Leaves’ Eyes

Nergard – Eternal White Review

Nergard – Eternal White Review

“We throw around the phrase “Nightwish clone” in here a lot (at least it seems like we do; I have no inclination to check my claims), but in this case it feels eerily accurate. With Eternal White, Nergard channel Century Child with some Winterheart’s Guild-era Sonata Arctica thrown in for “spice.” “Spice” is in quotation marks, by the way, because this isn’t a very spicy album – in fact, it’s played very safe, leaning on a formula that has served the Leaves’ Eyes, the Xandrias, and the Sirenias of the world well: symphonic first, metal second.” White is a passive color.

Therion – Leviathan Review

Therion – Leviathan Review

“If forced to describe my relationship with Therion over the past 30 years, I would have to call it “complicated.” I was there at the start when they were a simplistic but enjoyable doom death band. I watched with interest as they slowly integrated opera and symphonic orchestration, making them one of the most unique extreme metal acts of the 90s. They had ups and downs over the decades that followed, with the lowest moment coming on 2018s 3-hour, triple album rock opera atrocity, Beloved Antichrist. Now Therion is back with their 17th album, Leviathan.” Opulence as pestilence.

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes is a band I hear about plenty, but whose music I seldom actually hear. A few samples here and there, a sliver of news-worthy drama over there, a conversation once in a while — that’s it. So it’s a bit odd that I wound up with the responsibility of reviewing their latest output, The Last Viking, but then, sometimes not knowing about band-land drama is good for the weary reviewer.” Eyes Fatigue.

Crusade of Bards – Tales of Bards and Beasts Review

Crusade of Bards – Tales of Bards and Beasts Review

“Hello, my name is Twelve. I am an addict. I use symphonic metal and Nightwish. I…wait a second. I’m not Twelve! Silly me. But I too enjoy symphonic metal a whole lot, perhaps too much. Even at its cheesiest it makes me unreasonably happy to listen as richly layered orchestrations mesh with distorted guitars and galloping double-bass kits. I especially love it when, like on the incredible Imaginaerum, the band is able to afford recording with a full-blown orchestra and choir—or at least when part of the symphonics come from actual instruments instead of digitally reconstructed simulations. It is this last feature that drew Spanish sextet Crusade of Bards to my attention.” Symphonomania.

Hidden Lapse – Butterflies Review

Hidden Lapse – Butterflies Review

“I’d like to invite you to take a moment and look at that album art. While you’re at it, admire the album title and band name. And now that you’ve spent three seconds doing that, you won’t be the slightest bit surprised when I tell you that Italy’s Hidden Lapse play progressive power metal with symphonic elements. If you were surprised, I’d recommend spending some more time on this site.” Butterfly effect.

Therion – Beloved Antichrist Review

Therion – Beloved Antichrist Review

“After a 5 year hiatus, the madman Christopher Johnsson and his crew of musical misfits have returned in a big way with Beloved Antichrist, a TRIPLE album metal opera with 46 tracks running over 3 hours in length. Yes, this is essentially Swallow the Soprano, and it’s every bit as artsy fartsy as you feared, with numerous vocalists, endless interludes and more movements than a terminal dysentery ward. It’s yacht metal for the Lincoln Center set and the only album in recent memory to qualify as a lifestyle choice.” Opera-core forevermore.

Thy Shade – The Last Goodbye Review

Thy Shade – The Last Goodbye Review

“You know, you can say what you want about female fronted symphonic metal like Nightwish, Within Temptation and Leaves’ Eyes, but they have (or had) some terrific vocalists. Tarja, Sharon van Adel, Simone Simons of Epica, the list goes on. In plenty of cases the music may be tepid and derivative, but at least those golden throats are there to put salve on the wounds and distract from the musical mediocrity.” Throwing shade.

Trees of Eternity – Hour of the Nightingale Review

Trees of Eternity – Hour of the Nightingale Review

“Life is fleeting, sometimes cruel and always impossible to predict. Case in point – the circumstances surrounding the Hour of the Nightingale debut by Trees of Eternity – a project formed by Juha Raivio (Swallow the Sun) and his partner Aleah Liane Stanbridge. Prior to Trees, Aleah was best known for her vocal work on Swallow the Sun‘s Songs of the North and AmorphisUnder the Red Cloud. Trees‘ and its melodic quasi-doom style was designed to showcase Aleah’s vocal talents and take her career to the next level.” What might have been.