LEAVES’ EYES has always been a band of superlatives: The international group has toured on five continents, playing concerts in more than 50 countries. Their live shows are spectacular events with breathtaking stage scenery, including a Viking ship or even the “Swords In Rock” monument from Norway. LEAVES’ EYES have been setting world history to music and undeniably, by doing so, have raced to the top of the symphonic metal tree.
LEAVES’ EYES – MYTHS FOR ETERNITY
Four years after bringing “The Last Viking” to Valhalla with their previous opus, Leaves’ Eyes resurrect with “Myths Of Fate” to celebrate their 20th year of existence. With their ninth studio album, the Germany-based artists consolidate their leading position in the symphonic metal universe. Powerful, epic and impressive – Leaves’ Eyes once again merge traditional metal genres by fusing elements of folk, gothic, and classical music into a captivating sonic masterpiece.
Leaves’ Eyes were founded in 2003 and have always benefitted from the union of diverse musical talents under the leadership of mastermind Alexander Krull (vocals, songwriting, production). Finnish singer Elina Siirala brings her classically trained soprano voice into contrast with the heavy guitars of Micki Richter and Luc Gebhardt. In charge of rhythm is Joris Nijenhuis on drums. In their multifaceted discography, Leaves’ Eyes naturally integrate various genres such as folk metal, Viking metal or symphonic metal into their unique sound creations. Legendary releases like “Vinland Saga” (2005) or “Njord” (2009) made them pioneers in their own league, a position they successfully confirmed with chart-breakers like “King Of Kings” (2015) or “Sign Of The Dragonhead” (2018). Their compositions are complex, though, always well balanced between heaviness and melodic atmosphere. Each of their mind-broadening lyrical concepts based on mediaeval mythology are thoroughly researched, offering their audience journeys to the past times of Vikings, myths and sagas.
In addition, Leaves’ Eyes made a name for themselves as a multimedia band of superlatives that captivates all of their followers’ senses. Lavishly produced, their high-class music videos, directed by Alexander Krull, expand the band’s storytelling to a visual aspect of superior quality. Their connection and appreciation for Viking re-enactment groups even led to the impressive feature-length documentary film “Viking Spirit” (2020) that delves deeper into the magical world explored on the band’s albums. Moreover, Leaves’ Eyes are renowned for their breath-taking live performances. Metal fans around the world experienced the charismatic and energetic stage presentation. Set in font of monumental back drops such as huge Viking ships or life-sized Nordic monuments, Leaves’ Eyes set new standards for captivating metal concerts.
With “Myths Of Fate” Leaves’ Eyes once again set sails for new winds that definitely blow from the harsh shallows of the symphonic metal genre. The fantastic world of legends from Norse and Eastern European mythology is the setting for monumental entertainment. “The early Middle Ages were a fascinating time of change. Some of these innovations have left their mark around the globe and continue to impact our modern world”, tells Alex, who created the lyrical concept. Leaves’ Eyes open up a world of magical places, spellbound weapons or supernatural creatures. With the first single and opening track “Forged ByFire” they raise the magic sword of Tyrfing. In a bombastic double bass blaze, they tell from a deadly weapon crafted and cursed by dwarves to bring misery over its bearers. “These legends always reflected the real-life horrors of those who told them, making them even relatable to modern events of wars and fights”, Alex on his inspiration for the song’s lyrical concept. The mediaeval hymn “Realm Of Dark Waves” pulls us down into ocean’s desolate depths of Rán, the Goddess of the Sea. The solid neck-breaker about the sea maiden wife of Ægir is lyrically linked to other Leaves’ Eyes hit classics about maritime gods, like “Njord” or “Nine Wave Maidens”, rounding off the artist’s entire oeuvre.
“Who Wants To Live Forever” about Iðunn, Norse Goddess of Youth, showcases the band’s songwriting skills with an orchestral rock epic – one of the potential hit songs of the album. Atmospheric, emotional and intense, the haunting chorus puts you under a spell like Iðunn does with her bewitched apples that promise immortality. “These myths prove that people have longed for eternal life in beauty and health, ever since”, Alex draws the circle to our modern society. Impulsive smashers like “Hammer Of The Gods” or “Fear The Serpent” offer sonic storytelling at its finest. The stirring riff compositions of these pounding metal anthems are perfect for live presentation. Here, singer Elina Siirala sounds like a warrior queen delivering her best performance, ever. In addition to the top-notch efforts of all instrumentalists, Elina stands out with her powerful voice, which has never been used in such a versatile way. Be it mournful on the acoustic serenade “Goddess Of The Night”, mysterious on the slow-beat rocker “Elder Sprit” or fierce on the stomping “Einherjar”– Elina easily balances the diverse emotional spectrum of the musical creations. With the frail elegy “In Eternity” she even penned a song herself. Inspired by Alexander’s late mother, “In Eternity” is one of the most personal outputs in the band’s history. The power track “Sons of Triglav” about the three-headed god takes us into Slavic mythology, where his legacy is still alive. In the studio, the real Triglav re-enactment group added some authenticity by providing some Viking shouts and traditional horns to this rebellious hymn. With Alex Krull himself taking part in dozens of spectacular sword fights, Leaves’ Eyes are closely linked to this society that keeps the Vikings’ spirit alive.
Vocalist Alexander Krull once again exceeded his own standards in the producer’s chair. For the fine and complex compositions, he created an extraordinary and crystal-clear sound sphere with an undeniable live feeling. The band sounds raw and feisty, but still leaves space for affective atmospheres. The US soundtrack-multi-talent Jonah Weingarten contributes the impressive orchestral score that was created hand in hand with the metal arrangements. “A very inspirational process, where we both influenced us creatively and finally metallized Jonah’s orchestral compositions”, Alex raves. Moreover, Lea-Sophie Fischer (Eluveitie) on the fiddle and Thomas Roth’s play of the mediaeval Nyckelharpa add on mystical sounds to “Myths Of Fate”.
In order to increase their followers’ enjoyment of the captivating stories, the band produced a total of five music videos with Mastersound Entertainment. Filmed on impressive locations in Iceland, Germany and Poland, they bring the myths captivatingly to the screen. Magic creatures, great battles and enchanting warrior queens come to live. Once again, Leaves’ Eyes have created an entire universe of their own imagination that showcases their talent as storytellers and music perfectionists. No doubt, the band will leave an everlasting footprint in their own genre with this album.
“Myths Of Fate” provides a dynamic soundtrack for a vivid escape into a magical world of mythology.
Elina Siirala – Vocals
Alexander Krull – Vocals
Micki Richter – Guitar, Bass
Luc Gebhardt – Guitar
Joris Nijenhuis – Drums