Leaves’ Eyes – Meredead
Genres: Gothic Metal, Symphonic Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Truthfully, I’ve never checked out Leaves’ Eyes before, but with this album I was quite excited to. They are legends in their musical realm with a huge following, but it was the album artwork that really caught my eye at first, as it’s a gorgeous piece of art. Naturally, it seems to follow the symphonic/gothic metal conventions that some bands have taken with having a hot chick on the cover, but this hot chick is surfacing from underwater amid Celtic cross gravestones. Really cool looking.
The music is just as good as the cover art, with a wonderful singer backed up by a killer band. Heavy riffs put a strong backbone to the music with some really deadly leads overlaid. The keys aren’t just boring drones or background noise, or being used as an annoying weapon against the listener, but actually taking a major role inside of the music, working in concert with everything else. One of the biggest bonuses for me is songs that aren’t sung in English. I don’t know if that’s a usual thing for Leaves’ Eyes, but some of the songs on Meredead are in Liv Kristine’s native Norwegian. The use of traditional instruments (violins and the like) is a bonus too.
My favorite songs are “Kråkevisa”, “Meredead” (great guitar solo and keyboards in this song), and “Sigrlinn” (there’s some serious death growls in this song with the most vicious riffing on the album).
7.5 out of 10.