Rating:
N/A
Leaves' Eyes - Meredead
20 April 2011


Disc I
01. Spirits' Masquerade
02. Étaín
03. Velvet Heart
04. Kråkevisa
05. To France [Mike Oldfield cover]
06. Meredead
07. Sigrlinn
08. Mine Tåror Er Ei Grimme
09. Empty Horizon
10. Veritas
11. Nystev
12. Tell-Tale Eyes
13. Sorhleod [bonus]

Disc II [Bonus DVD] [Live At Metal Female Voices Festival 2010]
01. Njord
02. My Destiny
03. Ragnarok
04. Elegy
05. Froya's Theme


Passion and depth! Leaves' Eyes really staked a claim with this one: they showed up to tell the world that they're an awesome band doing their own thing and NOT clinging to the threads of a dying genre. With Meredead, Leaves' Eyes BROUGHT IT.

Not trying to hide my feelings: I love this album. Did not expect to, though. There are 14 tracks and it felt like the party didn't really get started until the 5th track, "To France," which breaks up the atmosphere of the openers. It's a cover, and you can really feel the difference in character, but it also kick starts the creativity, diversity, and energy from the band. Each song afterwards is unique, memorable, and passionate. And 14 tracks suddenly feels like too few.

Also keeping things interesting are two traditional Norwegian folk tunes, the most exciting of which is undoubtedly "Nystev." Here we have the musicians really let loose and clearly have fun; that enthusiasm is infectious.

That same "folk" vibe is present in many other songs, even more so than on past Leaves' Eyes albums. It permeates the rhythms and atmosphere so much so that when a fiddle solo erupts out of nowhere you realize you've already been up dancing for the last few songs without noticing.

That atmosphere is so well developed on Meredead that I really see beautiful colors and textures when listening. The sound is so complete it's tangible. Adding to this, Liv sounds lovely as usual and several guest vocalists accompany her; the group of singers contributes greatly to a festive and cohesive vibe. Midnattsol's Carmen showed up to join the fun, and Alexander Krull's gruff voice appears on the epic "Sigrlinn."

For some bizarre reason I initially thought I wouldn't like this album, yet it has managed to completely capture my heart. There are so many songs worth mentioning and so many musical elements worth mentioning but it's better if I leave that up to your own curiosity and discovery.

Favourite songs: Nystev, Tell-Tale Eyes, Sigrlinn


Band profile: Leaves' Eyes
Album: Meredead


 



Written on 18.09.2011 by
Susan
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Susan ››



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WorpeX - 18.09.2011 at 01:03  
Alexander Krull is only on one song? : /
BloodTears - 18.09.2011 at 18:55  
I'm yet to check this album, even though I quite enjoy the music of Leaves' Eyes.

This review gave me a new boost for that
Elodie Artour - 19.09.2011 at 00:36  
Written by WorpeX on 18.09.2011 at 01:03

Alexander Krull is only on one song? : /

Of course not. He's done vocals for a few songs on this record.

Pretty enthusiastic review Lyrinan! I disagree about the dying genre part but otherwise, your words pretty much sum up the vibe of the album. Had big expectations for it and the band totally met them! I really love the new folk direction they've taken although I surely miss their old emotional stuff...
Angel_Lament - 19.09.2011 at 02:07  
A really beautifully-written review, although I must say this album was a bit disappointment to me, and the main reason is that the production seems a little "forced", I liked their natural-driven sound more, like for instance on Vinland Sagas, and I must say that Mike Oldfield's cover is the worst song on the album, don't know why...I just can't like it!
other than that, I agree with you on the highlights of the album, especially Sigrlinn, which Carmen really gave a very good performance in, and the guest vocalists are one of the good things about this album...
so to sum it up, a good album.
Cassian - 19.09.2011 at 04:56  
I thought this album would be repetitive, but surprisingly it is not! It's even more carefully structured than their previous effort.

