“Vinland Saga” by Leaves Eyes

Artist: Leaves Eyes
Title: “Vinland Saga”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 7/19/2005
Genre: Atmospheric/Gothic Metal
Rating: 8/10

The Atmospheric/Gothic Metal band Leaves Eyes has followed 2004’s “Lovelorn” with “The Vinland Saga” and as soon as it began I felt it would be something special. Right off the bat you are brought into the tale of Nordic Sailors leaving their home Country in search of New Land. The first two tracks line up the story and do it very well. I also noticed that this time around the release would be a little bit heavier than the last. While I enjoyed “Lovelorn” I felt that it let me down as far as the heavy factor went, and “Vinland Saga” clearly makes up for it. Singer Liv Kristine Krull has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard in a Metal sense and while she does not scream, her melodies cut through the music like a knife. Liv also brings a little ethnic flair to the table by singing in her native language during a couple of the tracks. In addition to this, we have the mixture of some of the Black vocals courtesy of her husband and guitarist Alexander. The rest of the lineup remains the same as on the previous record. The mix of Black/Melodic vocals are best experienced in tracks like “Solemn Sea” and “The Thorn”, both should be played very loud for maximum enjoyment.

For a sophomore effort the band has beaten the normally encountered curse. In fact “The Vinland Saga” is perhaps a better choice as a first time purchase when looking into this group. Song like “Elegy” and “Leaves Eyes” are worthy of regular rotation on Metal and Gothic radio stations if you ask me. It is my hope that existing mediums of this pick up on this band in particular and give them the level of exposure they deserve. There are some other interesting facets to some of the music on release. The song “Amhran” can almost come off as an Enya tune while a song like Twilight Sun has a very Nightwish quality to it. The listener can decide for themselves if I am on point with this, but it was what crossed my mind as I reviewed it.

Overall this is a very good piece and I found little that I did not enjoy. Lucky for US Listeners the people at Napalm Records have enabled us to purchase this domestically and not face a large price due to it being an import. I wanted to make note that there is also an EP of “Elegy” available and this includes a number of non-album tracks. They are both something to look into so take that as a high recommendation.

Track Listing:
1. Vinland Saga
2. Farewell Proud Men
3. Elegy
4. Solemn Sea
5. Leave’s Eyes
6. The Thorn
7. Misseri (Turn Green Meadows Into Grey)
8. Amhran (Song Of The Winds)
9. New Found Land
10. Mourning Tree
11. Twilight Sun
12. Ankomst

Official Website: www.LeavesEyes.de

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