1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Leaves Eyes - 'Njord'

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By

Leaves Eyes - Njord

Leaves Eyes - Njord

Napalm Records
When Liv Kristine was in Theatre Of Tragedy, they were one of the first bands to use classical female vocals and gruff male vocals, the so-called “Beauty And The Beast” genre. Kristine started Leaves Eyes a few years ago, and Njord is their third full-length. Her husband Alexander Krull is the male vocalist and producer, and his band Atrocity is also Leaves Eyes’ backing band.
It’s been four years since their last studio album Vinland Saga, and Leaves Eyes has made a nice progression on Njord. The songs are intricately composed, combining delicate classical influences with powerful metal guitars. The songs run the gamut from loud, bombastic and symphonic to quiet and fragile.

The album kicks off with the title track, which builds slowly into a cinematic and diverse song with Kristine’s singing offset by Krull’s growls. “Emerald Island” is a strong song, ebbing and flowing in tempo and intensity. “Through Your Veins” is one of the most accessible and mainstream leaning songs on Njord, with all melodic vocals and a nice combination of heaviness and melody.

“Irish Rain” is more subdued with acoustic guitars, a prominent flute, reserved vocals and more of a folk metal vibe. “Morgenland” is also in that vein, with piano and Kristine’s vocals in the forefront. Leaves Eyes tackles the traditional English ballad “Scarborough Fair,” popularized by Simon and Garfunkel in the mid 1960s. It’s given a symphonic arrangement with plenty of guitars and atmosphere, and is well-done.

The lyrical concept of Njord covers Nordic mythology. Kristine’s vocal performance on this album is outstanding. Her voice runs the gamut from quiet and emotional to “regular” singing to belting it out in a powerful classical style. She also sings in an astounding eight languages on the album, including English, Norwegian, Gaelic, and even a made up language for one brief sequence.

Sometimes symphonic/gothic metal albums get too caught up in the orchestral arrangements and forget about things like choruses and melody. Njord has both painstakingly composed and arranged songs along with memorable hooks and choruses. It’s hands down the band’s strongest effort thus far.

(released October 13, 2009 on Napalm Records)

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.