Leiden - Empty review


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Band: Leiden
Album: Empty
Release date: December 2003

01. Empty
02. A New Place
03. Les Maux
04. Entlarvt
05. Das Wort Vom Zur - Tieffe - Gehen
06. Spirale
07. Cry
08. Le Possédé
09. La Brèche
10. Gangrene
11. Vibration

'Empty' is the first real album of the French band Leiden, after the acclaimed EP 'L'Aube Spirituelle'. I can't wait to say that kind of album is bound to lead French metal on the road of recognition. Only a few bands in the world can pride themselves on having so much originality. I am amazed by the youth of this band: usually a band reaches this level of mastering after a long career. Here, Leiden, after only a few years of existence already have found their way, their own and original personnality. Sorry I'm repeating myself by the one word that comes to my mind while I'm listening to 'Empty' again and again is 'originality'. They label their music under the name 'nu dark', but in my opinion this is too simplistic. The complete way to describe their music and to fulfill my need for labelling would be alternative dark death goth metal.

The title track 'Empty' that opens the album is the perfect summary of their style: a heavy dark metal riff that opens on a few industrial beats, then the pure, clean, simply beautiful vocals [in French, English and German] of Bérangère, whose progress since the EP is amazing. I bet no one can listen to this album without being blocked on this voice... but don't try to compare it to any other female singer in metal, because it is useless; this is undoubtedly the strongest point of the album, but certainly not the only interest. This crystal voice is sometimes joined by male vocals, either death growlings or whispers, that had a touch of aggressiveness to this world of delicacy.

The music balances between mid tempo dark death riffs enhanced by atmospheric and discreet but efficient keyboards ['Le Possédé] and symphonic gothic metal that once more does not sound like anything else but Leiden. Sometimes an electronic beat or a few acoustic arpeggios come to show us that Leiden is not limited by any musical boundary, and that they are not afraid to surprise the audience when they feel the need. Here I must congratulate the production that doesn't decrease the efficience of these young guys and perfectly renders every arrangement.

The most astounding fact for those who know their first EP is the impression of maturity that drips of 'Empty'. Whereas on 'L'Aube Spirituelle' one sometimes had the feeling to hear a young band, as a few flaws were made, 'Empty' is the album of an adult band that masters the songwriting [I mean that some bands that try to mix many styles into one often release messy albums]. The black passages that were present on the EP have completely vanished, and the death vocals are quite discreet. Although the major importance has been given to the female vocals, nothing sounds cliché. And yet gothic metal bands with female singers spring up like mushrooms, but none has the originality [once again] of Leiden.

'Empty' is the witness of the growth of a band with a strong personnality that is meant to become too big for their country. After seeing them several times in concert, I can tell that if they come round your city, don't hesitate... just go and prepare to succumb to their charming power. But first sell your mom if needed but get this album.

Written by Deadsoulman | 07.01.2004


Staff review by
I was actually interested in this band, I've read the reviews, heard some samples and I decided it was time to get this, one or another way I would get it, French-based Gothic-Doom-Nu Metal band "Leiden" (translated: suffering in German) was a high hope in my books. The deception was great.

If I could qualify this album it would be boring! And not because mostly is slow to mid-paced, I have great Doom bands that go at 1bpm and they're a pleasant experience, is because Leiden fails to create an appropriate atmosphere in their music, thus, becoming boring, very boring.

published 18.06.2004 | Comments (0)

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