10 Stars to Leaves' Eyes - for their bravery and loyalty to "a dying genre" :-)
wrathchild - 19.09.2011 at 09:15  
Might check this album. To me, Leaves' Eyes is one of the reasons why one can say the genre is dying. Dull and uninteresting, pathetic attempt at satisfying a not-that-hot female singer's ego.
So if this album is really good stuff, I might have to change the vocabulary I associate to the band.
tirim4 - 19.09.2011 at 09:57  
I just can't stand Livs singing... to me it just sounds unpersonal and dull.
mariano - 19.09.2011 at 16:03  
Written by wrathchild on 19.09.2011 at 09:15

Might check this album. To me, Leaves' Eyes is one of the reasons why one can say the genre is dying. Dull and uninteresting, pathetic attempt at satisfying a not-that-hot female singer's ego.
So if this album is really good stuff, I might have to change the vocabulary I associate to the band.

I would recommend not wasting your time on it, specially if you don't really like them much already cause this album is way too long and most of the time quite boring.
I've never fully enjoyed this band, but always felt they had the potential to do great music... I think they already gave the best they could
Dark Blood - 19.09.2011 at 20:15  
I haven't been into Leaves' Eyes lately, and specially after a letdown like Njord, this album kinda passed me by. But after reading your review I'm thinking it might not be that bad. I'll give it a chance someday.
wrathchild - 19.09.2011 at 22:26  
So I did it, I listened to the album and yeah I found it surprisingly pleasant. 3 things they really need to improve:
- we can't feel the passion, it sounds like they're not 100% at what they do
- that's especially true with Liz' voice, plus she uses it quite the same way on every song
- they'd better trim it to 10 songs max

But the album is certainly not bad.
dismaleuphony - 20.09.2011 at 23:54  
Ah, I absolutely love your enthusiasm in this review, and upon reading all it found myself almost in disbelief, considering I'd basically shelved this disc about a month after getting the cd/dvd after its release. But, one great thing a review can do is suggest a new way to approach an album, and you certainly succeeded in that. I think I realize what I was doing incorrectly, in that I should have skipped the first four tracks (which I still find mildly boring and poorly arranged, even now), and started with "To France." I still don't like the song, but it's catchy, and a better warm-up for the rest of the album, which I agree has the highlights of "Nystev" and Sigrlinn" in it. The title track and "Tell-Tale Eyes" are quite good too, I see now. As an album, it's too disjointed for me, and I guess I'm still so biased toward the songs on their first two albums I'll never recover from it, but I'm glad I checked out the disc again, as now I have something to look forward to off this disc when I see them again

Certainly better than Njord, and while I also disagree with you on the "dying genre" comment (though I'm thinking we may be looking at the same music in a mildly different lens), it's a great review on an album that surely any fan of Liv's singing & metal-oriented folk rock should check out. I've missed reviews like this.
Susan - 21.09.2011 at 06:14  
Written by dismaleuphony on 20.09.2011 at 23:54

Ah, I absolutely love your enthusiasm in this review, and upon reading all it found myself almost in disbelief, considering I'd basically shelved this disc about a month after getting the cd/dvd after its release. But, one great thing a review can do is suggest a new way to approach an album, and you certainly succeeded in that. I think I realize what I was doing incorrectly, in that I should have skipped the first four tracks (which I still find mildly boring and poorly arranged, even now), and started with "To France." I still don't like the song, but it's catchy, and a better warm-up for the rest of the album, which I agree has the highlights of "Nystev" and Sigrlinn" in it. The title track and "Tell-Tale Eyes" are quite good too, I see now. As an album, it's too disjointed for me, and I guess I'm still so biased toward the songs on their first two albums I'll never recover from it, but I'm glad I checked out the disc again, as now I have something to look forward to off this disc when I see them again

Certainly better than Njord, and while I also disagree with you on the "dying genre" comment (though I'm thinking we may be looking at the same music in a mildly different lens), it's a great review on an album that surely any fan of Liv's singing & metal-oriented folk rock should check out. I've missed reviews like this.


Yes! Skip the first 4 tracks and you can truly discover this album. Once I fell in love with the later songs I was able to go back and appreciate the first 4 tracks but initially they just put some a same-y damper on the experience. I love them now but it took me a while to get here. I'm so glad you gave this music another chance
GT - 23.09.2011 at 23:24  
A good review that describes the album quite well even though I don't recall the first four songs being that bad. Been a while since I heard it though, so I might just have chosen to forget them
Ivan - 19.10.2011 at 17:12  
Your review persuaded me to give this album a chance - and I have to say that it's surprisingly good, perhaps my favorite from Leaves' Eyes. Love Tell-Tale Eyes, one of the best tracks I've heard this year.

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