I'm going to dispense with summation at the start. If you like Leaves' Eyes, and female-fronted symphonic power metal in general, you should buy this album. Simple. It's probably their most ambitious and consistent album to date. After this, much of what follows will merely like a "just the facts" news report.
And why is that you say? Because, despite the aforementioned superlatives, King Of Kings is basic Leaves' Eyes, consistent as I said. The only real difference is that it's an historical concept album, concerning King Harald I of Norway. He united Norway under one monarch with the battle of Hafrsfjord; the date disputed, but it was a long time ago. You'll probably need the liner notes to follow the lyrics and so understand the history and legend. Liv Kristine and her death vocal cohort are often difficult to understand. Alternatively, the vocals and lyrics are more viable in a song like The Waking Eye.
The actual music production boasts some impressive participants including the London Voices (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, et al) for choral parts and the White Russian Symphony Orchestra for a greater symphonic texture. (Who would name an orchestra after a cocktail?) Following these things, the other elements remain the same: mostly operatic vocals with some death vocals (hate them) assisting and a generic blending of melodic heavy, symphonic, and power metal. Surprisingly, or not, there's a diminished amount of guitar solos. Next to the death vocals, a definite weakness. What does turn out quite nicely is the bumped up folk metal touches. The best example is the instrumental Feast Of The Year and the following Vengeance Venom. There is one quieter number in HaraldskvŠi, again with large folk and symphonic elements. I'm not sure but the lyrics may not be in English. Ultimately, and as usual, with Leaves' Eyes, King Of Kings is grand and extravagant symphonic power metal. It sounds like a soundtrack to another LoTR-type movie. If you like Leaves' Eyes, and female-fronted symphonic power metal in general, you should buy this album. Simple.
Ultimately, and as usual with Leaves' Eyes, King Of Kings is grand and extravagant symphonic power metal. It sounds like a soundtrack to another LoTR-type movie.
In the early Eighties, one of the first American metal bands that caught my interest was New York's Riot, founded by guitarist Mark Reale (1955-2012). Albums like Narita and Fire Down Under were classics of ... [ Read More ]