Leave's Eyes
Njord

One could argue that in the space of just three full length albums , Liv Kristine and her spectacular cleavage , err I mean voice, have become Gothic metal’s premier act. The formula they ply has been done amply by the likes of Nighwish, Epica, Stream of Passion and a host of other boobie fronted synth based metal acts, but Leave’s Eyes have certainly taken the formula and perfected it.

Of course, the centerpiece of the material is Kristine’s angelic voice, though for some reason spouse Alex Krull, further cementing his fall from early Atrocity greatness feels the need to inject his own rather lame gruff growls and shouts randomly. Musically, this is top notch Napalm Records Gothic metal; lush orchestral synths and generally mid paced metal with stout guitars and a nice balance of expected chugging, amicable metal (“Through Your Veins”, “Northbound”) and ballads (“Irish Rain”, “Morgenland”). Even if wrapped in a Norse tale, the music does little to convey more than an operatic metal visage as the synths swell with soundtrack like atmospheres and the guitars simply add a study backbone that is amicable yet robust.

Kristine’s voice is perfectly suited to the music, and she is indeed one of the genre top voices glossing all the tracks with ample range and presence that mixes somber operatics and sensuality. From the albums grandiose opening title track, through single “My Destiny” and a particularly evocative cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” to epic eight minute closer “Freya’s Theme”, Njord is simply an example of classy, female fronted metal done with a professionalism and perfection that many of the genre acts simply can’t blend without coming across as mere Nightwish clones. Leaves Eye’s may have taken the Nightwish formula themselves but they separate themselves from the pack, in part to Kristine and in part to the ability to eschew usual soppy Goth themes, they have a likeable character all of their own. And I’d be lying if as a red blooded male, like Epica’s Simone Simons, Kristine being superior eye candy doesn’t hurt either. Yeah , I’m a pig, I know. (Is it me or did she get some ‘work’ done since Vinland Saga? or is that just a push-up bra?).

That all being said, I’m hardly going to jam Njord on my Ipod all the time. But when I am in the mood for a little musical alone time, Leave’s Eyes is certainly my female fronted band of choice right now. And trust me, Napalm records has sent me a shit ton of it recently.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 22nd, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Nah, she’s always had huge boobs. Even from her Theatre Of Tragedy days. She just uses more push-ups and corsets now. Good album.

    You should listen to Midnattsol, Liv’s sister’s band. Guys from Ahab playing symphonic stuff. It’s pretty cool.


  2. Commented by: biff tannen

    Man, this kind of music is absolute garbage. Mainstream metal at it’s worst. This is no different than top 40 pop crap.
    Look at the 80’s…the ‘big’ mainstream bands gave us classic records like “Powerslave”, “7th son…” “British Steel”, “Show no Mercy”, “Hell Awaits”, “Reign In Blood”, “Ride the Lightning”, “Peace Sells..” etc etc etc etc.
    The big bands in the 90’s gave us some great stuff too…from “In The Nightside Eclipse” to “None So Vile”

    The popular acts of the 2000’s have given us nothing but vapid, plastic, bubble gum, female fronted syth pop. Its boring, its inoffensive, it has no FEELING to it. It doesn’t have that timeless quality to it…. its simply a PRODUCT. not art.
    20 years from now, all the albums I mentioned plus many more will still be remembered, but this stuff certainly will not.


  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I saw the beginning of this comment on the main page and already knew it was you, Biff. :)

    so what are the popular acts of the 2000s then? most of us here spend so much time with underground stuff, I have no clue what’s actually popular, aside from Hot Topic deathcore or the remains of the US metalcore explosion and even then I have no idea just how popular that stuff actually is.


  4. Commented by: faust666

    Can’t stand this kind of “metal” anymore.


  5. Commented by: Timmy

    I like the way you’re talking, Biff.


  6. Commented by: gabaghoul

    ok I am not ashamed to say that I really enjoy some Nightwish songs. but this was really toothless and meh. so I agree with you there Biff.


  7. Commented by: biff tannen

    gaba- The deathcore/metalcore shit has only really been ‘popular’ for the last year or so, and not really representative of the decade as a whole, in my opinion. When I think of popular 2000’s metal, this is the kind of stuff I think of right away.

