Liv Kristine - Vervain review



Reviewer:
N/A

47 users:
7.64
Band: Liv Kristine
Album: Vervain
Release date: October 2014


01. My Wilderness
02. Love Decay [featuring Michelle Darkness]
03. Vervain
04. Stronghold Of Angels [featuring Doro Pesch]
05. Hunters
06. Lotus
07. Elucidation
08. Two And A Heart
09. Creeper
10. Oblivious
11. Unbreakable [bonus]
12. Love Decay [bonus]
13. Stronghold Of Angels [bonus]


A Liv Kristine album that doesn't suck outright. The way things have been degrading year after year, an album after an album, there has been, frankly, little to no expectations on my part regarding the release of Liv's recent works, be it her solo or with Leaves' Eyes. Given that, all that Vervain had to be to impress me, was to be a notch above decent to make its mark. Thus, for the past weeks I've been trying to figure out if it amounts to anything more than that.

Admittedly, the gothic genre has lost most of its appeal to me with all the average Joes and plain Janes around. I still love a good gothic album, but they come few and far between. It's increasingly hard to find a good one and it takes an increasing effort of will to even go looking for one. Vervain broke this threshold with the pre-release single "Love Decay" - a gothic rock duet with Michelle Darkness. Quite unexpectedly, Liv's voice had popped up in not just a familiar context but in the right context.

That song nailed it in two aspects. Firstly, it's a good gothic rock tune, the mood and the melodies are right. Secondly, in Michelle, Liv has got deep male vocals to support and contrast her high and somewhat wailing voice. I'm only just realising that, as chauvinistic as it sounds, her voice alone just doesn't carry enough weight to pull off the songs; she needs lows for colour, to carry the stereotypical authority, and to bring out the best of her own range.

"Love Decay" is a blessing and a curse of this album. On the one hand it shows what works well with Liv. On the other hand it hangs as a dark, tainting shadow above the rest of the songs. It's not to say that the rest of the album is below it in quality. Vervain is a weird sort of album. If you start looking at it in detail, it stands its ground by borrowing from all around Liv's career. The songs appear to be good - it's the good gothic sound. The duet with Doro is also good. In detail, it all looks good, but look from afar and something crumbles.

There's a joke: "Look, a forest! - I don't see it, the trees are in the way." Vervain is just like that. It's got trees but they don't make up a forest. It's still just trees. There's something missing that would bind this good album together and make it great. While individually the songs appear to be good, as a whole the album comes off thin and airy. It needs more weight and substance. It's not that I miss Liv on Theatre Of Tragedy's Aégis - I really do - but it's the context where her voice works best, and "Love Decay" stands testimony to that. As such, Vervain is just good. Far better than anything she has released in years, though.


 



Written on 15.11.2014 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.

And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.


Comments

Comments: 3   Visited by: 137 users
16.11.2014 - 03:19
Susan
Smeghead
Interesting review. Your opening sentence means I may actually give it a try. What you say about her voice not being strong enough is unfortunately true for me as well. Also likely why Leaves' Eyes - Meredead is my favorite of their albums: because it incorporated so many guest vocalists and "team" singing.

After reading that "Women in Metal" article that Liv wrote, exposing what a complete and stereotypical dumb blonde she is, followed by some hilarious responses, I find it increasingly more difficult to take her seriously. After reading her own words and seeing this cover art I'm curious why this album was called "Vervain" instead of just "Vain."
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"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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16.11.2014 - 15:30
PocketMetal
Written by Susan on 16.11.2014 at 03:19

Interesting review. Your opening sentence means I may actually give it a try. What you say about her voice not being strong enough is unfortunately true for me as well. Also likely why Leaves' Eyes - Meredead is my favorite of their albums: because it incorporated so many guest vocalists and "team" singing.

After reading that "Women in Metal" article that Liv wrote, exposing what a complete and stereotypical dumb blonde she is, followed by some hilarious responses, I find it increasingly more difficult to take her seriously. After reading her own words and seeing this cover art I'm curious why this album was called "Vervain" instead of just "Vain."


Women in Metal are always beautiful? That must be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. Good thing I'm not much of a Liv fan, anyway. But if you found stuff like these on Anneke or Floor, can you please not ever show them to me?
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19.01.2015 - 20:46
AnGina--
Dark Phoenix
Written by Susan on 16.11.2014 at 03:19
After reading that "Women in Metal" article that Liv wrote, exposing what a complete and stereotypical dumb blonde she is, followed by some hilarious responses.


I LOL'd so hard. TBH, both Liv Kristine and her sister are well.... nicely said, those kind of women I would not be hanging out in real life with, even if my life depended on it; but nonetheless, it doesn't affect her workpiece. At least her solo work is Alex Krull's vocals-free and that's a plus.
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