Frankly, the band Leaves’ Eyes somehow passed by me. I heard about line-up changes from the news, of course, but not more. Well, on the other hand it makes more simple to tell about their new, seventh album ‘Sign Of The Dragonhead’, because I just don’t have anything to compare with.
As the name and cover made by Stefan Heilemann implies, the main theme of ‘Sign Of The Dragonhead’ is journeys of the Vikings, or rather a union of Norse and Viking campaigns during the reign of Harald Hårfagre (with this ‘Sign Of The Dragonhead’ continues the previous album ‘King Of Kings’ concept). But this is not a viking metal at all, and the band themselves not once states that they are far away from viking metal.
Musically, ‘Sign Of The Dragonhead’ is a good piece of symphonic metal with all its features: beautiful operatic Elina Siirala’s vocals, which emphasized with Alexander Krull’s growls. Powerful Thorsten Bauer (bass) and Joris Nijenhuis (drums) rhythm section sets the tone for all music and guitarist Pete Streit’s riffs are trying to be diverse, although in this genre it not always possible.
However, I would lie if I’ll tell that an album contains only symphonic metal, though there are some shiny examples of this genre: “Shadows In The Night”, ballad “Fairer Than The Sun” and ending epic eight minutes song “Waves Of Euphoria”.
There are also Folk and Celtic motives, which are many: “Across The Sea”, “Riders Of The Wind”, short interlude “Rulers Of Wind And Waves” and powerful “Jomsborg”.
To sum up it can be said that the album doesn’t brings nothing fundamentally new, but it has its magic and charm. It’s nicely to listen to it; it isn’t cause an idea “I heard this somehow”, the hearing does not cling to anything and Elina Siirala’s vocals are mesmerizing. So with the line-up change it seems that the band started their new chapter.
‘Sign Of The Dragonhead’ was released on January, 12 via AFM Records.