManiacBlasphemer - 23.01.2014 at 19:48  
Written by Dark†SymphonY on 23.01.2014 at 18:32

It's a shame the band ditched the Celtic/folk elements on the last album, now the band is another symphonic band with opera lead vocals. Liv's vocals have deteriorated IMO too.


Yep, I actually liked Meredead for its folky approach and I regreted the fact that this album abandoned it, but I do like this one as well, even though there is just little material here that could be called 'impressive'. Nothing mind-blowing on this one, just safe played symphonic metal.
the_scarecrow - 23.01.2014 at 23:07  
Written by Dark†SymphonY on 23.01.2014 at 18:32

It's a shame the band ditched the Celtic/folk elements on the last album, now the band is another symphonic band with opera lead vocals. Liv's vocals have deteriorated IMO too.


I agree. Meredead had a sense of originality to it.
As for Liv's vocals, while I do enjoy them, I feel she is much more suited to a less "powerful" vocal style, such as her performance on Theatre Of Tragedy's Aégis.
Liv's operatic vocals are certainly good, but they sound as if she is trying too hard, and it just feels uninspired. Just my opinion.
Ernis - 23.01.2014 at 23:21  
I have missed half of their newer material... it's a shame... I feel I need to check Meredead out... as I haven't listened to the album discussed here in the review, I can't really have a say in the matter... what I can say, though, is that the album title is a humongous cliché... black symphony/black symphonia/night symphony/symphony of the night/symphonies of the night/nighttime symphonica bla bla bla... and let's not forget the beautiful black velvety and silky Victorian outfits and operatic vocals... at some point you grow tired... can't ignore the cleavage tho...
D Serenade - 25.01.2014 at 05:56  
Written by Dark†SymphonY on 23.01.2014 at 18:32

It's a shame the band ditched the Celtic/folk elements on the last album, now the band is another symphonic band with opera lead vocals. Liv's vocals have deteriorated IMO too.


Whaaat??? please... listen to the album... this one is better than Meredead and it´s very celtic and folk, more than many past albums
R'Vannith - 25.01.2014 at 06:18  
There are some folk elements, as always. They are used infrequently though, especially in comparison to the previous album. "Galswintha", "Hymn To The Lone Sands" and "Nightshade" are where they are most obviously used, and the elements of those are not all Celtic, though that aspect to them is identifiable at points (some residue from the previous album I'm assuming). Though when the folk elements are used, they seem to me to be a varied mix which don't really relate strongly to one particular culture/tradition of instrumentation.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Leaves' Eyes - Symphonies Of The Night 9 07.01.2013 by Opethian
Events GBR, Birmingham - Leaves' Eyes: Symphonies of the Night UK Tour 7.5 19.01.2014 by Reika
News Liv Kristine - Check Out The New Video 6 03.08.2010 by Shankao
News Leaves' Eyes - Updates From The Band 6 02.01.2009 by Angel_Lament
News Leaves' Eyes - To Play In India For The First Time 6 21.08.2010 by Ernis



Hits total: 2583 | This month: 105