Leaves’ EyesNjord
Rating: 2.5/5.0 – Mediocre
Label: Napalm Records
Websites: leaveseyes.de | myspace.com/leaveseyespage
Release Date(s): EU: 28.08.2009 (out now!) | USA: 09.29.2009

LeavesEyes-Njord2009Fame has its benefits.  Getting signed immediately after you leave/get fired from your other band is one of those things.  Of course, the inevitable problem with fame is that no matter how far away from what you got famous for, you will always be compared to it.  And for me, Liv’s voice will live on forever in Theatre of Tragedy‘s classic album Velvet Darkness They FearLeaves’ Eyes is not Theatre of Tragedy and Njord is definitely not Velvet Darkness They Fear, and while it doesn’t need to be that album all over again for me to like something she’s done, I know it can be better than this.

Firstly, this record isn’t Theatre of Tragedy, as said, instead it’s Nightwish.  While Liv’s voice is, and will always be, infinitely better than Tarja’s voice, the whole style is becoming a pallid replica of itself and is not terribly interesting.  The pompous, plodding songs push their way through your speakers and only occasionally catch your ears with something interesting.  But honestly, the music feels uninspired most of the time, and sometimes it just truly is flat and boring.  The cover of “Scarborough Fair” is a perfect example of this, it takes something well known, puffs it up and turns it into a melodramatic caricature of the tune, all the while conforming to the worst elements of the genre, huge production (courtesy of Sascha Paeth), double bass drums, pulsing keyboards, an unnecessary guitar solo, while never even being close to interesting or heavy.

There are some good moments and melodies on here, and for the gothic metal fan with a thing for female operatics and the leaveseyes063009whole approach, there are things that I’m sure one will find exciting and interesting.  For the most part, as stated earlier, it’s the melodies that catch a listener.  The undeniable radio single “My Destiny” has a very catchy chorus and a very sexy hook, marred by a Evanescence-style rappy guy on the chorus.  As with “My Destiny,” it is the chorus that stands out in “Take the Devil In Me,” with razor sharp claws sinking into your gray matter and not wanting to let go.  And of course, the highlight of this album on the track “Ragnarok” which is actually truly heavy and dramatic, pretty much the only point on this album that felt dangerous.  It is these moments that stand out, get stuck in your head and are pretty good.  But there certainly aren’t enough of them when you have to compete against filler like “Through Our Veins,” which has no build, no drive and no point.

Liv, of course, is tremendous as always.  Her voice is gorgeous and her performance is flawless.  But if she had wanted to be in Nightwish, why didn’t she go and join the damn band?  She would’ve been a perfect fit, and at least then she would’ve been in the real deal instead of a pale imitation of it.

Share →
  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Leaves' Eyes - Njord Review | Angry Metal Guy -- Topsy.com()

  • “While Liv’s voice is, and will always be, infinitely better than Tarja’s voice” totally FAIL…

    • Absolutely not. Tarja has always been one of the most overrated vocalists, particularly of the female variety. She doesn’t sound that great. The only record she sounds any good on is Once, and by that time she was such a fucking diva that she was kicked out of the band because she couldn’t be treated like a rockstar in the USA. Liv Kristine, on the other hand, sounded fucking fantastic on the early Theatre of Tragedy stuff, which only went downhill when she stopped doing operatics.

      • Jewelia

        Finally! Someone who doesn’t fall all over themselves over Tarja. Yeah, she’s got a good voice. But Floor and Liv blow her out of the water. Hell, Simone and Sharon have more expression in one line than I’ve heard in her solo album!

  • Of the three Leaves Eyes albums I think this one is the weakest. And it’s not because of Liv but Alex. His growls are too forced to where he sounds like the Tasmanian Devil.

    Oh and Neikos. Take your gothic ass out of here. Tarja was fine in the element she was in as the frontwoman for a symphonic band but go listen to the covers of Still of the Night or Smells Like Teen Spirit to see how her range is actually pretty horrible. Liv can and has sung to multiple differant styles of music and pulls it off most of the time.

  • Correction: Sascha Paeth had no involvement in this album. If he did, it’d be his worst mixjob ever. Alexander Krull can’t lick Paeth’s boots.

  • Pingback: Atrocity - Okkult Review | Angry Metal Guy()