    Alan from Primordial said it best in his myspace blog :

    “there is a groundswell of people moving away from the mainstream. Tired of vaccous, air brushed pop metal who want something with teeth made by real people with integrity and honesty. When did Metal become so full of fucking shit?…didn’t the big bands in the 80s and 90s belong to us? Huge bands but making some of the most important albums of the time. Slayer, Maiden, Priest, Death, Possessed, Sodom, Kreator, Megadeth the list goes on and on from the 80s. From the 90s we had the second wave of Black Metal and Death metal at the head of the 90s to seminal doom and doom/death albums…Morbid Angel to Dark Throne to Paradise Lost.

    What does the 00’s give the mainstream? the horror of corseted eurovision female fronted pop stinking like an open sewer from every new rock alchemy dancefloor nightmare you ever had, myspace sports casual death metal for hairdressers and beer bong frat boy jock thrash
    Where’s the anger and the fucking danger? I’ll tell you where. In the underground that’s where. Right under your nose and you’ve no excuse…it’s so damn easy these days.”

    I think he’s right on the money !


  8. Commented by: gordeth

    I never thought this stuff was that popular. Is it big in Europe? Metalcore has been the big thing around here ever since nu metal died.


  9. Commented by: gabaghoul

    the 00s gave the US mainstream nu-metal (Korn, Godsmack, Mudvayne, etc), metalcore (Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, Shadows Fall, etc) and screamo and all its goth-flavored puppies (Thursday, Thrice, Atreyu, Bullet for My Valentine, etc).

    of those I only like Lamb of God, a few of the early Korn albums and the first two Killswitch albums. everything else, meh.

    and gordeth is right, this kind of symphonic female-fronted pop metal has never been big in the States, only Lacuna Coil (and Nightwish to a lesser degree) has gotten any real exposure.


  10. Commented by: gabaghoul

    continued:

    even if the metal genres I mentioned are offensive to fans who spend most of their time listening to far more underground (and quality) stuff, I think you could argue that these bands have all been way more mainstream than the classic thrash and death metal bands ever were in the 80s.

    part of it is savvier marketing (the much more conspicuous, accessible presence of things like MTV and Hot Topic, not to mention tons of corporate-sponsored touring festivals) but it’s also just more common and accepted to listen to these bands now (not to mention granddaddies like Metallica, who went totally mainstream), with less of the social pigeonholing that marked the 80s.


  11. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    can we try and stay on point here folks?

    Liv’s boobies?


  12. Commented by: biff tannen

    “can we try and stay on point here folks?

    Liv’s boobies?”

    Eh…. They are decent, but that face is a killer (in photos not airbrushed and covered in makeup). Ugh.

    It looks like she ran a 100 yard dash in a 50 gym.


  13. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    yeah- ill admit -im not a fan of the face either, very synthetic looking. Simone is way hotter in the face


  14. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Simone Simons = hottest chick in metal.

    although the dude with the cape in the Leaves’ Eyes band photo (far left) is quite the stud as well.


  15. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Personally, I’m more of a Sharon Den Adel/Anneke Van Giersbergen fan. Simone Simons has that Megan Fox thing going on where I think she’s sex on legs but not beautiful.

    I do like some of these bands. I need some candy-coated music-stuffs after listening all day to Ignivomous, Axis Of Advance, Deathspell Omega or the like. Draining, engaging listening topped off with vapid pop-metal. Sounds like a plan. :D


  16. Commented by: gabaghoul

    but which would you rather fuck to?

    you know, I don’t like Rhapsody or Hammerfall but I think it’d be hilarious to have that on, especially when you finish.


  17. Commented by: Shane

    ^ HA HA HA!!! Yes, most epic money shot ever!!


  18. Commented by: jk666

    Since when does Metal have to conform to any kind of standard. The thing that always made Metal great in my eyes was that you could do whatever you want.


  19. Commented by: Tailspin

    “Most” metal from the 80’s, the popular albums that everyone common Joe remembers only remembers them because at the time they were built as a commercial product, primed for MTV.

    All one has to do is peek into their lyrics, which all share the same commonality as being simplistic, recycled, and worded so that all people with an IQ under 80 and a beer buzz can relate to them.

    Really, anyone that can consider AC/DC as art? Seriously, get your head examined.

    Really ‘metal’ is a label that should have never been thrown on a music genre like Leave’s Eyes, Nightwish, Epica etc. It is something altogether different, and superior in my book.

    Oh and about Liv Christine, she is absolutely beautiful with a capital “B”, looks, voice, personality. Her husband is one incredibly lucky guy.


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