This is a zine dedicated to Symphonic and gothic metal

LEAVES’ EYES

Leaves’ Eyes is a German-Norwegian symphonic metal band from Stavanger, Norway and Ludwigsburg, Germany. They were formed in 2003 by Liv Kristine, the former lead singer of Theatre of Tragedy and the entire line-up of Atrocity. To date, the band has released five studio albums, a single, six EPs, one live album and a DVD.

Most of Leaves’ Eyes lyrics, written by Liv Kristine, concern Norse mythology and the Viking Age. The melodic singing vocals of Liv Kristine are occasionally backed up by death growled vocals from Krull, identified under the vocal style Kristine refers to as “beauty and the beast”

Lovelorn(2004)

Leaves’ Eyes have often featured naturalistic themes in their music since the release of their 2004 debut album, Lovelorn. Many of the lyrics to this album were inspired not only by nature, but also by sagas and legends drawn from Norse mythology. The band was received well at Wave Gotik Treffen 2004, the band’s stage premiere.

Every band member had previous professional experience in other musical endeavors for years before joining Leaves’ Eyes, thus essentially making it a supergroup. Frontwoman Liv Kristine sang in the band Theatre of Tragedy in the mid 1990s. This Norwegian band was one of the first to feature a female voice in the metal scene, and their club hit Tanz der Schatten became synonymous with the direction and expression of a whole musical genre. In addition, Liv Kristine was present in the pop music scene and sang the songs to TV hits such as Tatort and Schimanski. The supporting members of the band hail from the death metal band Atrocity.

1.     “Norwegian Lovesong”
2.     “Tale of the Sea Maid”
3.     “Ocean’s Way”
4.     “Lovelorn”
5.     “The Dream”
6.     “Secret”
7.     “For Amelie”
8.     “Temptation”
9.     “Into Your Light”
10.     “Return to Life
File:Lovelorn cover.jpg

Vinland Saga(2005)

One year after Lovelorn, Leaves’ Eyes released the follow-up album Vinland Saga in 2005, inspired by Viking Leif Eriksson. The album’s first single, Elegy, charted in Germany for four consecutive weeks. Television station ProSieben used Elegy as the official song for the TV series NUMB3RS.

In addition to their studio endeavors, Leaves’ Eyes also tours extensively. In the course of four years, the band traveled through four continents and 34 countries and played 222 concerts. The Live DVD We Came with the Northern Winds – En Saga I Belgia entered the German DVD charts at number 11 in 2009. This exclusive package documented the history of the band and features the concert at the Metal Female Voices Festival in 2007. This headline show was performed with complex props, including a Viking longship on stage.

1.     “Vinland Saga”
2.     “Farewell Proud Men”
3.     “Elegy”
4.     “Solemn Sea”
5.     “Leaves’ Eyes”
6.     “The Thorn”
7.     “Misseri (Turn Green Meadows Into Grey)”
8.     “Amhrán (Song of the Winds)”
9.     “New Found Land”
10.     “Mourning Tree”
11.     “Twilight Sun”
12.     “Ankomst” (Arrival)

File:Vinland Saga cover.jpg

Njord(2009)

Njord was released in 2009, continuing the band’s success in the charts. The album’s first single My Destiny soon became the successor to the anthem Elegy. Njord critically acclaimed as “an epic masterpiece”. The album was done in a much more modern style than those previous, and featured symphonic metal tracks of increasing complexity with the help of the Lingua Mortis Orchestra directed by Victor Smolski. Many of the lyrics were inspired by the English traditional “Scarborough Fair”. The band’s live performances were as equally successful throughout Europe and North America as their studio work. For the Special Fan Edition of Njord, Leaves’ Eyes recorded the At Heaven’s End EP in 2010.

1.     “Njord”
2.     “My Destiny”
3.     “Emerald Island”
4.     “Take the Devil in Me”
5.     “Scarborough Fair”       Traditional
6.     “Through Our Veins”
7.     “Irish Rain”
8.     “Northbound”
9.     “Ragnarok”
10.     “Morgenland” (The Morning Land)
11.     “The Holy Bond”
12.     “Frøya’s Theme”
13.     “Landscape of the Dead” (bonus track)
14.     “Les champs de lavande” (Lavender Fields) (bonus track)

File:Cover njord leaveseyes.jpg

Meredead(2011)

One year later, Leaves’ Eyes released their fourth studio album, Meredead. Produced by Alexander Krull, the artists combined folk elements from previous albums to inspire the mood of Meredead. The opening track, “Spirits’ Masquerade”, uses folk instrumentation to refine the album’s varied sound. The tracks Étaín and Sigrlinn lyrically recount the mysticism of past cultures and are supported by uileann pipes. The album also features more traditional-sounding songs, such as Nystev and Kråkevisa. The latter makes use of the Scandinavian nyckelharpa, or keyed fiddle. Also present on the album is a cover of To France, an interpretation of the tragedy and emotion of Mike Oldfield’s classic track. Maite Itoiz and John Kelly (Elfenthal), Carmen Elise Espenæs (Midnattsol), the Norwegian Anette Guldbrandsen, and Victor Smolski’s Lingua Mortis Orchestra once again provide supporting vocals and instrumentation.

