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Rating explanation

Leaves' Eyes - Meredead (7/10) - Norway - 2011

Genre: Folk Metal / Melodic Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Playing time: 55:16
Band homepage: Leaves' Eyes


  1. Spirits’ Masquerade
  2. Étain
  3. Velvet Heart
  4. Krakevisa
  5. To France
  6. Meredead
  7. Sigrlinn
  8. Mine Taror Er Ei Grimme
  9. Empty Horizon
  10. Veritas
  11. Nystev
  12. Tell-Tale Eyes


Leaves' Eyes - Meredead

The only album I heard from LEAVES’ EYES before this one is their debut, “Lovelorn”. I remember liking it, but not much beyond that, honestly. Lead singer Liv Kristine has a strong and emotional voice, but other than that… I approached “Meredead” with the curiosity of a newcomer, but with the tentative knowledge of the few things I remember about the album. I also remember hearing Liv Kristine on CRADLE OF FILTH's "Nymphetamine"... and the less said about that the better.

Right from the first track, I was a bit taken aback. “Meredead” is definitely a lot more Folk-oriented than both what I expected and what I remembered from the few of what I listened of the band previously. The Folk influences are all over this album and it is a very good thing. I know what you’re going to say, Folk Metal is very, very common these days (it’s the new Power Metal) but as long as it’s well done and doesn’t feel like a gimmick, I don’t have a problem with it. The one question that matters here is: are the songs any good?

Answer is the album is good. It’s not incredible, it’s not WUTHERING HEIGHTS or anything but it’s very listenable. Lead singer Liv Kristine does have a pretty unique voice and makes very good use of it all over this CD. The other instrumentalists all do a fine job as well, with special mention to guitarists Thorsten Bauer and Sander van der Meer for some truly wicked riffs. Along with “To France”, a MIKE OLDFIELD cover, the album also features a few renditions of traditional songs dear to the Norwegian band, namely “Krĺkevisa” and “Nystev” - nothing much to say except that they fit seamlessly into the album.

Overall, LEAVES’ EYES have put out another good but not great album that will please their Power/Folk Metal niche. It is both a compliment and a criticism – as much as I didn’t like the lack of originality of this record, I do appreciate the fact that they’re not trying to please anyone else than themselves (and ostensibly their fans). You won’t find an obvious single a la NIGHTWISH or WITHIN TEMPTATION here, and it’s for the better.

Best tracks: "Meredead," "Spirits' Masquerade," "To France," "Sigrlinn," "Étain."

(Online June 12, 2012)

Jean-Filipe Bergeron

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