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“My Destiny” by Leaves Eyes

Artist: Leaves Eyes
Title: “My Destiny” EP
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 7/28/2009
Genre: Symphonic Gothic Metal
Rating: 3.75

Once again the band Leaves Eyes has delivered an EP of songs for us to enjoy as a prelude to their full-length release and as in the past it offers up the albums lead track in its full format and often also presents to us an edited or remixed version. The latter is the case with “My Destiny” and while the song itself is strong, I hardly saw the need to offer a reworked version since it’s too new a song to my ears. The other great thing about the Leaves Eyes EP’s is that they are the place to find tracks that for some reason or another are left off of the full recording but instead of being swept away from the studio floor we get them here. As expected the tracks work very well with the title track and are quite good as opposed to being something that one might throw into the bin or hope is never heard again based on its being so damn bad. New tracks come via “The Battle Of Maldon” and “Nine Wave Maidens” and I had to say that I really liked the first one based on just how powerful it was at certain points. It’s a soaring track when it comes down to it. They also include an acoustic version of “Scarborough Fair” that is rather charming and a nice difference from the one that we found on “Njord” which had a much more Metal feel to it. This is one of my very favorite tunes of all time in the first place so I like seeing it done justice. “Northbound” is the only other track from “Njord” on the EP and while a solid tune in its own right I wondered what made them choose this one as opposed to something like “Irish Rain” which I felt was just a little bit better.
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“Njord” by Leaves’ Eyes

Artist: Leaves Eyes
Title: “Njord”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 8/28/2009
Genre: Symphonic Gothic Metal
Rating: 4/5

My hope is that if you are a fan of Symphonic Metal that is led by a soaring female voice that you have been long aware of the band Leaves Eyes and the majesty that their music brings to the table. If this is not the case well there is no time like the present to get caught up to speed and their latest release “Njord” is the perfect place to get your start. Formed in 2003, “Njord” comes to us as the bands third full length album, but during this relatively short career in terms of years a number of EP style releases had come out as well as a live CD/DVD. “Njord” starts with a dramatic, and ominous tone that is cut like a knife by the siren voice that Liv Kristine possesses and then it’s on with a track that makes you feel as though you are speeding across the ocean seas in search of new adventures. I’ve enjoyed the band for a number of years and am happy to see that they have not lost an ounce of the momentum that they built up on the albums predecessor “Legend Land” and even “Vinland Saga”. As you listen you will agree that there is something simply defined a “big” to their overall delivery and this is accomplished by the powerful band backing Kristine up and her husband Alexander Krull who offers the dark vocals to her clean ones.
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“Live Is Overrated” by Pain

Artist: Pain
Title: “Live Is Overrated”
Label: Music Video Distributors
Release Date: 1/24/2006
Genre: Gothic/Industrial Metal
Rating: 8/10

Peter Tagtgren is not the type of musician who lets the grass grow under his feet in any fashion. Musically, he showcases this with Progressive Death Metal giants Hypocrisy and the band Pain; captured in concert on this DVD. He tempers these musical adventures by performing wonders in the recording studio as Producer for such Metal legends as Dimmu Borgir and Dark Funeral. Those that enjoy the work that he has done in Hypocrisy will find this Gothic Metal Industrial group to be a shock to the system unless they have an open mind. It falls better alongside that of Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails than the blistering Death Metal that he is also known for. I admit that I had only heard the name in recent months and as result was not aware of any of the music this band performed. Yet knowing the level of talent that makes up a man like Tagtgren and being someone who leans to the Power and Gothic side of Metal, the idea truly piqued my interest. The concert was filmed at the Metalmania Festival in Katowice, Poland in early 2005 and while only 8 songs in length it is a great sampling of what this band is all about.
Right off the bat I enjoyed “End Of The Line” and “Shut Your Mouth” with most of the music having a strong Metal feel to it, yet draped in the Industrial Gothic side. There is not much of the slow droning that happens sometimes in Gothic music yet in “Just Hate Me” you have a slow verse that leads to a power chord chorus and it is delivered quite well. “Same Old Song” is probably my favorite from the main feature and if people want a difference on mainstream Rock radio they should start requesting this and seeking this band on iTunes.
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