The EP Melusine in 2011 was a special release in co-operation with German Sonic Seducer Magazine.

1.     “Spirits’ Masquerade”
2.     “Étaín”       Leaves Eyes
3.     “Velvet Heart”       Leaves Eyes
4.     “Kråkevisa” (Crow’s Ballad) (traditional)
5.     “To France” (Mike Oldfield cover)
6.     “Meredead” (The Deadly Sea)
7.     “Sigrlinn”
8.     “Mine tåror er ei grimme” (My Tears Are Not Hideous)
9.     “Empty Horizon”
10.     “Veritas” (Truth)
11.     “Nystev” (New Stave)
12.     “Tell-Tale Eyes”
13.     “Sorhleod” (Song of Sorrow) (bonus track)

File:Meredead.jpg

Symphonies of the Night(2013)

At the moment Liv Kristine is tracking vocals for the up-coming Leaves’ Eyes album: “The recording sessions at Mastersound studios are so much fun, as well as being highly intense. Today I recorded an amazing and classically influenced new song. We are all very excited about the songs for the new album.”

On May 9, 2013 the band announced that the vocal recordings were finished and that Alexander Krull had begun the mix of the album:

Good news from Mastersound Studio: The vocal recordings for all songs of our up-coming release “Symphonies of the Night” have just been completed. Moreover, Alex is already busy with the mix of the album. We have taken a great inspirational step since the production of “Meredead”, both sound-wise and vocal-wise. It has been such a pleasure evolving in my singing techniques and knowledge and I thank my band members for “giving me an inspirational kick” when I needed to gain momentum behind the microphone. “Symphonies of the Night” is hauntingly dream-like and heavy to the core!

The band premiered the first new song off of the album, titled “Hell to the Heavens”, at Summer Breeze Festival.

Artwork for the new album was released on August 26, 2013. A few days later the band released a video saying that they would be performing in Metal Female Voices Fest 2013. A teaser of the studio version of Hell to the Heavens was also in the video

1.     “Hell to the Heavens”
2.     “Fading Earth”
3.     “Maid of Lorraine”
4.     “Galswintha”
5.     “Symphony of the Night”
6.     “Saint Cecelia”
7.     “Hymn to the Lone Sands”
8.     “Angel and the Ghost”
9.     “Éléonore de Provence” (Eleanor from Provence)
10.     “Nightshade”
11.     “Ophelia”
12.     “Eileen’s Ardency” (bonus track)
13.     “One Caress” (Depeche Mode cover) (bonus track)

File:Symphonies of the Night.jpg

Band members

Current members

Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull – lead vocals (2003–present)
Alexander Krull – keyboards, vocals (2003–present)
Thorsten Bauer – guitar (2003–present)
Sander van der Meer – guitar (2010–present)
J.B. Van der Wal – bass (2010–present)
Felix Born – drums (2012–present)

Past members

Mathias Röderer – guitar (2003–2010)
Chris Lukhaup – bass (2003–2007)
Martin Schmidt – drums (2003–2004)
Nicholas Barker – drums (2004–2008)
Moritz Neuner – drums (2005–2007)
Alla Fedynitch – bass (2007–2010)
Seven Antonopoulos – drums (2008–2010)
Roland Navratil – drums (2010-2012)

Guest musicians

Lingua Mortis Orchestra, Minsk/Belarus on Njord, Meredead, My Destiny, At Heaven’s End, and Melusine
Carmen Elise Espenæs – Backing vocals on Into Your Light & vocals on Sigrlinn
al dente choir on Njord, Meredead, My Destiny, At Heaven’s End, and Melusine
Anette Guldbrandsen – backing vocals on Meredead and Melusine
Maite Itoiz – backing vocals, Baroque Guitar on Meredead and Melusine
John Kelly – backing vocals on Meredead
Janna Kirchhof – Fiddle & Nyckelharpa on Meredead and Melusine
Christian Roch – Uileann Pipes & Irish Whistles on Njord, Meredead and Melusine
Timon Birkhofer – Piano & Cello on Vinland Saga, Lovelorn, and Legend Land
Sarah Nuchel – Violine on Legend Land and Vinland Saga
Jana Kallenberg – Violine on Legend Land and Vinland Saga
Liesbeth Dulcimer – Hammered dulcimer on Symphonies of the Night
Viking choir (Robert & Johannes Sus, Norman Sickinger, Christof Kutzers, Anders Oddsberg, Steven Willems, Simone Sacco, Gunnar Sauermann, Sascha Henneberger, Markus Bruder, Jochen Steinsdorfer, Ralf Oechsle) on Vinland Saga

Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull – lead vocals (2003–present)
Alexander Krull – keyboards, vocals (2003–present)
Thorsten Bauer – guitar (2003–present)
Sander van der Meer – guitar (2010–present)
J.B. Van der Wal – bass (2010–present)
Felix Born – drums (2012–present)
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s